2016 SEC Football Schedule Breakdown
Although every game does count there are about four or five games that can determine how your season will according to how your schedule layout. You are gonna have a game where you make a statement: like Alabama did last year when they took on LSU in Tuscaloosa winning 30-16 both teams were ranked in the top ten then. You will also have your games where it can impact your season in a good way like Florida early season win over Ole Miss last year. Swing games are those game can swing your season in direction you want, you may have loss a game or so and get your season back on track like Ole Miss did after a overtime lost to Arkansas the Rebels recover by beating LSU the following week 38-17. Trap games are road games that can put a dent in your season if a team not careful like 2014 Ole Miss win over Bama in Oxford. Then there is always an unexpected game a wild card game that can determine your season as like a non conference opponent like Alabama win over Wisconsin prove to be a quality non conference win as the Badgers finish last year with a 10-3 record. Here are my statement, impact, swing, trap and wild card games for each SEC team for 2016 season.
Swing Game - 9/3 vs USC (Arlington) - This will be Alabama's fifth straight year opening up with a Power 5 foe they are 4-0 with wins over Michigan ('12), Virginia Tech ('13), West Virginia ('14) and Wisconsin ('15). Now they face USC which is expected to contend for a Pac 12 South title so this game could end up being useful if Alabama wins and the Trojans have a good season.
Impact Game - 9/17 at Ole Miss - After facing Western Kentucky in the home opener the Tide will travel to Oxford where they lost last time they played there to the Rebels. Ole Miss will have already face Florida State two weeks prior so what will the Rebels be playing for by then.
Trap Game - 10/15 at Tennessee - The Tide would have already took on Kent State and Kentucky in Tuscaloosa along with a trip to Fayetteville against Arkansas. If the Tide can get by Arkansas on the road they will get a Tennessee team that we should know about by then.
Statement Game - 11/5 at LSU - This was Alabama's regular season statement game last year as they came into the game with 7-1 record while the Tigers were 7-0. The Tide handle LSU winning 30-16 on there way to a SEC Title and national title.
Wild Card Game - 11/26 vs Auburn - This game could become a wild card game for the Tide if the Tigers overachieve like they did in 2013 winning SEC. What kind of team will Auburn be bringing to Tuscaloosa will it be like 2014 or 2012?
Swing Game - 9/24 at Auburn - If LSU can get by Wisconsin and home games against Jacksonville State and Mississippi State this road game against Auburn could swing LSU season a good direction with a win with a loss could be crucial especially depending what there record will be at that time of the season.
Trap Game - 10/8 at Florida - The Tigers will be coming off a home game against Missouri which they should win and they will travel to Gainesville where they won 30-27 last time in 2014.
Impact Game - 10/22 vs Ole Miss - This could impact LSU season especially if Ole Miss is a legit contender cause they will have already played Florida State, Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas.
Statement Game - 11/5 vs Alabama - The Tigers lost to Alabama 30-16 last season after starting the season 7-0 and ranked #4 in the nation. They did not recover losing there next two games to Arkansas and Ole Miss. This game may be for the SEC West title by then if both teams take care of business up to this point.
Wild Card Game - 11/12 at Arkansas - No matter the outcome of a home game against Alabama this game can have a affect on LSU season. The Tigers do finish out on the road against Texas A&M who they haven't lost to in SEC play since the Aggies arrival in 2012.
Impact Game - 9/5 vs Florida State (Orlando) - This could impact the Rebels season if they were to win or maybe if they lose a close game.
Statement Game - 9/17 vs Alabama - If the Rebels can get by Florida State and Alabama can win against USC this game could be huge. But no matter what the outcome in the Rebels season opener this game can be statement game for Ole Miss like it was in 2014 and last year win in Tuscaloosa.
Swing Game - 9/24 vs Georgia - .The Rebels should know what they are about after this game as they will have played Florida State, Alabama and Georgia in the month of September.
Trap Game - 10/15 at Arkansas - Rebels will be coming off an bye week where they played rival Memphis two weeks before. Depending on how the Rebels have faired in there previous five games this could be a trap game for Ole Miss as this is the game that knock them out of SEC West contention last year in Oxford.
Wild Card Game - 10/22 - After coming off a road game against Arkansas the Rebels have to travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU. Ole Miss will face Florida State, Alabama, Georgia, at Arkansas and at LSU in there first seven games.
