Does success come with the price of scheduling difficulties?
Alabama is looking for a 12th team to play in 2015. According to athletic director Bill Battle, the school has exhausted a lot of options.
“Right now we'd take anybody,” Battle told CBS Sports and added that the school has called everyone it knows.
Anyone? Hmm... maybe we should form an accredited university football team and take on the Tide. What's the worst that can happen?
Alabama already has Wisconsin, Louisiana-Monroe and, according to CBS, likely an FCS team in 2015. But with eight conference games, that only makes 11 teams. (The major-conference stipulation for SEC teams doesn't come in to play until 2016, and the Badgers would fulfill it anyway.)
Would Alabama play two FCS teams? It's possible at this point, but the school would like to avoid that for scheduling purposes. It could be Southern Miss as well. According to TideSports.com on Thursday afternoon, Alabama is in discussions with Southern Miss. However, the Golden Eagles must make some scheduling accommodations to make it happen.
Last season, Alabama played Chattanooga, an FCS team, and Georgia State, a program in its first year of full FBS competition. This year, Alabama is playing Southern Miss and paying the school $1.4 million to come to Tuscaloosa, Ala.
If the Tide are forced to take a second FCS team, there's no doubt that an undefeated Alabama team would still be a lock for the College Football Playoff. But if the Tide have one or two losses, it'd get interesting.
The SEC's move to keep eight conference games starting in 2016 was based on its own perceived strength, and any discussion of Alabama would turn out to be a referendum on the SEC's schedule.
In addition to LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M and the rest of the SEC West, Alabama's rotating East game is set to be Georgia, giving the Tide what looks to be the second or third-toughest schedule in the conference. Would it be enough to outweigh any perceived weakness if the Tide couldn't find another FBS opponent? It's a fascinating hypothetical.
For more Alabama coverage, visit TideSports.com.
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