What Bama Foes Look Forward To
It may not be fair to give all the credit to Alabama last year, but there was some truth to the theory in the Southeastern Conference. Missouri and Auburn didn't suffer the curse because both teams of Tigers did not have to play the week after playing Bama, Missouri (a 42-10 loser to the Crimson Tide) because of an open date, Auburn (falling 49-0 to Alabama) because its 3-9 season had come to an end.
Arkansas was having all sorts of problems in any event under interim Coach John L. Smith after the Bobby Petrino motorcycle-girlfriend disaster for the Razorbacks. A week after losing 52-0 to Bama, Arkansas was embarrassed by Rutgers, 35-26.
Ole Miss lost by 33-14 to Alabama and the next week came back with a nice effort, albeit a losing one, falling by 30-27 to Texas A&M.
Tennessee was having a bad year when the Vols lost by 44-13 to Alabama, and also came back with a nice effort in a 38-36 loss to South Carolina.
Mississippi State had one of those seasons in which all its easy games were early in the year. The Bulldogs were 7-0 before Alabama pasted them 38-7. The next week wasn't much better, a 38-13 loss to Texas A&M.
That wasn't it for the Bulldogs, who would finally finish 8-5. After LSU lost a heart-breaker to Bama, 21-17 in Baton Rouge, the Fighting Tigers took it out on Mississippi State the next week, 37-17.
After Texas A&M had its emotional victory over Bama, the Aggies had the next best thing to an open date, romping Sam Houston State, 47-28.
So what does it look like for Alabama opponents the week after playing the Crimson Tide this year?
Not bad. It's almost as if the SEC office was in on the secret and is now awarding open dates to Bama opponents the week after the game instead of the week before the game.
LSU has the best of both worlds. The Tigers have their open dates around the Nov. 9 game at Alabama. That helps LSU because two weeks after the trip to Tuscaloosa, the Tigers host Texas A&M.
Auburn, of course, will also have the week off following the Alabama game barring the greatest turn-around in college football history. The Tigers would have to win the SEC West and play in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7 to have a game the week after hosting Alabama on Nov. 30. Of course, who would have dreamed a team could go from 14-0 to 3-9 in two years, so maybe Auburn can turn it back around.
Arkansas plays Alabama Oct. 19 and has an open date the next week. Kentucky plays Alabama Oct. 12 and has an open date the next week.
Ole Miss plays Alabama Sept. 28 in Tuscaloosa and then goes on the road to Auburn the next week. Mississippi State is home to Bama on Nov. 16, goes to Arkansas the following week. And Tennessee is at Alabama Oct. 19 and plays at Missouri the following week. Texas A&M hosts Alabama on Sept. 14 and has SMU coming to College Station the next week.
Texas A&M is probably safe for a win, but Ole Miss, Mississippi State,and Tennessee best be on guard.
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