Missouri's Schedule Includes Perhaps the Most Worthless Byes in the History of Football | SEC 2013

Scott Halleran

The SEC office appears to have decided to haze Missouri this year, with a series of SEC East games that will decide their fate lined up like a buzzsaw

Some things about Missouri haven't really changed since they moved to the SEC. For example: In a very Big 12 move, the Tigers are playing all of their non-conference games at the beginning of the season, then moving on to the SEC slate. Though the conference didn't necessarily do them any favors there; the Tigers only got an open week between trips to Lexington and Oxford in the SEC slate, meaning that there's almost no relief during the most important part of the season for Missouri.

8.31.13 | MURRAY STATE
9.7.13 | TOLEDO
9.21.13 | at INDIANA
9.28.13 | ARKANSAS STATE

In the SEC, you have to be trying pretty hard to land one of the most uneventful opening three weeks in the conference, but I think the Tigers might just have done it with their second schedule as a member of the league. M-I-Z-Z-O-U! Yes, that's Murray State-Toledo-bye, which gives the Tigers a couple of quick wins but will tell us virtually nothing about how good Missouri is. After that is the trip to Indiana, which has historically dominated the Tigers in the rivalry. Missouri is 2-6-2 against the Hoosiers, with the last win coming in 1954, though in fairness almost all of those games were played from 1985-92, when Missouri wasn't really beating anyone. The most lopsided defeat came at Indiana in 1990, when the Hoosiers won 58-7. Then comes what should be a largely uneventful game against a Sun Belt team that has lost its head coach.

10.5.13 | at VANDERBILT
10.12.13 | at GEORGIA
10.19.13 | FLORIDA
10.26.13 | SOUTH CAROLINA

This is part of a stretch that might be the first time I've seen this and is certainly the first time I've noticed it: Missouri will play the other six teams in the SEC East in consecutive weeks, followed by the two interdivision foes in consecutive weeks. First up: A rising Vanderbilt followed by the three teams seen as division contenders. No issue, right? Georgia and South Carolina both beat Missouri by three touchdowns last year, though Vanderbilt only edged the Tigers and Florida only won by a touchdown when it was in the middle of its late-season swoon. Still, the odds for a victory in this stretch are not kind, with the possible exception of the Vanderbilt game, though Missouri fans would probably feel a lot better if that game weren't in Nashville.

11.2.13 | TENNESSEE
11.9.13 | at KENTUCKY
11.23.13 | at OLE MISS
11.30.13 | TEXAS A&M

Then come perhaps the two best chances for a victory in the conference, against Tennessee and at Kentucky. The Tigers beat both teams -- Kentucky by a comfortable margin -- in last year's showdown, and gets the harder game in the form of Tennessee at home. Then comes the break that SEC schedule-makers kindly inserted after Kentucky, though it does come before what could be a difficult stretch run in a visit to Oxford and the game against Texas A&M. The good news for Mizzou is that, for the first time in four games against the Aggies, the Tigers don't have to go to College Station.

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