Monday, July 29, 2019

Quit whining about the Tide's schedule strength!

If you want to find a team with a weak schedule, look outside the Southeastern Conference.  When you play eight games against opponents in the toughest league in the history of tough leagues, you don't have a weak schedule.

The team that emerges from the gauntlet that is the SEC schedule--including a win in the conference championship game--will be one of the four teams selected for the playoff.

Accept that, please. You don't have to like it. You don't have to agree with the system that produces it. You just have to accept it.

Once that's done, the discussion becomes a pointless argument over who has the least murderous schedule.

It is not Alabama's fault that Duke is the only major conference program that was willing to risk their season's hopes and dreams by starting off with Alabama on a neutral field. If you're going all snowflake on Bama's schedule, how about growing a pair and getting on the rotation? Lines are open in Tuscaloosa. Southern Cal, Michigan, Penn State and Florida State have all made the big boy decision and took the big boy consequences. So either bring what ya got, or shut yer yap.

It is also not Bama's fault that Auburn has to play Georgia and Alabama every year. Georgia plays Alabama and Tennessee every year, and Alabama has Tennessee and Auburn every year. Tennessee still sucks like a big orange and that's not Bama's fault any more than it is Auburn's fault that Georgia sucked under Donnan, Goff and sometimes Richt. Stuff happens. The Wheel Weaves.

It is surely not Bama's fault that Auburn's schedule intimidates teh fambly™. It's not our fault that the starting quarterback is a big, fat question mark. Or that Auburn once again has a "young team." Indeed, when has Auburn not had a young team? They've had a young team every year since Tommy Tuberville's regime. It's not our fault that the whole conference has figured out that every play in Gus Malzahn's encyclopedia of football strategery is a sandlot trick.

Texas A&M did the right thing and did the Longhorns a favor by dropping them, so their biggest out-of-conference game is a trip to Clemson. That's a tough out, but aTm only has them in 2019 to complete a home-away deal started last year. Given tools and time Jimbo will have the Aggies in shape (aTm is my Western Division sleeper). South Carolina has Clemson, too. Florida has a questionable Miami date and a laughable Florida State matchup.

It is true that the non-conference teams playing at Bryant-Denny are not power conference teams.  But 95% of the top conference programs do what Alabama is doing--helping smaller schools build their programs. The "Alabama Game" was used by Florida State, Miami and Southern Miss to develop very nice facilities. Those programs can legitimately demand that Bama and other top notch programs agree to home-away arrangements and Bama does do those, agrees Penn State. As long as we split the proceeds.

Look, all Alabama can do is play the teams that sign up to show up.  Everyone else? Shut up.


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