Statement Game - 9/3 vs Clemson - After having a disappointing 2015 season going 7-6 the Tigers open up with top ranked Clemson in Jordan Hare. Auburn can really make a statement here to start the season with a win or if they lose a close game to Clemson.
Swing Game - 9/24 vs LSU - This will be Auburn fourth straight home game as they will have already played Clemson, Arkansas State and Texas A&M the week before. Depending on the outcome of there previous three games this could be critical game for Auburn on how there season goes.
Trap Game - 10/8 at Mississippi State - This will be Auburn first road game after a five game home stand (Clemson, Arkansas State, Texas A&M, LSU and Louisiana Monroe). The Tigers travel to Mississippi State where they lost to the Bulldogs in 2014 38-23 where they were ranked #2 in the country at the time.
Wild Card Game - 11/12 at Georgia - Three weeks prior the Tigers will have faced Arkansas at home and a road game against Ole Miss and a home game against Vanderbilt. Auburn haven't won in Athens since 2005 and they are just 2-8 in the last ten games against the Bulldogs.
Impact Game - 11/26 at Alabama - If the Tigers have something to play for by then this could be a huge game for them. I think that the Tigers will fly under the radar and have a alright year coming into the Iron Bowl. In 2014 Auburn loss 55-44 to Bama after having a halftime lead 26-21 and a 36-27 lead early in the 3rd quarter before being outscored 21-8 in the fourth quarter.
Trap Game - 9/17 at Auburn - The Aggies will already have face non conference foe UCLA two weeks before and a home game against fcs Prairie View A&M they go on the road to face Auburn. The road team has won all four games in this series the last four years since the Aggies joined the SEC.
Wild Card Game - 10/8 vs Tennessee - Depending on the outcome of the previous games against Auburn in Jordan Hare, a game at Cowboy stadium against Arkansas and a road game against South Carolina this game could play a interesting role for the Aggies.
Statement Game - 10/22 at Alabama - The Aggies have started the season with a 5-1 record after it first six games for four straight years only see there previous three seasons ('13, '14 & '15). This will be the Aggies seventh game of the season a trip to Tuscaloosa where they lost 59-0 to Alabama in 2014. Last year the Aggies went 3-3 after starting the season with a 5-1 mark. In 2014 they also started 5-1 but finished the year with a 7-5 record. 2013 they started 5-1 but ended up with a 8-4 regular season record.
Swing Game - 11/12 vs Ole Miss - The Aggies will be coming off a road test against Miss State the week prior and depending on how they fair in that game this home game against the Rebels could be of significant to the success or failure of the Aggies season.
Impact Game - 11/24 vs LSU - LSU is the only SEC West team that the Aggies have not defeated since joining the SEC (0-4). This will be a quick turn around for the Aggies as they will be coming off a home game against Texas-San Antonio 5 days prior.
Wild Card Game - 9/10 at TCU - After opening up with Louisiana Tech at home the Razorbacks travel to Forth Worth to face TCU who should be ranked in the top 15. Last year Arkansas lost two non conference games one was to Big 12 Texas Tech. Now they get a Big 12 contender on the road. This game could be useful to Arkansas if they were to win against a top notch non conference opponent.
Swing Game - 9/24 vs Texas A&M (Arlington) - The Razorbacks will have already played home games against Louisiana Tech and Texas State the week prior with a road game against TCU as well before they travel to Arlington to take on Texas A&M. The Razorbacks haven't beaten Texas A&M since they have joined the SEC they are 0-4 against the Aggies.
Statement Game - 10/8 vs Alabama - In 2014 the Razorbacks lost to Alabama 14-13 by getting the extra point blocked. If the Razorbacks will be having a success by then they can make a statement this game with a win. Arkansas lost 9 straight to Alabama with there last win coming in 2006 season with a 24-23 overtime victory in Fayetteville.
Impact Game - 11/12 vs LSU - Arkansas will have played three games ( Ole Miss, at Auburn and Florida) prior before they play LSU. This game could have a impact on where the Razorbacks want to go depending on how they have faired with the season up to that point.
Trap Game - 11/19 at Miss State - This has trap game written all over it as the Razorbacks will be coming off two home games against Florida and the previous week against LSU. A late season road game against a SEC West opponent and the Razorbacks want be finish as they will end the regular season on the road against Missouri the following week.
