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UT’s Dooley Not A Fan Of Realignment

As the SEC expands, the one historic rivalry that more and more people are insisting must be kept is Alabama versus Tennessee.  If Auburn moves from the West Division to the East Division, the Tigers and Tide would no doubt protect their Iron Bowl clash as a permanent cross-divisional game.  Unless the league went back to protecting two cross-divisional opponents for each school, that could mean the end of The Third Saturday In October game between the Vols and Tide.

When Tennessee’s Derek Dooley was asked about that possibility, he made it clear that he’s no fan of the rush to realign the conferences:

“From a guy who grew up in the SEC, it’s a little disappointing to see all that’s happening in college football.  I think we’re tampering with something that has made college football so special, and that’s the fans, the traditions, the rivalries, and the ability to go to road games.  With your fanbase seeing the same teams every year, you develop a deep history that makes this game special, but nobody is really worries about what I think or what the other coaches think.

There is not much we can do about it, but I just hope we don’t end some of these traditions and rivalries, but I’m afraid if we keep going down this path, that is what’s going to happen.”

Dooley added that he hopes there is “a lot of dialogue on all these issues before we make decisions.”  That’s an interesting comment considering it’s no secret that Dooley and several other coaches weren’t particularly enamored with Mike Slive’s “agenda for change” push in July or the league’s June decision to put a soft-cap on signing classes… over the unanimous objection of the league’s coaches.


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