Countdown to kickoff: 28

From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down the days before Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 28 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.

If the University of Alabama is to repeat as national champions, and win three titles in four years, the road to the BCS game will not be easy. The Crimson Tide, starting with a neutral site date with Michigan, will have their hands full with a schedule that features several top 25 teams and ranks as the 28th most difficult schedule, according to Phil Steele.

Alabama will face preseason top 25 teams: No. 1 LSU, No. 8 Michigan, No. 10 Arkansas and No. 25 Auburn. If Alabama makes it to the postseason, it will likely see another.

Here's how the rest of the SEC stacks up on strength of schedule. according to Steele's calculations:

2. Ole Miss

5. Florida

8. Texas A&M

10. Kentucky

13. South Carolina

17. Auburn

18. Arkansas

19. Missouri

28. Alabama

29. LSU

38. Mississippi State

46. Tennessee

47. Vanderbilt

72. Georgia