There are stretches during the college football season that can make or break a team, a string of challenging matchups that show how teams compare to the nation’s elite. However, some teams have more difficult stretches than others.
With roughly three months to go until the start of the 2018 season, ESPN ranked the 10 teams with the most difficult three-game stretches, and a pair of SEC teams made the list.
Tennessee came in at No. 3 with a challenging midseason stretch — Oct. 13 at Auburn, Oct. 20 vs. Alabama and Oct. 27 at South Carolina.
Per ESPN, the Vols are 4-24 against SEC opponents in October over the last eight seasons. It doesn’t help that this season they will face two potential national championship contenders in Auburn and Alabama. South Carolina also is trending up, coming off its best season under coach Will Muschamp.
Tennessee has lost 11 straight meetings with Alabama and six straight with Auburn.
Arkansas came in at No. 6 on the list with a September stretch that is similar to Tennessee’s October one — Sept. 22 at Auburn, Sept. 29 vs. Texas A&M and Oct. 6 vs. Alabama.
The Razorbacks went 1-7 in the SEC last season, and matchups against Auburn and Alabama are always challenging. Texas A&M, which has a new coach in Jimbo Fisher, has won six straight meetings against Arkansas.