Will Bama get relief from scheduling problem?

 It’s Friday which means the floor is open for discussion on any topic you choose, football or non-football. Here are some random thoughts to get the party started. You input is welcomed:

**–I’m not sure the SEC is going to be able to do a whole lot to give Alabama some relief from a huge scheduling hiccup. In case you missed it, Alabama is not very happy with its SEC football schedule for 2010 and with good reason. Alabama’s last six conference opponents, beginning on Oct. 9 against South Carolina, will all play the Crimson Tide after an open date. How does that happen? Actually it’s easier than you might think.

The SEC office puts together the conference part of the schedule and that process begins with several fixed points. Examples: Tennessee and Florida play the third Saturday in September; Tennessee and Alabama play the third or fourth Saturday in October; Georgia and Florida meet in Jacksonville on either the last Saturday in October or the first in November; Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina have rivalry games that must be played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

There are a number of principles that go into setting a schedule such as a team should never have to play more than two straight conference games on the road. But the SEC did not have a principle that limited the number of games a team will play after that opponent had an open date. It will in the future and the number will be three.

The fact is at this late date the SEC may be able to move around some non-conference games but those will have a domino effect. It’s just difficult.

Also look for the SEC to discuss using a computer program to formulate their schedules in the future. The ACC does it by taking all of the games and all of the scheduling principles and putting them into a computer. The SEC does not currently use a computer to set its schedule.


**–Who didn’t see this coming? South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier told ESPN.com’s Chris Low this week that he was going to start calling the ball plays again next season. Spurrier, set to begin his sixth season in Columbia, started handing off play calling and other offensive duties to his son, Steve., Jr., and other assistants a couple of years ago. Spurrier told me last year that he thought that he needed to delegate more. “I was sitting in the offensive staff meeting one day and I was drawing up all the plays and the other guys were just watching,” he said. “I thought I needed to take on more of a traditional head coach role.”

But there is nothing traditional about Spurrier and, while he was at Florida (1990-2001) proved to be one of the best play callers in the history of the game. So he should go back to calling the plays. But he should also crack the whip and demand that his offensive line play better and develop a running game. South Carolina gave up 27 sacks last season and was again last in the SEC in rushing. If that part of the team doesn’t get better it won’t matter who’s calling the plays.


**–When I was at Florida two weeks ago offensive coordinator Steve Addazio told me that without Tim Tebow the 2010 offense “would probably look a lot like 2006.” That’s the year that Chris Leak was the senior quarterback in a traditional, drop back passing offense. The wrinkle came when Tebow, a freshman, would enter the game on short yardage situations to pick up the first down. This season John Brantley will fill the Chris Leak role.

“We’ll have to come up with something else on third and short because I sure won’t be running it,” Brantley told me.

Looks like freshman quarterback Trey Burton and tight end Jordan Reed will get those snaps.

 In 2006 the two-quarterback system worked pretty well at Florida as the Gators won the national championship.

But how well will it work? Last season Florida was seventh nationally in third down conversion percentage at 49.15 percent.


**–While looking up that stat I noticed that with all of the other offensive superlatives it had last season, Georgia Tech was No. 2 nationally in third down conversion percentage. Georgia Tech had 199 third downs and converted 104 for 52.26 percent. Only BYU was better at 55.62 percent.

**–I also learned that third down conversion percentage might be overrated as a stat. Florida was No. 7 but that was the only SEC team in the top 50. Alabama, the national champion, was 62. The rest of the SEC’s ratings were Ole Miss (51), Auburn (57), Tennessee (59), Georgia (61), Kentucky (67), LSU (71), South Carolina (77) and Vanderbilt (91). Arkansas and Mississippi State tied at 104.

**–I can’t say I’m surprised to read that Nick Stephens, the only quarterback at Tennessee with any real experience, is going to transfer in order to find a place to play in his final year of eligibility. Stephens started six games in 2008 but then could not beat out Jonathan Crompton when head coach Lane Kiffin arrived in 2009. The assumption was that Stephens would be the guy under new head coach Derek Dooley, who retained offensive coordinator Jim Chaney from the previous staff.

