Before heading down to Destin for the SEC Meetings, Alabama head coach Nick Saban enjoyed some time on the lake this Memorial Day Weekend, showing off an impressive farmer’s tan atop a jet ski on Lake Burton in Georgia. Saban’s also making waves in Destin with his comments about future SEC non-conference scheduling, telling reporters that he believes SEC teams should only play fellow “Power 5” conference schools (SEC, Big 12, Big 10, ACC, Pac-12). Starting in 2016, SEC schools will be required to play at least one Power 5 non-conference game (Kentucky’s is Louisville), but Saban doesn’t think that’s enough, arguing that the higher level of competition will be “better for fans and players.”
That’s fine for the Alabamas of the world, but could spell doom for Kentucky’s bowl chances. The SEC deciding to stay at eight league games instead of moving to nine was a relief, but if all of our non-conference games have to be against Power 5 opponents, the road to six gets downright treacherous.
Florida’s Will Muschamp had a more reasonable proposal earlier on Tuesday when he told reporters that Florida will no longer schedule FCS teams to give their fans better competition. The Big Ten agreed to this in 2013, and this season, every SEC school will play an FCS team (for us it’s UT-Martin). Of course, Florida also lost to an FCS school last season, Georgia Southern, for the first time in school history, so you know, less potential for embarrassment?
I’m fine with not playing FCS opponents, but please, let’s not restrict non-conference foes to the Power 5. I’d like to go to a bowl game in a warm place at some point in the future.