Nick Saban’s view on the SEC’s scheduling shift after realignment is a prime example of someone missing the bigger picture — this, at least, according to USA Today’s Blake Toppmeyer during a piece titled ‘Nick Saban barks up wrong tree about Alabama football schedule rivals. SEC can ignore him.’

Saban questioned the competitive balance of having to face Tennessee, Auburn, and LSU every season in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger published on March 3. “If you play more games, I think you have to get the three fixed [opponents] right,” he said. “They’re giving us Tennessee, Auburn and LSU. I don’t know how they come to that [decision].”

Toppmeyer disagreed with Saban’s outlook, siding with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. “To focus on an SEC team’s assigned rivals in the future football alignment and disregard the sum of the conference schedule is to ignore the big picture,” Toppmeyer wrote. “That’s commissioner Greg Sankey’s opinion, and I agree with it.”

In an ode to the state of Alabama’s biodiversity, Toppmeyer used a classic phrase to describe what he sees as shortsightedness from the Crimson Tide coach. “Count Nick Saban, though, among those who can’t see the forest for the trees,” Toppmeyer wrote. “The Alabama coach would rather shout at loblolly pines.”

The Case Made Against Nick Saban Perspective

Toppmeyer pointed out how little a difference having three fixed rivals would be from how things already are. “Fixed rivals would make up just one-third of a team’s conference schedule, in this model,” he wrote. “Crying foul over competitive imbalance within 33% of the SEC schedule ignores the whole.”

During a March 8 appearance on the USA Today Network’s SEC Unfiltered podcast, Sankey shared much of the same sentiment.

“We’re not talking about three teams in a schedule,” Sankey said. “We will not play a three-game conference schedule. I can assure everyone of that. The focus on simply three teams overweights three games out of (the sum).”

Toppmeyer feels Sankey’s comments were a direct response to Saban’s comments to Sports Illustrated. “Sankey didn’t mention Saban during our conversation, and I didn’t specifically ask about Saban’s comments,” Toppmeyer prefaced before saying, “But, it’s hard to read Sankey’s quote and not see it as a dismissal of Saban’s ruckus over a sliver of the schedule. Broaden the perspective, and you see Sankey’s point.”

Florida’s Fixed Opponents Seen …read more



Analyst: Nick Saban “Can’t See the Forest For the Trees”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *