Last week, FOX Sports radio host Colin Cowherd ripped Nick Saban, accusing the Crimson Tide head coach of failing to schedule difficult non-conference matchups. Saban actually responded, explaining his thoughts on the matter. A few days later, Alabama announced it had scheduled a home-and-home series with Wisconsin for 2024-2025.
Wednesday, Cowherd, on his radio show, essentially implied that he is the reason that Alabama got on the phone with Wisconsin to schedule the series. To say that he went in on Saban would be an understatement.
Here’s what he had to say:
“You know how in our business, Joy, people say they don’t listen? But they always hear it. They push back on social media. Everybody says ‘I never hear the noise.’ Listen, if there was a guy on radio and TV blasting you all day, would you not hear about it? If not directly, from friends?
So Nick Saban – ‘I don’t listen to the critics.’ Really? So a week ago I blasted Alabama. I said the reason you’re struggling to sell out your games, even though you’re winning all your football games, is this garbage home schedule you give to your fans – it’s garbage.
Three or four times a year they play Panera Bread and Roast Beef Tech and Alabama students are like ‘I’m not paying top dollar for this – I’m not waiting for the Auburn game, I’m not waiting for the Georgia game.’ It’s garbage.
So a day later, Alabama does something they haven’t done in six years. They scheduled a home-and-home with Wisconsin. Oh interesting. They don’t hear though, Nick never hears anything. Alabama is shrinking their stadium this year – shrinking the capacity. Why? Because kids don’t want to go even though they win. Because fans want to be entertained. It’s not entertaining beating Citadel 58-8.
And I like Nick Saban. But he controls four games a year on that schedule. And he won’t play legitimate teams. ‘Well it’s really difficult for us to get a home-and-home.’ Funny, two days after I ripped you, you found Wisconsin. It’s not hard at all. But you have to be willing to go to Wisconsin.
Call Chris Petersen up at Washington. They’ll do a home-and-home with you, but you’re going to have to go to Seattle. And you don’t like leaving the South.”
Alabama hasn’t scheduled too many difficult non-conference games in recent years, but Cowherd is wrong about one thing – the six years comment. In the past year or two, Alabama has actually scheduled future home-and-home series with Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Either way, Saban likely won’t be around for any of these games. Whoever inherits Alabama’s program will have some tough non-conference slates every year.