Column: SEC again bends to Alabama's pressure, proving nothing has changed
SEC fans already knew what was coming even before the announcement on Friday evening happened. Alabama, yes that Alabama that loves to go on and on about its, I’m guessing now, 54 national ch…
SEC fans already knew what was coming even before the announcement on Friday evening happened.
Alabama, yes that Alabama that loves to go on and on about its, I’m guessing now, 54 national championships, would get its way. Lord Saban had sent a message to the nearby SEC office in Birmingham and he was upset.
The SEC and commissioner Greg Sankey broke down to the almighty Crimson Tide. How DARE the Crimson Tide have to play the teams such as Florida on their upcoming schedule as planned? How DARE the SEC not give anything but the final rose to Alabama?
This will never change, not as long as the SEC office is in Birmingham. If you have ever been to Alabama’s largest city, you will notice that the majority of it wear crimson including the lawyers and powers that are in the city. It has a ‘Bama stronghold that is palpable inside it. You think that doesn’t make a difference at the conference office? You think the commissioner, even as an outsider from New York State, doesn’t feel that or hear about it every day?
If so, I have some fine real estate for you in central Nevada.
It’s not that ‘Bama got the goods. Sure, playing Kentucky, albeit in Tuscaloosa, is still a good game, but matching the Crimson Tide up against Missouri (wow, poor Mizzou with that schedule) is just insulting to the fans of the other 13 schools in the conference.
There’s money to be made, though, and the conference is banking on both Alabama and Georgia, who somehow got off with an away game at Arkansas and hosting Mississippi State, to play for a spot, or if not two, spots in the College Football Playoff. It makes business sense to do that.
If only Sankey would answer some questions that, as Phillip Marshall of Auburn Undercover put it, weren’t lobbed up by media members of the SEC Network.
There really hasn’t been any explanation for how the two extra opponents were chosen and I seriously doubt any will ever be given. All we know is that, per reports, Alabama and Florida complained about the original scheduling and, with Saban and the Tide backing it, got their way. Dan Mullen, who spends more time talking about his shoes than disciplining his players, loves it that way and, by joining forces with the almighty Crimson Tide, knew that his message would be heard.
It’s not as if Auburn drew murderer’s row, either. A game at South Carolina and hosting Tennessee are both should-win games for the Tigers, but the fact that the SEC basically said “screw you” to Arkansas and Missouri while welcoming ‘Bama, UGA and Florida’s (who does still have to travel to Texas A&M) wishes says a lot about the leadership of the conference.
Much like the Iron Bowl prior to 1989, the status of the SEC will remain the same as long as its headquarters stay in Birmingham. Deals will be made. Dinners and drinks will be bought. Alabama will get the special treatment.
Let’s just act shocked when the people working the front desk at the conference’s office, much like the ticket takers at Legion Field even for an Auburn home game, are wearing a houndstooth hat.