Aside from all of the winning and the millions upon millions of dollars coming through the program, things are hard out here for the Alabama Crimson Tide. After Saturday’s blowout win over New Mexico State, Nick Saban wasn’t thrilled in answering criticism of his program’s scheduling practices.
Obviously, Alabama has a tough road, with games against Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M, and the rest of the SEC West every year. More often than not, that culminates with a meeting with Florida or Georgia in the conference title game, and clearly Alabama has proven itself in the College Football Playoff.
This year’s non-conference schedule has left a lot to be desired though, especially for fans. Alabama’s premier Power Five opponent was ACC also-ran Duke, in Atlanta. At home, Alabama gets the less-than-impressive triumvirate of NMSU, Southern Miss, and Western Carolina.
According to Nick Saban, part of the problem is that teams are unwilling to schedule the mighty Tide.
“We’re playing the best teams we can get to play us. Why don’t you start calling around and see if you can get somebody else to play us, and we’ll play ’em. We’ll play anybody you can get to play us,” Saban said to the media in a recent press conference.
One program has stepped up and accepted that challenge. They’re local, and they have a recent history of taking down football powers: the Troy Trojans.
— Troy Trojans Football ⚔️ (@TroyTrojansFB) September 11, 2019
In recent years, Troy has knocked off LSU and Nebraska on the road. They’re definitely a bit more dangerous than some of the Group of Five teams Alabama has brought in in recent years, though losing head coach Neal Brown to West Virginia may take off a bit of the shine.
Surprisingly, Alabama and Troy have never played one another since Troy made the jump up to the FBS in 2001, despite the fact that Troy is in state, just about 150 miles from Tuscaloosa.
Given that proximity, maybe the Trojans would be a bit more attractive than your New Mexico States, but something tells me they wouldn’t be the type of program that would really keep butts in seats at Bryant-Denny Stadium through the fourth quarter. Luckily, Alabama’s scheduling will ramp up soon.
Beginning in 2022, the Tide have true home-and-home series starting up with Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma.