Nick Saban Not Pleased With Annual Opponents in New-Look SEC Schedule
With Oklahoma and Texas entering the SEC in 2024, a new scheduling model will need to be implemented in the 16-team conference.
Right now, the SEC uses an eight-game format, but is leaning towards moving to a nine-game conference schedule when the Sooners and Longhorns make the move. That, however, will come with some major changes that will involve just adding one game on the back end of the conference slate.
The SEC is likely looking at having six rotating opponents and three annual opponents in the new format, and apparently Nick Saban isn’t too happy with who his Crimson Tide might’ve pulled.
“I’ve always been an advocate for playing more [conference] games,” Saban said to Sports Illustrated. “But if you play more games, I think you have to get the three fixed [opponents] right. They’re giving us Tennessee, Auburn and LSU. I don’t know how they come to that [decision].”
Saban went on to explain why it would be unfair for the Tide to have to play three of the best programs in the SEC, historically speaking.
“They said they did a 10-year whatever,” Saban continued. “Well, some of those years, Tennessee wasn’t as good as they’ve been in the previous 10 years, but now they are as good as they used to be before those 10 years.
“We got three teams and two of them are in the Top 10 and the other is in the Top 10 a lot. Look historically over a 25-year history, and the three best teams in the East are Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. You look historically at 25 years, Alabama, LSU and Auburn are the three best teams in the West. So we’re playing them all.”
Not that he expects it from people, but I’m not sure that too many folks are going to feel too bad for a coach that’s had a 73-9 record in the conference over the last decade.
While this hasn’t been confirmed, if Nick Saban is hearing who he will be playing annually, we can deduce that the SEC is rolling with the nine-game model and the 3-6 format. It will be interesting to see who the other teams will face annually and how the conference looks with the Sooners and Longhorns a part of it.