But when I visited Knoxville on my spring football tour I talked to some folks who had strong doubts about whether or not Stephens would be Tennessee’s every down quarterback 2010. JUCO transfer Matt Simms and incoming freshman Tyler Bray have looked better in practice and were starting to take more reps with the first team. You would think that a veteran player like Stephens would go through the entire spring practice and then make a decision on his future. He obviously saw the handwriting on the wall.

 So Stephens will transfer to a Division I-AA program where he can play immediately and Tennessee continues to deal with the inevitable attrition of the post Lane Kiffin experiment. And it’s probably not over yet.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago that this would probably be a tough season at Tennessee. I haven’t changed my mind about that,


Have a great weekend.


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270 comments Add your comment

Delbert D.

April 9th, 2010
4:39 pm

Nonsense! How about Bama having to play Ga. State the week after State plays Shorter? Bama could break the 222-0 record by trouncing Bill Curry if they want to.

Mike Hunt

April 9th, 2010
4:40 pm

SC Boy,

I will go on record today, April 9, and count out South Carolina as a serious contender in the SEC. Spurrier and the other coaches don’t run, block, pass, catch or tackle. What SC lacks is players. It just ain’t gonna happen.


April 9th, 2010
5:05 pm

Bring on the schedule, we’re the deepest team in the nation. Time to Roll Again baby!!!!!!


April 9th, 2010
5:10 pm

5IML…..it’s woe, not whoa….be careful…that Bama education is showing!

Delbert D.

April 9th, 2010
5:34 pm

Spurrier has the opportunity *finally* to try to pull a rabbit out of the hat himself. But will it make any difference?

(The Real) ReptilesRule

April 9th, 2010
6:00 pm

Sorry Bammers, I did leave ONE thing out for sure…they will also accuse you of dirty play. And for Gods sake, don’t get near their Optic Nerve. And don’t pay no mind to what their players were doing the whole game. But that’s all they’ll talk about for the next year. Distracts from the final score I guess…

UT QBs and who is gonna hum it to Mr Football?

April 9th, 2010
7:14 pm

UT did get a great wide out from state of Georgia …………maybe. Time will tell.

WHO IS GONNA throw Da Rick da ball? Hmmmmmmm?

Players are leaving UT like Democrat congressmen. AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

It will take possibly 3 -5 years to over come the Blame Kiffen and Ed Orgeron era. AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA


April 9th, 2010
8:04 pm

Bear Bryant…
Actually,according to the NCAA Records Book,Alabama could claim 17 national championships in football. Truly only 8 were AP or UPI. However 3 Alabama teams were the highest rated teams to win a bowl that sason (1945,1966,1977) but were not voted national champion. Which 4 or 5 could Auburn claIM AND FROM WAHT SELECTORS?


April 9th, 2010
9:02 pm

“Will Bama get relief?” I know we are talking SEC here , but with Georgia State on their schedule in their 1st season of ball should be embarrassing for Bama. Will GA State’s shoulder pads be in by then?

Byron Mathison Kerr

April 9th, 2010
9:33 pm

To poopdawg, April 9th, 2010, 9:02 pm:

As someone who went to school at The University of Alabama and then, years later, Georgia State University, I was thrilled to see the GSU Panthers get the chance to play in big time college football during their first season ever. And you can’t get any bigger in college football right now than The Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny in Tuscaloosa! Roll Tide Roll!


April 9th, 2010
9:38 pm

How pathetic are all you haters? Bama cheats, bama are rednecks blah blah blah blah

Bottom line is this…..

ALABAMA: 2010 National Champions…. AND YOUR NOT

Choke on that slapnuts


April 9th, 2010
9:58 pm


April 9th, 2010
9:38 pm

“…AND YOUR NOT” – (chuckles to self…again)

Auburn’s Academics $ucks!!! (I attended North East Alabama Community College for 1 and 1/2 quarters BTW!)


April 9th, 2010
10:04 pm

Its the off-season….. the bulldawg nations favorite time of the year.

They can talk trash and get away with it… UNTIL the season starts, then they vanish.


April 9th, 2010
10:21 pm


You tell ‘em Nachos. Hey guys, Nachos knows his stuff. He finished 1 whole year at N.E.A.C.C. Remember that class we had together? What was it, again? Peregrine Domesile Management 101? I forget.

Also, kudos to the guy that reminded everyone that we could be claiming even more fake…I mean more titles if we wanted to, so consider all of yourselves lucky!

