One thing that all of those SEC fans harp on is that their teams play harder schedules than everyone else. Judging by these stats, that aren’t wrong.
In fact, they are very, VERY right.
ESPN’s Phil Steele took a look at strength of schedules for the 2016 season. Steele ranked all of the FBS teams based on the combined record of their 2016 opponents — the records being from 2015, obviously — and the results yielded a Top 4 that is exclusively SEC teams: LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Auburn. USC broke the SEC monotony by placing at No. 5, and it is possible that the Trojans will actually have the most difficult schedule in 2016.
Here is the Top 10 in strength of schedule ratings:
Alabama placing at No. 8 gives the SEC half of the Top 10. Some big news here is Florida State at No. 10, as no one can claim they have a weak schedule if they run the table in the ACC.
It will definitely be interesting to see how the ratings change from now to when we have actual data from the 2016 season to compare against.