Alabama Replaces Michigan State with Western Kentucky on 2016 Schedule

June 4, 2014 at 12:34p    by DJ Byrnes    

Alabama might be the best team in America's best conference; the dirty secret about them, though, is their sleight-of-hand tactics in regards to their scheduling.

Ramzy broke it down thoroughly over here. For a simple point of reference, however, Alabama's 2014 strength of schedule ranks 95th behind such power programs as South Alabama, UMass, East Carolina and Western Kentucky.

In September, Alabama cancelled a home-and-home series with Michigan State scheduled for 2016 and 2017, due to "uncertainty surrounding the SEC schedule." (The SEC of course stayed at eight conference games, shirking the national trend to go to nine.)

Today, the mighty Tide replaced that 2016 Michigan State game with the aforementioned Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

So much for Saban's belief teams from power conferences should only play teams from other power conferences. It also gives new meaning to Saban willing to "play anybody" in effort to fill the 2015 schedule.

There's a reason he's the new cash king of the sport, y'all.



Ethos's picture

To his credit, Coaches rarely have a lot of influence in who the play, and for good reason.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Seattle Linga's picture

I just threw up ......... thanks a lot BG 73

iantrevor's picture

I'm excited for fans/commentators to denounce the B1G strength of schedule in 2016 and the claims that we (as a conference) fear playing the SEC in the regular season. As we know, it's not usually the teams from the mid-west doing the canceling. Of course, we do get to suffer the perception of weak scheduling when we are forced to host Florida A&M to fill out a schedule.

+3 HS
cronimi's picture

I agree with your general point, but OSU didn't play Fla A&M because Vandy bailed on our game -- San Diego State was the replacement team. Sadly, Fla A&M was "meant" to be on the schedule. 

+3 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

FAMU was only on the schedule because of their band.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+5 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

That's what their players said once the game started.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Oyster's picture

They also didn't want to lose the revenue by having an away game at MSU.  My Carnac senses tell me the 2016/2017 games will both be home games.

cronimi's picture

Then why schedule the game in the first place? I agree 'Bama would lose the opportunity to host an OOC home game by playing in East Lansing, but they would have known that when they contracted with MSU to play the home-and-home. I don't know the "real" reason why they backed out, but it wasn't because they just realized they wouldn't make bank while playing in East Lansing.

+2 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

I hate Bammer, but the contract might have outlined that if they call it off, it can't be called back on. I don't know how the CFB schedule contracts are written. Also, they just voted on not going to a 9 game schedule very recently, but I think they should have waited before they removed MSU. They could have scheduled around MSU though since it was the only game on there.

MSU still has an opening on Sep 3rd and 24th; Bammer has 1 game scheduled in 2016; I don't know when the SEC play starts, but they could put it back on. I'm gonna be very disappointed if they don't get at least 1 remotely decent team on their schedule for 2016.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

Catch 5's picture

If they had waited and needed to re-schedule this late, it would have put MSU in a very tight spot late in the year.

The reason behind cancelling the series (which I'm hoping gets re-scheduled soon) is as they said:  The SEC schedule.  Saban was/is in favor of going to a 9-team conference schedule.  The downside to doing so would mean that half the time you end up playing 5 games away and 4 at home.  With only 3 OOC games, if the away portion of the MSU games came in the same year as the 5 away conference games, that would leave them with only 6 home games that year (5 if they also had the neutral site opener).  Now, that may not be a great excuse (I'm not really sold on it myself) but that is why it was cancelled.  It has nothing to do with being scared of the B10 or home and homes.

Bama opens 2016 with Wisconsin (Arlington), and are reportedly in talks to play USC there in 2015 (though that may have fallen through - perhaps prompting Saban's recent rant about scheduling difficulties.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

tennbuckeye19's picture

Do you have any idea what Alabama is paid out for doing the neutral site games versus what they would make from an away game? 

Catch 5's picture

No I don't. It is my impression that they get something similar to a mid-major bowl for the kick off classics though.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Catch 5's picture

I can't find how much (or even if) Penn State paid Alabama anything for that away game.  I confess that I don't know how that works - perhaps the home team keeps it all in a home and home?  If that is the case, the neutral site games are a bit better.  Alabama brings in ~4 mil per home game.  The 1st Chic Fil A Classic paid out about 2 million per team.   When Bama played Michigan in Jerryworld, each team came home with 4.7 million, and Bama/WVa are expected to grab 3.2 mil each with this year's opener.  That ain't bad.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Mortc15's picture

But will it even matter? If the playoff committee looks at the sec like most of America does, it won't matter that bama schedules these teams because they "go through the gauntlet of the sec" even though those teams aren't always as good as the rankings indicate. 


+4 HS
blocko330's picture

Sad but true unfortunately.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

- TruthTeller

buckeyeotaku's picture

it's called a positive feedback loop,,,, and it sucks.

We don't give a damn for the whole state of Bichigan

Furious George 27's picture

If the SEC continues to lose high profile BCS games (3 of the last 4 so far), it will be hard for them to get away with the "gauntlet SEC" schedule much longer

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

Mortc15's picture

I don't think it will change. Look at the "too early" polls already out. They lost those games, bama lost all kinds of talent including a mult NC winning qb and they're top 3 in every poll even though they lost to Oklahoma which brings back more. That's not even mentioning all the other sec teams ranked highly in those polls. Last year means nothing for this year if you're sec teams. For everyone else it does though. That's the problem. 


Buckeye Knight's picture

"...the dirty secret about them, though, is their sleight-of-hand tactics in regards to their recruiting, bagmen, trying to change rules to their benefit, oversigning, cutting players, Saban's gay love affair with Mark Emmert,  scheduling."

+6 HS
Knarcisi's picture

None of them will come north. 

I'd love to see the BCS become and 8 team tournament. The semis and Championship are 3 bowls. The 4th bowl gets 9 vs 10. 1st round of games is a home game for the top 4 seeds.  Would make the seeds worth something, hence the regular season. And might bring those assholes north to play a game in Dec. or Jan.  The B10 plays road games for bowl games. Turn the tables. 

+2 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

Florida has a joke schedule too

+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

And Espin won't say one word about bama or florida's schedule - NOT ONE WORD 

+3 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Its no wonder they cancelled.  Even if they did play MSU, they would force the hand to have it at a neutral site.  Every single flipping game they have against anyone remotely legit OOC is on a neutral field (with the exception of the Penn St. game). 

I also refuse to believe the coach doesn't have anything to do with scheduling and who is on it.  Look at OSU playing Youngstown St.  Do you really think Tress didn't have something to do with that one?

"If you root for Michigan, the terrorists win."

HilltopHustle's picture

Don't overexert yourself, big fellas.