SEC Football: 1 Nonconference Game We Want Each Team to Schedule
The SEC is notorious for scheduling cupcake out of conference opponents because the conference schedule provides all the difficulty any team would need. This is great for the teams receiving paychecks, but it isn't much fun for the fans that want to see intriguing games on a weekly basis.
How about getting rid of the FCS teams and throwing Oregon, Florida State or Texas on the schedule?
Sure, it makes things even tougher, but this is the SEC we are talking about. A conference full of big boys should have no problem going on a cross-country tour and beating some of the powerhouses in other conferences.
It's time to start a petition and get this thing done.
Who it Should Schedule: Oklahoma
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops decided to open a can of worms this offseason by indicating the SEC wasn't all it was hyped up to be. Well, let's see those Sooners back up that mouth. If the conference isn't as good as seven straight titles lead on, go ahead and play the biggest and baddest team on the block.
Alabama would have no problem at all showing you how real it gets down South. And knowing Nick Saban, he doesn't forget much and would be delighted to make Stoops pay for those comments. He would probably demand an apology after a beat down just knowing his competitive spirit.
Now that would be something to see.
Who it Should Schedule: Wisconsin
Bret Bielema was on the first thing smoking when Arkansas offered him a head coaching job. Despite being extremely successful in Wisconsin, he didn't hesitate much to leave the Big Ten for the SEC. He also seemed a little too excited to call the hogs during his press conference.
Seeing a coach square off against his former team is always intriguing. But this matchup has a little extra added to it once Ohio State president Gordon Gee announced that Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez thought Bielema was a thug.
There is always a little truth to every 'just kidding'. You know the current Arkansas coach wouldn't mind sticking it to the Badgers on the gridiron.
Who it Should Schedule: Oregon
Remember the 2010 national championship? That's all you need to know to be on board with this matchup.
Although the players are different, the schemes and goals are pretty much the same. Oregon remains that high-flying offense that wants to drop triple digits in two quarters, while Auburn should also be an offensive machine with Gus Malzahn at head coach.
Points, points and more points!
The Auburn-Oregon contest was the only competitive championship game in the last seven years. Traveling would be a pain, but the potential this game would bring is worth sitting on a plane for a few hours.
Who it Should Schedule: USC
Florida rarely ever travels far away from home, especially taking a trip on the west coast. Even the most recent national championship in 2008 was played in the Gators backyard (Sun Life Stadium). Traveling to California would spice things up a little bit.
USC and Florida shared nonconference meetings in the early '80s, but that is all the history there is between these two teams. However, the first one was decided by eight points, while the other resulted in a 19-19 tie. Both programs are close to getting to where they used to be, and this is a game that would have national title implications.
Also, you know Lane Kiffin is going to say something to aggravate Gator Nation.
Who it Should Schedule: Florida State
Georgia and Florida State appear to be twins. They both play with an aggressive attitude on defense and usually are explosive enough on offense to kind of balance things out. The style of play is extremely similar, and it would be fun to watch a chess match between kids who have past relationships in the recruiting world.
These programs have played each other 11 times with the last meeting taking place in the 2003 BCS Sugar Bowl. Georgia is back in the national spotlight, and Florida State is slowly starting to turn the corner in the ACC.
This would be a thrilling matchup between two teams that are guaranteed to be highly ranked in the polls. It also wouldn't be taxing on either fanbase to travel to the away meeting.
Who it Should Schedule: Boise State
Kentucky still has to work its way up the ladder by taking baby steps. Things are looking up in the recruiting world since Mark Stoops has taken over, but the Wildcats aren't going to go from a team that can't make a bowl game to beating up elite competition.
This is why Boise State would be a great starting point. The Broncos don't have the best players in the world, but they play as a team and are more than capable of holding their own against most of the teams in the country. It wouldn't be the most difficult matchup, but it would be a nice confidence booster if Kentucky can come out victorious.
That blue and white would also look good on the blue turf.
Who it Should Schedule: Clemson
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Clemson isn't going anywhere for a long time. The recruiting is reaching new heights and doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Giving that coaching staff elite talent will help keep Clemson on top in the ACC for years to come.
LSU is a program that never seems to have an off year, and that won't change as long as Les Miles is sticking around. Having two great football teams playing each other is really all you ask for in hopes of getting a great showing.
