I might’ve been a little hard on the SEC and its cupcake non-conference scheduling this year designed to pack the bowl game spots, and future playoff final fours. After all, Top Tenner Arkansas did play major power Louisiana-Monroe last week.
This week’s slate spotlight:
Pac 12 Powder Kegs —California at Ohio State. Rating positions and possibilities definitely go on the line between a pair of respectable programs not afraid to play each other. Golden Bears, of course, being a Pac 12 staple is not afraid to play a vaunted outfit on the road. Also, Brigham Young at Utah, Houston at UCLA and Arizona State at Missouri. Utah is playing its big rival at home for homecoming, which is fairly brave, especially after BYU has shown some early muscle. Houston was on a roll and UCLA struggling as a program when this game was scheduled. They seem to be going in opposite directions this year after coaching changes. A Pac 12 team, Arizona State, finally lands a non-con game against an SEC team, Missouri, and it, of course, is set to be played on the Missouri home turf. Missouri is in its first year in the SEC, so the game was actually penciled in when Missouri was still a Big 12 member.
SEC Powder Puffs — Idaho at LSU. WAC member Idaho lost to Eastern Washington the first week of the season and is giving good consideration to applying for Big Sky Conference and FCS membership. Therefore, LSU decided it better schedule this game fast, so it can still claim it as with a BCS opponent. Also, Presbyterian at Vanderbilt, Texas A&M at SMU, Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn. Presbyterian? Yeah, it really says that on the Vandy schedule. A&M is in first year of SEC membership and likely slated this one when the Aggies were still in Big 12. Or, they thought SMU was still serving its “death penalty” for NCAA violations back in the ‘80s. Upset special — Auburn nips Monroe by a point, 4-3, and moves up 87 spots in the AP power poll.