Dude. Those are RIVALRY GAMES.
The fact that they are rivalry games does not make them any more or less impressive. An inferior team is an inferior team.
You think an SEC team probably has the toughest schedule. Yes, SEC division play is rough. But they schedule games that are softer than SPRING GAMES every fucking year.
While this is true, a lot of SEC scheduling revolves around how tough the inter conference games are as Mr. said. I mean, shit! Look at LSU's schedule last year and we played Oregon and WVU out of conference and finished by defeating 5 teams that finished in the top 25, 3 SEC and 2 OOC.
Just look at the rankings to date for this season with 6 SEC teams in the top 25. Look at South Carolina's schedule and that mid season gauntlet they just finished with 3 consecutive SEC games against ranked opponents versus Georgia, @ Florida, and @ LSU all top 8 teams. Any other opponent will not face that type of in conference competition and therefore the SEC reserves the right to schedule OOC pansies, although it doesn't always work that way.
Same with the rest of the 'power houses'. Bama has the advantage of playing.. Western Kentucky week 2. FAU week 4. LOL. FAU.
Prior to a three game stretch of MSU, @ LSU, and TAMU. Again, all opponents who are currently ranked. Alabama also DESTROYED common opponent Michigan 41-14, who Notre Dame beat 13-6. I honestly shudder to think what Alabama would do to BYU. It would be akin to the Oregon-Colorado game yesterday.
Navy and Purdue would smack FAU all week and three times on Sunday. Western Carolina is their second to last game? Whooooa nelly!! They ACTUALLY HAVE A "PRE SEASON GAME" scheduled second 2 last.
Compared to Notre Dame who has 3 of their last 4 games against opponents with a combined 10 wins to this point. Alabama's next two opponents - both SEC, BTW - have 3 more wins combined.