Ala-FREAKIN-bama!!!!! Ala-FREAKIN-bama!!!!!

[...] trying to alleviate this problem, the SEC has stated that future SEC schedules will limit the number of games a team will play after that opponent has an open date to [...]


April 9th, 2010
10:34 pm

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz… good one. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


April 10th, 2010
2:39 am

cry me a river bammer rednecks…lol…i smell a few losses this year…gonna be right nice


April 10th, 2010
7:46 am

It is time for Bama to stomp a mudhole through Georgia and walk it dry!! Great quote by Jim Ross except I added the Bama line in to it!! RTR


April 10th, 2010
7:50 am

Bama has a off week just about every non-conference game they play. Buck Fama is going to play Georgia State next year. This will be Georgia State’s first year to ever play football. If that is not an open date I don’t know what is.


April 10th, 2010
7:54 am

Tide Watch , Bama also claims titles when they lost their bowl games because the National Title was decided before the bowl games were ever played. Claim all you want, it doesn’t matter except for last season. The new season starts soon and some one will beat Bama this season.


April 10th, 2010
8:38 am

vs. San Jose State Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBA
09/11/10 vs. Penn State Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBA
09/18/10 at Duke Durham, NC TBA
09/25/10 at Arkansas * Fayetteville, Ark. TBA
10/02/10 vs. Florida * Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBA
10/09/10 at South Carolina * Columbia, S.C. TBA
10/16/10 vs. Mississippi * Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBA
10/23/10 at Tennessee * Knoxville, Tenn. TBA
11/06/10 at LSU * Baton Rouge, La. TBA
11/13/10 vs. Mississippi State * Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBA
11/20/10 vs. Georgia State Tuscaloosa, Ala. TBA
11/26/10 vs Auburn

This is a tough schedule. Kind of like UGA’s the last 2 years. IN 2008 UGA played LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Vandy, and Kentucky all before their break. In fact, it’s typical for UGA to play all their schedule and get a break at the end before Tech. Saban needs to stop whining.

Everybody deals with this. Any SEC game is a rivalry (some a lot more than others). Any team will bruise you up or surprise you. In addition, throw in a respectable out of conference team (or two). It is demanding. I like things much better than in the 90s when to be number one the best strategy was to whip the snot out of 9 patsies and play one real game. You know, kind of like Boise State and USC do now.


April 10th, 2010
9:06 am


April 10th, 2010
9:49 am

Good points about SC. This could be the year for Spurrier. If he can get some production from the OL, Lattimore will do the rest. Tough break for Bama. Does the SEC have the authority to step in? Can they force changes or only suggest? Either way, everyone is already geeked up to play the defending National Champions, giving 6 SEC opponents a bye week to prepare makes it that much tougher for Bama to repeat.

SEC for Ya

April 10th, 2010
10:13 am

The SEC just figured out that them new fandangled ‘puters can make us them there schedules?


April 10th, 2010
10:25 am

Saban will use this to his advantage. He might have even paid off somebody to make it happen. He will work his team even harder because of this. Nobody stands a chance. Pray for mercy when your team plays the almighty Tide. You will need it. Natl Champs 2010. Back to back.

the man

April 10th, 2010
10:58 am

i’d be more worried about living in alabama than bama’s football schedule.

Tuscaloser is a great place for inbred hillbillies

April 10th, 2010
11:26 am

“I am. Did you complete high school? Or maybe you’re working on your GED. You like to sling a lot of mud on this board. My guess is that you don’t have a set though.”

HAHAHA!!!!! How’s the porta john biz treaten ya?

Tuscaloser is a great place for inbred hillbillies

April 10th, 2010
11:28 am

“Actually,according to the NCAA Records Book,Alabama could claim 17 national championships in football.”

That’s a stupid statement considering the NCAA doesn’t hand out national titles in college football. Going off of your comments, NO ONE can claim a national title.

Tuscaloser is a great place for inbred hillbillies

April 10th, 2010
11:28 am

“ALABAMA: 2010 National Champions…. AND YOUR NOT”

Only a Bama fan would have such horrible grammar.

It’s YOU’RE NOT YOUR. Hillbilly

Tuscaloser is a great place for inbred hillbillies

April 10th, 2010
11:29 am

What do bama fans have in common with maggots?

They can both live off a dead bear for years.

