When someone at Alabama speaks out about an issue, the rest of the league listens. This week, it wasn’t Nick Saban, but athletic director Greg Byrne and president Stuart R. Bell, who expressed their aggravation about Alabama football’s schedule. For former Alabama assistant Kirby Smart, it isn’t a huge issue.
After a trip to South Carolina on Saturday, the Crimson Tide returns home for a Sept. 21 home date against Southern Miss.
Byrne and Bell expressed their annoyance with the 11 a.m. local kickoff time (12 p.m. ET) for the game. Byrne and Bell released a statement about how Alabama has played more non-conference day games than any other SEC program, a fact that many have responded to with criticism of the Tide’s typical light OOC schedules.
Other programs have also weighed in. Auburn’s Gus Malzahn took the opportunity to pretty clearly troll the in-state rival, saying he wished his Tigers’ night game against Kent State was at noon instead of 7 p.m. this Saturday.
Kirby Smart, now the head coach at Georgia, was asked about the early kickoff issue. He didn’t take a Malzahn-esque tact, but admitted that he likes early kick-offs for a different, understandable reason: it gives him more time to spend with his family.
Kirby Smart asked about noon kickoffs, said he likes having more time with his family, and more time to recruit on the back end: "Probably being able to go home and watch the night games with my kids and my wife is the big thing for me."
— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) September 10, 2019
The notion that Alabama has been slighted by the SEC in any way is pretty laughable.
The program’s four non-conference games this year are against Duke (at 3:30 in Atlanta, back in Week 1), New Mexico State last weekend (a 3 p.m. CT/4 ET kick), and Western Carolina later in the year.
Those types of match-ups are going to get you some early kick-offs. And even so, with WCU not yet scheduled, the Southern Miss game is the only guaranteed one for Alabama at this point.