USC Gamecocks Football

Gamecocks’ schedule among top 10 toughest in 2013

South Carolina has the ninth toughest schedule in the nation for the 2013 season, based on NCAA rankings that use opponents’ records from 2012.

Kentucky has the nation’s toughest schedule, as their opponents won 67.3 percent of their games last year (103-50). Other SEC teams in the top 10 are Arkansas (No. 2) and Florida (No. 7).

Kentucky faces its six SEC East opponents, along with Alabama and Mississippi State out of the West. The Wildcats’ non-conference games are against Louisville, Western Kentucky, Miami (Ohio) and Alabama State.

But Florida has the toughest schedule in the country among Football Bowl Subdivision teams, according to Phil Steele’s Magazine, who uses a different formula.

In addition to its six SEC East opponents and LSU and Arkansas from the SEC West, the Gators have non-conference rivalry games against Miami and Florida State. The Gators face Miami, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri and Kentucky on the road.

Arkansas (No. 5) and Kentucky (No. 9) are the other SEC teams in Steele's top 10 toughest schedules.

Alabama, which is No. 40 in Steele’s rankings and No. 104 on the NCAA list, has the easiest schedule on both lists.