Impact Game - 9/17 at LSU - The Bulldogs will already have played home games against South Alabama and South Carolina the week before. In 2014 Miss State made a impact on there season as they went into Baton Rouge and beat LSU 34-29.
Swing Game - 10/8 vs Auburn - The Bulldogs will be coming off a bye week where they will be coming off two road games against LSU and Massachusetts. If the Bulldogs slip up in Baton Rouge they can swing there season back in a good direction if they were to win at home against Auburn.
Statement Game - 11/12 at Alabama - In 2014 the Bulldogs came in Tuscaloosa with a 9-0 record ranked #1 in the nation before losing to the Tide 25-20. Last year the Bulldogs came into the Alabama game ranked #20 but lost 31-6.
Wild Card Game - 11/19 vs Arkansas - No matter the outcome of a trip to Tuscaloosa against Alabama the Bulldogs will have to regroup to face the Razorbacks. Depending how they season is going for Miss State by then this game could be a wild card game to there success or failures.
Trap Game - 11/26 at Ole Miss - If they can some how get pass Arkansas the previous week the Bulldogs travel to Oxford to face there hated rival Ole Miss in the season finale known as the "Egg Bowl". The have lost to the Rebels three of the last four meetings including back to back losses in 2014 31-17 and last year's lost in Starkville 38-27.
Impact Game - 9/24 vs Florida - The Vols open up at home against Appalachian State and then they play Virginia Tech in Bristol, TN before hosting Ohio the next week. So they should be 3-0 coming into the game where haven't beaten the Gators in 11 years! And have lost back to back games by one point a 10-9 lost in Knoxville 2014 and a 28-27 lost in Gainesville last year. This game use to be basically for the SEC East title but it had lost its luster over years with the decline of the Vols and Gators but things could be changing this year.
Swing Game - 10/1 at Georgia - If the Vols can get pass Florida in Knoxville the week before they go on the road against the Bulldogs where they can really make some noise for SEC East supremacy with a win in Athens. Last year Tennessee ended a 5 game losing streak to Georgia by coming back on the Bulldogs to win 38-31.
Wild Card Game - 10/8 at Texas A&M - This will be the first meeting between these schools since Texas A&M came to the SEC in 2012. The Vols will have face Florida two prior in Knoxville followed by a road trip to Athens the week before. Now the will face a Aggie team that usually play well in the first half of the season. The Vols got to be careful about this game as they host Alabama the next week.
Statement Game - 10/15 vs Alabama - Tennessee have lost eight straight to Alabama, they will have played Florida, at Georgia and at Texas A&M the previous week so depending the outcomes of those three conference games this game can either make or break the Vols season on if they will contend for a SEC East title or may even be in national title contention.
Trap Game - 10/29 at South Carolina - The play Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama all back to back before getting a bye week after a home game with Alabama before traveling to Columbia. Last year Tennessee got pass the Gamecocks in a close game 27-24.
Wild Card Game - 9/3 vs North Carolina (Atlanta) - First game of the year against a quality non conference opponent. The Kirby Smart era will begin in the Georgia Dome against North Carolina. This could look good on your resume at the end of the year on a team's strength of schedule.
Trap Game - 9/24 at Ole Miss - The Bulldogs will coming off a tough road game against Missouri where they should be able to come out with a win. They travel to Oxford to face Ole Miss who will have played Alabama the week before in Oxford. The Bulldogs may be getting a hungry Rebel team especially if they have already fallen to Florida State and Alabama prior to facing the Bulldogs.
Statement Game - 10/1 vs Tennessee - This game could be for the SEC East title especially if the Vols have gotten pass Florida the week before. Georgia led Tennessee 24-3 last year but still lost as the Vols storm back to win 38-31.
Impact Game - 10/29 vs Florida (Jacksonville) - After going on a three game winning streak ('11, '12 & '13) the Bulldogs have dropped the last two against the Gators with two embarrassing loses by a combine score of 65-23. The Bulldogs will be coming off a bye week where they would have faced at South Carolina and a home game against Vanderbilt. So this game will be huge if the Bulldogs want to contend for a SEC East title.
Swing Game - 11/26 vs Georgia Tech - After playing Florida in Jacksonville the Bulldogs will go on the road to face a Kentucky followed by two home games against rival Auburn and a non conference match up against Louisiana-Lafayette before ending the season against there hated rival Georgia Tech in Athens. The last three games have been decided by a total of 19 points with Georgia winning two.
