Last month an interesting rumor made the rounds: Alabama would travel to tiny Nippert Stadium to play Cincinnati. It would be Nick Saban versus Tommy Tuberille all over again.
Only it's not likely to happen. In fact, it's doubtful any major SEC player will venture into the Queen City as the Bearcats' guest.
Tuberville spoke with WJOX-FM in Birmingham yesterday and had this to say about scheduling:
"It's just hard to get a team to say we'll have a home-and-home with Cincinnati ... it's a little bit risky. We're not a bad football team. We've got good football players. We're just not going to be one of those teams that's going to just go somewhere and play and not get a return game...
Now, would I be really fired up about (playing Alabama)? Probably not because it'd be a one-game match."
It wasn't that long ago that Alabama visited Penn State. Penn State is a "name" football program. A loss to the Nittany Lions wouldn't derail a team's championship hopes.
Bama also traveled to Duke a few years back. But the Blue Devils of 2010 weren't nearly as formidable as the Blue Devils of 2013. There was no way in Hell that the Crimson Tide would have lost in Durham.
Cincinnati is a different beast. Their last three seasons have ended with 9-4, 10-3, and 10-3 records. The school has been a launching pad for Notre Dame's Brian Kelly and Tennessee's Butch Jones. But UC is still not a name brand football power. An SEC team losing at Nippert Stadium? That would be devastating for any school's College Football Playoff hopes.
From a risk/reward standpoint, the reward of a win over the Bearcats is nowhere near as big as the risk of an upset loss to Cincinnati. So while Tuberville might like to get one of his old SEC rivals to take a trip across the Ohio River, it's doubtful that any of the league's big boys will oblige.