It was Dec. 27, 2011. People were still recovering from the carb-loading excesses of Christmas. Alabama and LSU were preparing for their decisive meeting in the BCS National Championship Game. And, without anyone realizing it, the Southeastern Conference office may have been determining the course of the entire 2012 college football season – its own league championship and maybe the BCS Championship as well – because that was the day that the league’s schedule grid for the 2012 season came out.
The remaining vacancy on Alabama’s 2013 schedule could be filled with a familiar face. According to a Denver Post report, Alabama and Colorado State are close to wrapping up a two-game contract. The Crimson Tide and Rams would face each other at Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2013 and 2015, according to the report. Alabama would pay Colorado State, coached by former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, in the neighborhood of $1 million for each game, according to the report.
The University of Alabama and Colorado State are close to an agreement to play football games in Tuscaloosa in 2013 and 2015, the Denver Post reported Monday morning. According to the report, the Rams could receive more than $1 million for each game. That would be a record payout for a Bryant-Denny Stadium visitor, topping San Jose State’s guarantee of $900,000 to play Alabama’s 2010 season opener. Although Kent State received $1.2 million from Alabama in 2011, UA offset some $500,000 of that when Louisiana-Monroe bought out its contract to play UA.
As the two-time defending NCAA champions, the Alabama gymnastics team goes into the 2013 season with a larger than normal target on its back.
Aside from prime-time openers for Alabama and Auburn, marquee games include Florida-Texas A&M, Georgia-Missouri, Washington-LSU, Ole Miss-Texas.
The scheduling alliance between the Big Ten and Pac-12 has ended before it ever really got started. The new playoff system (which doesn’t require a team to have won its conference to be selected) has taken some of the necessity and incentive for…
“I don’t know if you could have put this together in many leagues,” Templeton said. “I don’t know of a single school that didn’t give up something. Everybody understood that it wasn’t going to be a perfect schedule if we protected the nonconference games. We could have made it a lot easier if we made them cancel their contracts, but we didn’t do that.” The computer spit out 12 to 14 models. The SEC adjusted those 15 to 20 times to protect certain SEC games and nonconference contests. Templeton said about 56 SEC dates and 45 nonconference dates changed from the previous 12-member schedule. Models were labeled with numbers to tell them apart. They soon turned into calendar dates as labels. By the time the journey ended Christmas Eve, numbers and dates were written to distinguish models reviewed on the same day.
Alabama coach Nick Saban is not grumbling. “If we would’ve had a bye week before LSU, we would’ve gone from Oct. 6 to Nov. 10 without having a home game,” Saban said. “Those were the choices.” Only Alabama and Florida will play both Texas A&M and Missouri next fall. On Oct. 13, the Crimson Tide will visit Missouri. Alabama will play host to Texas A&M on Nov. 10.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – It’s buy week in this state. Alabama and Auburn each bought a win for $400,000 and will charge fans for the privilege to watch the equivalent of a spring game on pay-per-view. This time, credit Auburn for buying into a unique concept in Alabama. The Tigers invited a neighbor. Samford marks Auburn’s first nonconference opponent from Alabama since UAB in 1996. Sure, Auburn had to be prodded and it helped to honor Pat Sullivan. But the Tigers are also scheduled to write a $500,000 check to Jacksonville State in 2013.
South Carolina President Harris Pastides told his school’s student newspaper the SEC will play nine conference games by adding Missouri. The SEC office says that’s not the case – at least not yet. “No, not at this point,” SEC Executive Associate Commissioner Mark Womack said Monday. “I think (Pastides) believes it’s something we’re certainly going to look at or thought it might be an idea. But it’s a topic that really hasn’t had a lot of discussion at this point.” Would the SEC ever go to nine games?
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Friday, Nov. 4, will mark the end of the fall practice schedule for the Alabama baseball team. For the final practice, the Crimson Tide will play its 19th intrasquad contest with a 5:45 p.m., first pitch on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. At the seven-inning Crimson and Grey Game, fans will have the opportunity to walk away with autographs from their favorite UA baseball players, as well as winning authentic Alabama baseball team gear.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – SEC athletics directors met today in Birmingham to discuss implementing Texas A&M into a 13-team league in 2012, a conference spokesman said. Two athletics directors said there was no discussion about scheduling for 14 teams. Missouri curators voted unanimously Tuesday night to give Chancellor Brady Deaton authority to look elsewhere rather than immediately commit to the Big 12. Several media outlets have reported Missouri wants to join the SEC, although the Associated Press quoted an anonymous Missouri official saying the school preferred the Big Ten the most. “We can’t talk about it,” Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley said after the ADs met for about four hours at the SEC office. “We’re talking about A&M.”
If the SEC goes into the 2012 season with 13 teams, it’s biggest immediate issue will be how to compile a conference schedule. A 13-team SEC will not be able to maintain its current schedule of eight conference games with each divisional rival playing each other and each team playing three cross-divisional games. The math doesn’t work. Slive and the SEC have created a “transition team” whose job it is to determine how to best incorporate the Aggies into the conference – whether they will join the SEC West, as Slive said “makes sense,” and how to juggle the resulting lopsided schedule.
That is the impression you might get from hearing Mike Slive, the SEC Commissioner, talk on Tuesday’s joint SEC-Texas A&M media conference. There was a lot of friendly talk – even a patented “howdy” – from Texas A&M president Dr. R. Bowen Loftin – but it was Slive’s comments that held the most interest for SEC football fans. And those comments weren’t exactly reassuring on the issue of rivalries. Specifically, the question was whether Slive felt “confident” that “existing rivalries” in the league could be protected in future football schedules. For many SEC fans, the only palatable answer would be a resounding “yes.” Even a conditional “yes” would have been reassuring. But that is not what Slive had to offer.
More often than not in the Southeastern Conference, playing a nonconference game against a BCS conference team before playing an SEC opener seems to be the opening shock treatment needed by serious national title contenders. “We try to have a quality opponent somewhere in the first three games,” said Alabama coach Nick Saban, whose team won at Penn State of the Big Ten Conference on Sept. 10 in the second game of a home-and-home arrangement. “I thought it (playing Penn State) helped our team prepare better in the off-season and it got us better prepared for the tough competition in the SEC that Arkansas will certainly provide.”