After his team’s 62-10 blowout victory over New Mexico State on Saturday, Nick Saban went on a bit of a rant on the caliber of non-conference opponents Alabama can attract.
Saban was asked if the “level of competition” presented by a program like NMSU can sufficiently get the Crimson Tide ready for SEC play. That led a frustrated Saban to proclaim, “we’re playing the best teams that we can get to play us.” He even challenged a reporter to “call around” and try to find a team that will travel to Tuscaloosa to play the Tide.
It seems like an in-state program, Troy, is up for the challenge. The school’s football account hilariously tweeted out part of Saban’s rant with the waving emoji.
Troy is routinely one of the best teams in the Sun Belt, but has never played Alabama in its history. Instead, the Tide have gone against Duke and New Mexico State and still have Southern Miss and Western Carolina left on the non-conference slate this season.
Alabama paid New Mexico State $1.7 million to travel across the country to get demolished in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Troy would probably make the cross-state trip for a cheaper amount.
Saban has been on the record for years with his desire to adjust college football scheduling to only play Power Five vs. Power Five matchups. But in the current setup, that doesn’t seem realistic any time soon. An adjustment that Alabama has made, however, is scheduling more home-and-home series with Power Five opponents, pushing aside neutral site games like the one the Tide played against Duke to open the current season.
Alabama will face SEC foe South Carolina on Saturday in Columbia, so that’ll be more challenging for Saban’s group. And if you’re interested, Saban’s full rant from last Saturday is below. It’s a good one.
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