Thursday, December 29, 2011

Initial Reaction to 2012 SEC Schedule

Yesterday the Southeastern Conference released the official football schedule for 2012. At first glance, it looks like A&M have their work cut out for them (what’s new?)… but we can’t help getting fired up about it. The Aggies' inaugural swim through the finest conference in America includes home games against powerhouse LSU and road games at both Mississippi schools as well as both Alabama schools. The complete schedule (so far) is as follows:

September 1 – MCNEESE STATE
September 8 – FLORIDA
September 15 – SMU
September 22 – TBA
September 29 – vs. ARKANSAS
October 6 – @ OLE MISS
October 13 – TBA
October 20 – LSU
October 27 – @ AUBURN
November 10 – @ ALABAMA
November 17 – TBA
November 24 – MISSOURI

Quick hits:

- One noteworthy item is the SEC plays one less conference game than the Big 12 did this past season. Instead of having three nonconference games, the Aggies will have four in 2012. Having three open dates provides flexibility that should give them a chance to further prepare for conference play or catch their breath from the SEC gauntlet. It will be interesting to see how the schedule fills out.

- The early-season matchup with Florida at Kyle Field should be a dandy. Both teams will be fresh off surprisingly mediocre seasons in 2011 and will no doubt look to start strong in the SEC.

- The Arkansas game’s location is TBD, hence the “vs.” designation. Here’s to hoping they play in College Station. Sacrificing a true home game every other year is hard to justify in the SEC West, regardless of how exciting Cowboys Stadium may be.

- Keeping Oct. 13 open for a bye week would be a logical move, as the following week brings us…

- The one home game that will get the most attention (and deservedly so) is the Oct. 20 matchup with the LSU Tigers. Rekindling that rivalry will be a treat for those that witnessed the games a couple decades ago. I’m sure many recruits from Houston and East Texas have this weekend circled on their calendars.

- As if LSU is some kind of cupcake, it’s tough sledding from there. The Aggies hit the road for three straight weeks with trips to Auburn, Starkville, and Tuscaloosa. YIKES.

- And, as expected, no UT game at Thanksgiving. A&M’s permanent “rivalry” with a school from the SEC East is Missouri, so get used to the annual matchup with the Tigers at the end of the season. For the third straight year, Mizzou travels to Kyle Field, which clearly doesn’t intimidate the Tigers too much as they have won the past two meetings.

We’ll have more on this later on, with in-depth looks at each game individually. For now, chew on this and get excited. S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!

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