Last year's Chick-fil-A bowl was a classic, and future meetings would likely produce the same. Let the battle between the Tigers begin.
Who it Should Schedule: Kansas
Not the sexiest matchup on the list, but it at least reunites two teams that played each other more than 100 times. You can thank conference realignment for this rivalry coming to an end.
This game would bring back many memories for fans of both programs and wouldn't cost much to make it to the opposing teams stadium. Although Kansas has struggled over the years, three of the final five meetings were decided by less than 10 points.
Missouri must earn its stripes before taking on the big boys across the country. This would add a true rival to the Tigers' schedule, but also help bring them one step closer towards qualifying for a bowl game.
Who it Should Schedule: BYU
Mississippi State and BYU have kind of been heading in the same direction the last few seasons. The Cougars have reached a bowl in eight consecutive seasons, but haven't been impressive enough to get major love from the polls. The Bulldogs have cruised to three straight bowls, but have been absolutely horrendous against ranked opponents.
These teams also pride themselves on tough, physical defense that has guided them to much of their success. This isn't a tough game for Mississippi State, but it would be nice for the confidence. It would also provide fans with a terrific defensive showing from both sides.
Not the sexiest game in the world, but effective and entertaining for defensive lovers.
Who it Should Schedule: Louisville
Ole Miss has been turning some heads in case you have been sleeping under a rock. Head coach Hugh Freeze somehow found a way to win seven games last season, and the recruiting has reached levels never seen before. Well, Louisville is doing a lot of the same things. Charlie Strong has folks actually paying attention to the football program, and he is making similar miracles happen recruiting wise.
This would be a nice battle between two programs clearly on the rise. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Rebels competing for an SEC division title within two years, while Louisville has already made major noise topping Florida last year in a BCS bowl. The Cardinals should also get more love with the move to the ACC.
Let's see which school is really ready to take that next step in the growing up process.
Who it Should Schedule: UCLA
South Carolina and UCLA have never faced each other. There is no better time than now to change that.
The Gamecocks are having their best success under head coach Steve Spurrier and could soon play for a national championship. UCLA has new life with head coach Jim L. Mora, who is recruiting with the best of them and has proven he can win games at a high level. Both programs appear to be built for long-term success and will only improve as the years carry on.
Why not see these two up-and-coming squads go after it?
BCS implications will certainly be on the line and the winner would get that extra needed push to put itself in playoff conversations.
Who it Should Schedule: Miami
Battle of the two washed up schools? Not hardly.
Tennessee and Miami have both been on top of the world at one point and have seen the bottom of the bottom. College football should be excited to know that both schools are slowly making its way back up the totem pole and will soon be competing for the big boy bowl games.
The Hurricanes will be back in the spotlight once the mess is handled with the NCAA. The Volunteers believe they have finally found their head coach in Butch Jones, and the recruits certainly agree.
It is only a matter of time before the Hurricanes and the Volunteers are no longer the doormat of their respective conferences. Make this matchup happen.
Who it Should Schedule: Texas
Texas A&M left the Big 12 at the worst possible time. The Texas-Texas A&M rivalry was always a big deal, but now it would be bigger than ever if they were to meet again.
With the move to the SEC and the success the Aggies had in year one, the Longhorns have turned into the stepbrother of the state that does everything big. It is Texas A&M that is looked at as the powerhouse, and it will remain that way until Texas can finally get back on track.
A meeting between these two schools that have developed a little bit of bad blood over the years would be must-see television. This is one of those games you would pay to see. There is unfinished business that must be must be discussed over 60 minutes of hard-nosed football.
Who it Should Schedule: Northwestern
Oh, the battle between the classrooms. We could make this an all-week event where both teams compete in random pop quizzes, then we can watch them square off on the gridiron. That sounds about right.
However, Vanderbilt and Northwestern are becoming known for a lot more than high SAT scores. The Commodores have reached two straight bowls under head coach James Franklin, while the Wildcats have reached five straight, including winning 10 games last season.
With the progress both coaches are making in a short amount of time, it wouldn't be surprising to see either of these schools in a conference championship in the near future. Not only would you get a competitive game out of this one, but the storylines would be priceless.