Grading the SEC Crossover Opponents

There have been lots of unknowns going into this season, but the SEC has finally released their updated schedule. Each team has added two new crossover opponents from the opposite division in addition to their two previously scheduled crossover games. Here is our grading of the SEC crossover opponents

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And since large parts of America still can’t go to the movies (I know I’m going through cinema withdrawal), I thought it might be fun to bring the movies into sports and imagine what films remind us of each team’s new crossover schedule:

Alabama: B+

Scheduled crossovers: vs Georgia, at Tennessee

New opponents: at Missouri, vs Kentucky

Film: The Departed

We got exactly what we expected – Alabama makes out pretty well in the realigned schedule, adding what should be two easy games against Mizzou and Kentucky. Like any Scorsese movie we already knew what was going to happen, and then watching it left us all feeling pretty good. In a bonus, the Tide also avoid any serious difficult stretches, with winnable games before their toughest opponents (Georgia/LSU/Auburn). 

Arkansas: D+

Scheduled crossovers: vs Tennessee, at Missouri

New opponents: vs Georgia, at Florida

Film: The Green Lantern

Ouch. This almost can’t get worse for the Hogs, adding what are the two clear favorites from the SEC East. Our expectations weren’t the highest, but we’re still coming out disappointed. Much like seeing Ryan Reynolds and having a couple decent CGI moments, there’s a minor saving grace here in that their previously scheduled crossovers come against Tennessee and Mizzou, two games they at least have a chance in.

Auburn: B+

Scheduled crossovers: vs Kentucky, at Georgia

New opponents: at South Carolina, vs Tennessee

Film: Joker

It’s good. It’s pretty good. It’s really close to great, but….yeah. The best news here is that Auburn adds two very winnable games. We like that. The toughest of the two though is likely against the Vols, and unfortunately it comes right before the Iron Bowl. And there’s still Georgia looming. This schedule is really good, but we just can’t put it in the “great” category.

Florida: B-

Scheduled crossovers: at Ole Miss, vs LSU

New opponents: at Texas A&M, vs Arkansas

Film: Pitch Perfect

Some good, some bad. Overall, aca-mediocre but we keep watching it every time it’s on TV. The Gators already play a permanent crossover at LSU, so they just had to avoid Bama. They unfortunately got the West’s #3 team in the Aggies, and it’s an away game right before LSU comes to town. But they also drew the West’s worst team in Arkansas, so it’s not all bad right? We’d watch it again and hope for the best.

Georgia: B-

Scheduled crossovers: vs Auburn, at Alabama

New opponents: at Arkansas, vs Mississippi State

Film: Avatar

As far as the new special effects opponents, it’s all top-notch. Opening at Arkansas is a good way to break in the new QB, and Mississippi State should also be an easy W. But…there’s just still that one big elephant in the room. Unobtainium Alabama and Auburn still loom as the previously scheduled crossovers, and it just takes the air completely out of the rest of the movie schedule.

Kentucky: C

Scheduled crossovers: at Auburn, vs Mississippi State

New opponents: vs Ole Miss, at Alabama

Film: Cowboys & Aliens

Meh. That pretty much sums up the reaction to this schedule. It met our average expectations but there’s nothing to get too thrilled about. There’s some good things (think Daniel Craig & Harrison Ford) in Mississippi State and Ole Miss (wins?), but it’s tough to get past the worst parts and actually end up enjoying it.

LSU: A

Scheduled crossovers: at Florida, vs South Carolina

New opponents: at Vanderbilt, vs Missouri

Film: The Godfather: Part II

This almost can’t get any more perfect. Seriously – to wind up with arguably the three worst teams in the East is something that the defending champs are absolutely crazy about. If there’s one minor drawback it’s that the Tigers still have to play at Florida. Almost perfect…but maybe last years was just *slightly* better?

Ole Miss: B

Scheduled crossovers: vs Florida, at Vanderbilt

New opponents: at Kentucky, vs South Carolina

Film: Up in the Air

Lane Kiffin gets a pretty good draw for year one in Oxford. It’s going to be a bit slow, with no real big fireworks (unless they can put up a fight against the Gators) but the good looking leading man will help the Rebs skate their way to a couple wins and maybe an ESPY nomination.

Mississippi State: B-

Scheduled crossovers: at Kentucky, vs Missouri

New opponents: vs Vanderbilt, at Georgia

Film: Transformers

It’s time to change over to the air-raid in Stark-Vegas. There’s going to be that trademark Mike Leach glitz and glamour, plus lots of entertainment (and probably not just on the field). But there’s still the feeling we’re going to be left…disappointed. A couple of winnable games, but that trip to Georgia looms in the background.

Missouri: D

Scheduled crossovers: vs Arkansas, at Mississippi State

New opponents: vs Alabama, at LSU

Film: From Justin to Kelly

There are tempered expectations for new coach Eli Drinkwitz, but then he’s saddled with this script schedule? Things are going to go…not well. I mean, Bama AND LSU? There’s certainly possibilities to impress, but it’s just not going to happen in this reality. Let’s take our lumps, hope to beat Arkansas, and turn whatever we have into talk show gigs and Dr. Pepper commercials. We’re playing the long game here.

South Carolina: C-

Scheduled crossovers: at LSU, vs Texas A&M

New opponents: vs Auburn, at Ole Miss

Film: Mission: Impossible II

We’re coming in knowing how difficult this is going to be. Already saddled with West powerhouses LSU and Texas A&M, the addition of Auburn and Ole Miss is hard but not unexpected. There’s not much hope here, but with a decent core group the Gamecocks have a fighters chance to at least raise some eyebrows.

Tennessee: C

Scheduled crossovers: vs Alabama, at Arkansas

New opponents: vs Texas A&M, at Auburn

FIlm: Dune (2020)

Listen, expectations are high here. The Vols are progressing under Jeremy Pruitt and there is real hope in Knoxville that this team can make some waves in the East. But it’s such a massive slate already, adding 2 more quality teams is just setting the stage for future disappointment. The potential is there but no one is really expecting a blockbuster season to ensue.

Texas A&M: B-

Scheduled crossovers: vs Vanderbilt, at South Carolina

New opponents: vs Florida, at Tennessee

Film: Rocky 

Speaking of enormous expectations, the national media is very high on Jimbo Fisher’s squad this year. They’ve had ups and downs, but this is going to be the year! Right? Nope. Adding perennial powerhouse Florida and up and coming Tennessee might be too much for this team to handle. The Aggies have promise, but they won’t be able to get past Apollo Creed quite yet.

Vanderbilt: D+

Scheduled crossovers: at Texas A&M, vs Ole Miss

New opponents: vs LSU, at Mississippi State

Film: Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo

Last year was tough. I mean, every year of the past decade has been tough for the Commodores, but I digress. There isn’t a lot to follow up on from a horrific 2019, and 2020 is promising to get just as ugly. It might be funny, but probably not. And it’s definitely not going to be good. On the bright side, there are some familiar faces here and maybe they can put up a fight against Mississippi State.

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Author: Mike the Tiger

I'm a sports fanatic - most prominently NCAAF, tennis, and golf. I love all Chicago teams and my LSU Tigers!

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