Alabama's Saban Calls for SEC to Expand Schedule

5 years 4 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, May 29 2013 May 29, 2013 Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10:53:34 AM CDT May 29, 2013 in Tiger Talk
By: Associated Press

DESTIN, FL (AP) - Alabama coach Nick Saban has a strong - and seemingly solitary - stance on the Southeastern Conference potentially moving to a nine-game league schedule.

Saban said Tuesday he would like to see the SEC expand from eight to nine games, an opinion that surely will draw debate and dissent during the league's annual spring meetings this week.

Saban was the only SEC coach to publicly call for increasing the number of league games, the biggest topic being discussed during daylong meetings held in the resort town. Although unlikely, SEC presidents and chancellors could vote on the issue Friday.

"I'm absolutely in the minority, no question about it," Saban said. "But everybody has their reasons."

Having won three of the last four Bowl Championship Series national title games, Saban admitted he should be against changing the model.

"If you look at it through a straw and how it affects you ... then you're not going to be for it," he said. "I shouldn't be for it. We'd have a better chance to be successful if we don't do it, but I think it's best for the game and for the league. I'm trying to look at it from 1,000 feet."

Others, including Georgia's Mark Richt, Vanderbilt's James Franklin and Mississippi's Hugh Freeze, want to keep things status quo. The SEC currently plays eight conference games: six games against division opponents, one against a designated rival from the other division and one rotational game against the remaining six teams.

Several coaches argued that expanding to nine games would only make an already difficult schedule even tougher - and could affect bowl eligibility for teams on the bubble.

"You add a ninth game and that's seven more losses for our conference," Freeze said. "We want to fill all our bowl slots and represent our conference. When you play that ninth game, it would create some more revenue, but it's seven more losses. I'm in favor of playing the West and two rotators. That's what I will push and vote for."

But with a four-team playoff on tap for the 2014 season, strength of schedule should become a bigger priority for teams with national title hopes.

"What I'm looking for is a decision that's in the long-term best interest of the Southeastern Conference," commissioner Mike Slive said. "Everybody may have a different view of what that is. One of the hallmarks of this league over time is being careful, thoughtful, creative, doing new things and sitting down when the going gets tough and making decisions based on what's best for the league and sometimes subordinating one's own interest to that.

"We're going to have enough dialogue to make sure we get there from here."

The SEC's 14 coaches spent Tuesday discussing the pros and cons of eight- and nine-game schedules. While most want to remain at eight games, some would like to see the 6-1-1 model switched to a 6-2 version that would eliminate cross-division fixed opponents. That would mean the end of annual rivalries like Alabama-Tennessee, which have played all but one season since 1928, or Auburn-Georgia, which have played 116 times in the past 120 years.

"Eight games, nine games, 6-1-1, 6-2, I think you can make a lot of arguments," Franklin said. "That's what we're going to discuss. Again, we've won the last seven national championships with similar models to what we have now. Our first couple of years in these meetings was to make sure we were able to hold on to some of these rivalries we've had for a long time. That's important to certain fan bases and certain institutions, so we'll see.

"The thing that I'm pounding the table about is eight games. Really there's no other discussion but eight games. That's in the best interest of the SEC. That's in the best interest for Vanderbilt."

Coaches will vote and take the result to athletic directors Wednesday. The ADs will make a final suggestion to presidents and chancellors later in the week. The league plans to stick with the 6-1-1 format for 2014, and any resolution on future schedules likely will come down the road.

"If any coach is going to speak truthfully and honestly, they prefer the eight," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. "A wise man once taught me: if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

The SEC has won the last seven BCS titles, no doubt a stretch of success that any conference would love to boast about.

But the league is in the midst of a major overhaul, so the schedule might just be next to change. Not only did the SEC add Texas A&M and Missouri last year, it is launching the SEC Network in 2014, with ESPN as a partner. The network surely will want more marquee matchups in exchange for increasing revenue.

Saban, though, said more consideration should be given to fans during these scheduling discussions.

"One of these days, they're going to quit coming to the games because they're going to stay at home and watch it on TV," Saban said. "Everybody's going to say, 'Why don't you come to the games?' Well, if you'd play somebody good, then we'd come to the games. That should be the first consideration. Nobody's considering them. They're just thinking about, 'How many games can I win? Can I get bowl qualified? How many tough teams do I have to play?'

"After coaching in the NFL for eight years, everybody in the NFL plays everybody in the NFL, and you lose some games. The Giants lost how many games and won the Super Bowl, six? I think it makes it more exciting if you don't have to go undefeated or lose just one game to be able to have a chance to qualify to play for something at the end."

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The state Capitol building is set to receive interior upgrades after the Missouri Capitol Commission met with... More >>
1 minute ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 7:38:00 AM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a suspect in two deadly St. Louis shootings has been linked to a third.... More >>
25 minutes ago Tuesday, October 16 2018 Oct 16, 2018 Tuesday, October 16, 2018 7:14:33 AM CDT October 16, 2018 in News
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Joanne Garone Behnke has replayed every possible scenario in her mind a hundred times. ... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 8:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Public School's out-of-school suspension rates for black students is double the rate of out-of-school suspensions given to white... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 8:06:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(AP) - Two companies facing multiple lawsuits over a summer tourist boat accident in Missouri that killed 17 people have... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 7:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - A federal judge has dismissed adult film star Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump. Daniels... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:57:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MEXICO - A Mexico teenager faces 27 counts of child sexual abuse. Probable cause documents allege 17-year-old Chandler Douse... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:39:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is looking into a way to decrease oil and grease storage on city streets... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
FULTON - Two Columbia residents were taken into custody at a traffic stop Monday charged with the possession and distribution... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 5:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is talking about building two roundabouts on Nifong Boulevard in an attempt to reduce... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - Former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member James Wolfe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of lying to the... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A walkway outside of the Royal Inn off I-70 showed signs of structural damage Monday afternoon and guests... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - It's been five days since Hurricane Michael decimated Mexico Beach, and dozens of residents are still nowhere to... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on fundraising in the Missouri U.S. Senate race (all times local): 3... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:52:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Mike Parson kicked off what he calls "Infrastructure Week" Monday morning at the Missouri Department of Conservation... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:26:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A federal judge says Missouri has violated the rights of people serving life in prison without parole for... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:35:48 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY- A man was arrested and accused of trying to run over his girlfriend and son with a truck... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:28:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating a pair of armed robberies at convenience stores over the weekend. ... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 9:54:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
8am 34°
9am 40°
10am 45°
11am 49°