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Bama’s Saban Favors A 9-Game SEC Slate


Whenever we mention anything about a nine-game conference schedule, a few folks get nasty in our comment section.  So darn you, Nick Saban.  It’s too bad you had to go and open up about wanting to move to a — wait for it — nine-game schedule.  (And if some of you don’t want to read the news, folks, no one’s making you.)


“I’m satisfied with what everybody determined, but in all honesty, I was kind of for playing more games.  When you increase the size of the league by 15 percent, you’ve almost got to play more games to get a true indication of who is the best team in the league.  I think we should come up with some format in the future where every player in the league gets an opportunity to play every team in the league.  We’ve kind of had that in the past.  This format won’t necessarily give every player an opportunity to do that.”


Saban said it was the schools already playing nine BCS-level games via annual, year-end rivals who scuttled the plan for nine league games.  Nevermind the fact that Alabama has been playing nine BCS foes per year throughout Saban’s tremendous run — Virginia Tech, Clemson, Penn State, and this year Michigan.  For that matter, LSU played 10 BCS-level foes last season including Oregon at neutral site and West Virginia on the road.  At least some schools aren’t afraid to mix it up with a few more big boys each season.

“In some cases, whether it’s Florida having to play Florida State, South Carolina-Clemson, Georgia-Georgia Tech, they already have another game that’s a tough game for them,” Saban told The Tuscaloosa News.  “So when you play more conference games, now their schedule gets a little overloaded the other way.”

Unless of course you consider schools like Alabama who’ve been “overloading” their schedules the other way for national exposure, recruiting boosts, and strength of schedule help in the BCS formula.

Ah, well.  The league will be forced to go to nine games soon enough.



I'd even go so far as to say 10 conference games, 1 mandated OOC rival, and then you can have 1 creampuff for Homecoming, but that's it.


Kudos to Saban.


SEC usually stands strong and does the right thing.


Remaining at an 8 game Conference schedule is noting but pure shortsighted chicken shit.


Disappointing to say the least.


Needs to be 9 Confernce Games along with 1 mandated matchup from another BCS level Conference.


2 Games is plenty to match up with the Powder puffs of the CFB world.


Why is no one pushing for an allowed 13th game? This would allow the wins for a bowl game to move up to 7, allow the same number of cream puffs, and allow a 9th conference game or even 10th if need be in a 16 team conference. I'll admit my bias and say I speak as a TN fan who very much wants to keep my FL, AL, GA games intact but don't see them in the same division as us in a 16 team conference.


I know its speculation and VT has insisted they are not interested, but TN's division for a 16 team conference would be close to KY, VT and NC State. To keep rivalries with FL, GA and Vandy as well as AL already puts us at 7 games.


I agree with your push for 9 games (er, you've convinced me).  But, I prefer the Big Ten's solution of pairing up with another conference over another game in-conference.  Strength of teams between conferences aside, you actually get a higher quality opponent for the teams who really need that.  Oregon gets Wisconsin, Michigan gets Stanford, MSU get's USC (or some iteration of that).  For the teams at the top of the line-up, that's the S-O-S they need.  For teams at the bottom, they at least get a fighting chance at getting an 6th win towards bowl eligibility - a number that I think will be pushed to 7 soon.  If an SEC/Big-12 pairing or SEC/ACC pairing could come together, it should be put together once this year's conference realignment does or doesn't happen.  


So..  the smart long-term decision is to effectively table the matter for a few years to see where conferences stand a year from now, and see if a conference agreement is in the offering.  Then revisit 9 games.  


The 12-game schedule is already long enough.  It starts about when the semester starts and lasts through November.  And, this Michigan State grad does not want to see games in East Lansing beyond 11/24.  And our last game of 2012?  At Minnesota.  Yeah, no later in the year, please.  We'll put the championship inside somewhere and then head down to Florida, Arizona, or California for our bowl, thank you very much.  


 @DanHogan You've been convinced eh? Was it the good argument or was is it the persistent wearing away of your psyche?


 @TheN8tureBoy Ha!  No, actually, it was the fact that most other big-time teams will have at least 9 BCS-level opponents now or in the near future.  I usually get annoyed at the disparity between the tough games and the gimmies - more so in basketball, but still the case in football.  Michigan State plays Boise, then Central Michigan, then Notre Dame, then Eastern Michigan.  Seems silly.  I'm looking forward to replacing that Eastern game with Oregon or Stanford or USC or Utah or whoever.  


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