The SEC's Little Known Secret: Staying Home
It's undeniable that the SEC is the conference to beat overall in college football.
From elite recruiting classes year in and year out, to playing for titles.
Something that has slipped from the conversation within the topic of the SEC's path to success has been the clever path ventured when it comes to scheduling.
Call it coincidence, irony or just clever.
But it's glaring.
And it could be a game changer should the power conference format ever require a rotation of sorts much like what the NFL does with it's scheduling. One year the SEC would play a few teams from the BIG10 or PAC12- the next year the ACC and so on.
Along with scheduling non-power conference games with the likes of Fordham and Citadel- the 5 power's of the supreme conference often play in their own backyard each weekend.
The SEC's reigning champs of Florida,LSU,Auburn and Alabama- alongside Georgia- do not play games in the northern region of the country on a yearly basis- if at all.
Since 2002, the 5 teams have combined to play just 12 games outside of the southern region of the country.
In fact, the furthest 'north' any of the teams travel on average is if West Virginia comes into play- which has been a common opponent, along with Virginia Tech.
The furthest distance traveled overall was in 2009 when LSU visited Washington.
This year's opener between Auburn and Kansas State was the lone traveled non-conference game between the 5 powers outside of Georgia visiting Missouri on October 11th.
-Overall the 5 teams are 6-6 in those games
The Weather Factor:
-Of the 12 games, all were played early in the year in warmer temps
-A 2010 contest between Colorado and Georgia was played October 2nd with a temperature at kickoff of 75 degrees
-A September 5, 2009 game between Washington and LSU had a high of 67 degrees
These early non-conference games are the norm in colloge football, but it reflects a trend that the SEC overall plays the bulk or nearly all of their games in a warmer climate-home or away when possible.
9/7/2002 at OU 37-27 loss
9/10/2011 at Penn State 27-11 win
10/13/2012 at Missouri 42-10 win
9/2/2002 at USC 24-17 loss
10/23/2008 at West Virginia 34-17 loss
9/18/2014 at Kansas State 20-14 win
9/1/2002 at Virginia Tech 26-8 loss
9/5/2009 at Washington 31-23 win
10/19/2013 at Missouri 36-17 loss
10/2/2010 at Colorado29-27 loss
9/8/2012 at Missouri 41-20 win
10/11/2014 at Missouri 34-0 win