Tide Schedule In Odd And Even Years

Almost everyone believes that the home field is an advantage in college football (and almost all sports, some more than others). In the Southeastern Conference, each team plays six games against its division opponents, one against a traditional and yearly opponent from the other division, and one game against a rotating opponent from the other division. Eight SEC games.

Alabama has Tennessee as its regular SEC Eastern Division opponent. The other Western Division opponents are Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M.

The schedule has been set up so that each team plays three intradivision opponents and its regular extradivision rival at home one year and away the next. The other three intradivision opponents and the rotating extradivision opponent alternate on the home and away schedule.

Does Alabama have an advantage in either the even or odd numbered seasons based on home field advantage? Obviously, the immediate view can be dramatically different from the long term as all teams (including the Crimson Tide) have their ebbs and flows.

Alabama’s odd year SEC home opponents (including this season) are Ole Miss, Arkansas, and LSU from the Western Division, and regular Eastern rival Tennessee.

The Tide’s even year home field opponents (and the road opponents this year) are Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Auburn. This year’s rotating East Division opponent is Georgia in Athens.

Just to be honest, all of those SEC games this year look to be difficult wins, even though today Alabama probably would be the favorite against each of them.

Through the history of the SEC, Tennessee has been the strongest team in the SEC East, but in recent years the Vols have been behind Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Missouri, ahead of only Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Still, Tennessee must be considered a formidable opponent in most years, and certainly this year. Additionally, LSU has been Bama’s toughest opponent on a consistent opponent in recent years. Although Arkansas and Ole Miss have been up and down through the years, paired with LSU and Tennessee makes the odd year SEC schedule seem to be the most difficult.

Buy that, and it would seem that the odd years – having those four in Bryant-Denny Stadium – is the best schedule.

But that home schedule means road work that includes Auburn at Auburn, and the Tigers have always been a tough out for the Tide. The history is slim, but Texas A&M has also been very strong. Mississippi State has been on an uptick, but has not had much success against Bama. Obviously, in a year in which the rotating East opponent is a Georgia (as this year), that adds to the strength of that foursome.

Maybe it’s best to look at it from the even year schedule. That pits Bama against Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU on the road and against Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Auburn, and an East opponent in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama has a winning record against every SEC opponent in football. Those marks are:

Arkansas (10-3), Auburn (43-35-1), Florida (23-14), Georgia (36-25-4), Kentucky (36-2-1), LSU (49-25-5), Ole Miss (47-10-2), Mississippi State (77-18-3), Missouri (3-2), South Carolina (12-3), Tennessee (51-38-7), Texas A&M (10-4), and Vanderbilt (61-18-4).

Here is Alabama’s 2015 football schedule:

Sept. 5 Wisconsin at Arlington, Texas

Sept. 12 Middle Tennessee

Sept. 19 Ole Miss

Sept. 26 Louisiana Monroe

Oct. 3 @ Georgia

Oct. 10 Arkansas

Oct. 17 @ Texas A&M

Oct. 24 Tennessee

Oct. 31 Open

Nov. 7 LSU

Nov. 14 @ Mississippi State

Nov. 21 Charleston Southern

Nov. 28 @ Auburn

The SEC Championship Game is Dec. 5 in Atlanta.


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