The SEC has released the in-conference schedule, a complete version can be found on their official site, and it has set some teams up for success while others will almost assuredly fail.
With the conference being so tough as well as a championship game, no schedule is really that easy, but some are certainly easier than others.
Here are the odds for each team winning its respective division.
The Rebels and Bulldogs have the two toughest schedules in the entire conference and they each have to face LSU and Alabama on the road. Ole Miss also gets Arkansas on the road, which is another nightmare game.
Anything can happen in college football, but the world has a better chance of ending in 2012 than either of these teams do at winning the SEC West.
A&M will lose a bunch of talent off of this year’s team and will be breaking in a new head coach and defensive coordinator. The schedule does the team no favors, either. Florida, LSU and Missouri are the home games with Arkansas at a neutral site and Auburn and Alabama on the road.
Unless Kevin Sumlin is the greatest coach to ever walk the earth, the Aggies won’t be winning the West in their first year in the SEC.
The biggest problem for the Tigers under Gene Chizik has been winning road games. They have to beat Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Alabama on the road but all of the other games are at home.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’ll win the West. Auburn will be improved, but beating LSU and Arkansas in a consecutive weeks as well as Texas A&M and Georgia will be next to impossible.
And don’t forget about offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn leaving.
As it stands right now, the draft-eligible juniors on Alabama have yet to declare, but they really all should and I’m assuming that they are for this prediction. The Tide can beat almost anyone at home but shouldn’t be too terribly challenged by the Mississippi schools, A&M or Auburn.
The problem is that they have to beat Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and LSU all on the road. A 3-1 record in that stretch should be considered good with all of the personnel losses.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see them go 2-2.
The Hogs just need to find a second wide receiver and some defensive playmakers in order to be one of the nation’s best teams. The issue for this team has always been on defense; Bobby Petrino knows how to light up the scoreboard, especially with Knile Davis returning at running back.
It won’t be easy for them to find those guys on defense, though. Still, getting LSU and Alabama at home is a huge plus because Arkansas is incredibly dangerous there.
The scariest part about LSU this year is that the team could be even better in 2012. Morris Claiborne and eight seniors will be leaving, but the key playmakers are all still there.
Zach Mettenberger has fans antsy with anticipation because Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard are two of the most talented receivers who don’t get showcased enough. Alabama and South Carolina are at home so if the Tigers can get by Arkansas to end the season, they should win the SEC West.
The Wildcats were bad this year and in addition to facing Arkansas on the road, they get a pretty tough SEC East schedule as well.
There’s more parity in this division than in the West but Kentucky is still on the outside looking in.
The Gators have been absolutely terrible on offense since Tim Tebow graduated and without Charlie Weis coaching the offense, things don’t look like they’ll be going up. The Volunteers will have Tyler Bray and an incredibly young roster, but they need to prove they can get to a bowl before projecting them to win the West.
Missouri could be better as well, but adjusting to SEC play without three starting defensive linemen will be rough. Their schedules aren’t terrible, but they get each get a heavy hitter from the West and Florida and Tennessee have to play Georgia away from home.
The Gamecocks could still be a top-10 team next year, but they’ll have to beat LSU on the road as well as Georgia and Arkansas at home. The winner of the East will more than likely have no more than one loss and they’ll likely go 1-2 in that stretch.
They also have to get by Vanderbilt and Florida on the road with a potentially dangerous Tennessee team at home. South Carolina could be good, but the schedule will keep the team out of the SEC Championship.
Under James Franklin, the Commodores have improved dramatically and will look to continue that in 2012 with a ridiculously easy schedule. South Carolina, Florida, Auburn and Tennessee are all at home with Georgia and Missouri the only real road challenges.
Vanderbilt doesn’t have the greatest home-field advantage, but they're a young team that will return 16 of 22 starters. Four of their six losses came by six or fewer points.
Win close games and this team could be the surprise team in the country.
There are a lot of NFL-ready juniors on this team, but if at least most of them stick around, Georgia will be a top-five team by the end of the regular season.
The Bulldogs open at Missouri and play at South Carolina, Auburn and get Florida at a neutral site, but they are clearly the more talented team with Aaron Murray at quarterback.
With Vanderbilt and Tennessee at home, there’s really not much stopping this team from running the table in the SEC East. With Isaiah Crowell and Keith Marshall in the backfield, making up for the loss of three offensive linemen shouldn’t be a problem.
An LSU-Georgia rematch in the 2012 SEC Championship is what will likely happen.