TOP SEC NON CONFERENCE GAMES OF 2012
The SEC is no doubt the best conference in college football by now winning six straight national titles and getting two teams in the national title game a year ago as Alabama took LSU to the woodshed with a 21-0 shutout to win the national title. But what separates the SEC from other conferences is that it is not only dominated by one team. There haven't been a back to back national title team since Nebraska winning it in 1994 & 1995 and there hasn't been a back to back SEC Champion since Tennessee won in 1997 & 1998 as the Vols also took home the national title in that 1998 season.
Although in the SEC a team will have to face tough conference games, teams still will play at least one or two non conference games that are vital to a team success. For instance LSU defeated Oregon and West Virginia on there way to a undefeated regular season. Those two non conference wins were very helpful to LSU as Oregon was a top ten team and West Virgina went on to win the Big East. Alabama had a important non conference win against Penn State last year as the Nittany Lions finished second in the Big Ten Leaders division last year. In 2009 Alabama played Virginia Tech to open the season on there way to a SEC title and national title. The Tide the year before took on Clemson in 2008 in a marquee non conference matchup to start the season. Tennessee traveled to Syracuse in the 1998 season and pulled out a 34-33 victory on there way to a undefeated season and SEC and national title. Besides having conference rivals some SEC schools have non conference rivals which they play every year like Florida and Florida State rivalry. With that being said here are my top 20 non conference games of the SEC for the 2012 season. These games can have a significant impact on a teams' season in a good way or bad way.
1) 9/1/12 - Alabama vs Michigan (Cowboys Stadium)
2) 11/24/12 - South Carolina at Clemson
3) 11/24/12 - Florida at Florida State
4) 11/24/12 - Georgia Tech at Georgia
5) 9/1/12 - Auburn vs Clemson (Atlanta)
6) 9/8/12 - Washington at LSU
7) 9/15/12 - Texas at Ole Miss
8) 9/15/12 - Arizona State at Missouri
9) 8/31/12 - Tennessee vs NC State (Atlanta)
10) 9/22/12 - Rutgers at Arkansas
11) 11/17/12 - Syracuse at Missourib
12) 9/8/12 - Vanderbilt at Northwestern
13) 11/24/12 - Vanderbilt at Wake Forest
14) 9/2/12 - Kentucky at Louisville
15) 9/29/12 - Missouri at Central Florida
16) 8/30/12 - Texas A&M vs Louisiana Tech (Shreveport)
17) 9/15/12 - Texas A&M at SMU
18) 9/15/12 - Miss. State at Troy
19) 11/3/12 - Tulsa at Arkansas
20) 9/22/12 - Ole Miss at Tulane
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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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