Nick Saban’s working the refs. Again.
However, amid the SEC’s internal debate over a future scheduling format, Saban wants more balance and equity than what has been proposed by league administrators in a nine-game model.
“I’ve always been an advocate for playing more [conference] games,” Saban says. “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].”
Here’s how, boss.
“They said they did a 10-year whatever,” the coach says. “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,” Saban adds. “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.”
The SEC’s exact 10-year metric is unclear. But using league records from 2013–’22, the top half-finishers in winning percentage are Alabama (88.8), Georgia (79), Oklahoma (78.2), LSU (63.4), Florida (57.3), Texas (54.3), Auburn (53.6) and Texas A&M (53). The bottom half is Missouri (47.5), Mississippi State (46.3), Ole Miss (44.4), Tennessee and South Carolina (both 41.4), Kentucky (39), Arkansas (25.6) and Vanderbilt (19.7). Big 12 records were used for Oklahoma and Texas. Presumably, those in the top half of the conference over the past decade will play two other teams in the top half and one in the bottom half. Those in the bottom half will play two in the bottom and one in the top half.
Remember, all he’s bitching about here is having to play one team every season instead of every other season. But Nick Saban didn’t get to be the GOAT without sweating the small stuff.