Trap Game - 9/24 at Tennessee - The Gators start the season with three home games against Massachusetts, Kentucky and North Texas before they go on the road to face Tennessee. The Gators have beat the Vols 11 straight the last two victories have been a one-point win. This is the ultimate trap game as Tennessee will be extremely jacked up for this game.
Impact Game - 10/8 vs LSU - The Gators will be on the road for two weeks (at Tennessee and at Vanderbilt) before the come home and have to face LSU. The Gators are 1-5 against the Tigers the last 6 meetings and if they are to fall to Tennessee two weeks prior this game can have a impact on the Gators season.
Swing Game - 10/29 vs Georgia (Jacksonville) - This game may be for the SEC East title if both teams take care of business leading up to this game or this game can swing the Gators season back with a win or will it fall with a loss.
Wild Card Game - 11/5 at Arkansas - Florida went 10-4 last season losing to LSU, Florida State, Alabama and Michigan. All those teams were down hill running teams and all those teams had success running the ball on Florida. The Razorbacks are in the category as well and this game will be on the road late in the season where it probably will be cold something the Gators are not use to.
Statement Game - 11/26 at Florida State - This will be a statement game for Florida especially if they come into ranked and something to play for or they may just be playing spoiler as they did in 2014 but came up short losing 24-19 to FSU. The Gators are 1-5 against the Noles the last six meetings. There last win was in Tallahassee though in 2012 where they came into the game ranked #6 in the nation.
Swing Game - 9/3 at West Virginia - Missouri starts the season on the road against West Virginia where they can could swing there season into a good start after a disappointing 5-7 record last year and missing out on a bowl game.
Statement Game - 9/17 vs Georgia - The Tigers welcome Georgia for the SEC home opener. Missouri can make a statement here with a home win against a formidable conference foe.
Impact Game - 10/29 vs Kentucky - The Tigers will have played four games (Delaware State, at LSU, at Florida and home game against Middle Tennessee) before they face Kentucky in Columbia. Assuming that they may fall to LSU and Florida on the road this game could be critical on Missouri making a bowl game.
Trap Game - 11/5 at South Carolina - If they can get pass Kentucky the week before in Columbia the Tigers go to Columbia, SC against SEC East foe South Carolina.
Wild Card Game - 11/26 vs Arkansas - A home game against Vanderbilt two weeks prior along with a trip to Knoxville following week and Missouri will welcome Arkansas for its season finale.
Statement Game - 9/10 at Florida - The last time the Wildcats came to Gainesville they almost pulled an upset losing in triple overtime to the Gators 36-30. Kentucky has lost 29 straight times to Florida which now the longest streak in FBS.
Swing Game - 10/8 vs Vanderbilt - The Wildcats will have already face both New Mexico State and South Carolina at home before going on the road to take on top ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa where they have never won. So this home game against Vanderbilt should have a swing on Kentucky's season on how successful they want to be.
Wild Card Game - 10/22 vs Miss State - Kentucky will be coming off a bye week as they take on Mississippi State in Lexington.
Trap Game - 10/29 at Missouri - A late season road game against a conference foe is usually a trap game and this one will be one for the Wildcats.
Impact Game - 11/5 vs Georgia - The Bulldogs come to town and by then Kentucky will know what kind of team they have as it will be its ninth game of the season.
Swing Game - 9/1 vs South Carolina - Its always important when your season opener is a conference game so this could swing the Commodores season in a positive manner.
Trap Game - 9/24 at Western Kentucky - Vandy will be coming off a road game against Georgia Tech so this game could be critical if they don't take care of business the week before in Atlanta.
Statement Game - 10/1 vs Florida - Vandy will be getting the Gators from a week prior going to Knoxville so they may be catching them at the right time here.
Wild Card Game - 10/8 at Kentucky
Impact Game - 11/12 at Missouri
Trap Game - 9/10 at Miss State
Impact Game - 10/1 vs Texas A&M
Statement Game - 10/8 vs Georgia
Swing Game - 10/29 vs Tennessee
Wild Card Game - 11/5 vs Missouri
SEC 2015 Highlights
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The SEC has won 8 national championship in the last 10 years with Alabama leading the way with 4 titles ('09 '11 '12 '15) , Florida 2 ('06 '08), Auburn 1 ('10) and LSU 1 ('07).
We already think that these teams should compete for championships: Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State and LSU. But who will be taking that next step to contend.
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