Alabama: The inbred state

April 10th, 2010
11:30 am

New bama one slogans:

Cheat Bama Cheat!!!!

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat TIDE Cheeeeaaaaaaat!

Bama Bill

April 10th, 2010
1:01 pm

Saban will manage the mess that the scheduler in SEC could not figure out – but this is too easy of a fix to not have been noticed by the guy who does the scheduling – he needs to hire a bright high school intern to help him out next time ! Then the SEC should fire the scheduler for lack of intellect !


April 10th, 2010
1:13 pm

Waaaaaah!!!! Just play the games, big babies…lol


April 10th, 2010
1:19 pm

UGA had the 7th most difficult schedule in the country last year based on the BCS computers…. by far the most difficult in the SEC. Maybe UGA didn’t play against a lot of teams that had open dates before they played UGA but most of these teams played warm up games such as Florida Southern and such before they played UGA. The scedule will be easier this season but still not many push overs on the list.

Atlanta Gator

April 10th, 2010
1:43 pm

Who the heck are these purported SEC fans who do not know their national championship history? Auburn went 10-0 under Shug Jordan in 1957 and was selected by the Associated Press Poll as national champion, as well as a majority of the other selectors. UP, and a minority of other polls, selected 9-1 Ohio State.

Give the Auburn Tigers their due–they have have won a legitimate national football championship, too, just like Alabama, Florida, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Arkansas. Among current SEC members, only Mississippi State, South Carolina and Vanderbilt cannot claim a legitimate major national poll championship–and Vandy had some damn fine teams from 1900 to 1920 that should have been seriously considered when Parke Davis and Helms Athletic Foundation were passing out all of those retroactive, pre-1935 championships decades after the fact, to Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Michigan, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, and, yes, Alabama.

Atlanta Gator

April 10th, 2010
1:45 pm

And now, back on topic . . .

That’s a damn hard schedule that Alabama will play this fall, and, no, it’s not fair to the Crimson Tide. The SEC scheduler should be spanked.


April 10th, 2010
2:07 pm

237st or close. I’ll recount to be sure.


April 10th, 2010
4:49 pm

Will the SEC move the 2010 Georgia-Auburn football game to accommodate Alabama’s schedule?



April 10th, 2010
11:18 pm

UGA does’nt get a bye week until the week before the Tech game in November. You don’t see us whining about that.


April 10th, 2010
11:39 pm

I’ve said it before that Bama fans are the most annoying fans in the world when their team is winning. I had neighbors that were Bama fans when i was a kid. Because of them, i absolutely despise Alabama worse than Florida. I asked them several times if Alabama is so great why don’t you move back. I rate Florida fans much higher than Bama’s even though we play Florida every year and it’s our most bitter rival. I cannot wait for this year when Bama lose 3 or 4 games and everything is right in the world again and we don’t have to be annoyed by their presence.


April 10th, 2010
11:55 pm

I know every bama fan will use the fact that Bill Curry coaches Georgia State as an excuse for scheduling them, but the fact is this is their FIRST year with a football team. Alabama was national champion last year. There is absolutely no reason to have Georgia State on your schedule this year.

@Bama Stan: Where are you with the pizza I ordered. You better rammer-jammer your @ss over here, NOW!! And don’t expect a tip…


April 11th, 2010
12:22 am

bama fan, plain and simple. short and sweet. It’s a dawg blog………..


April 11th, 2010
1:49 am

If you are going to dog Tuscaloosa at least have the grapes to say what garden part of the world from which you hail, chickens.


Bama Ramma

April 11th, 2010
6:55 am

The SEC’s always trying to hose Alabama—now they stick them with a schedule deliberately to help other teams like Auburn and Tennessee. Bama needs to file a protest and get the schedule changed, ASAP! Without Bama, the SEC would be nothing! Bear wouldn’t put up with this and neither should Saban.


April 11th, 2010
9:00 am

Good to see the Bammer fans out in force. How soon they forget they have beaten UGA one time since 1995 and that one time has a * by it because they were cheating again and had to give up the win, alone with quite few more. Congrats on your championship, things fell your way, including 2 blocked FGs by a fat man, but were was the unsportsman like penalty for ripping his helmet off on the field? I guess it was with the no holding calls for the season, Bammer is hard to beat when they have 18 on the field.

Dream Land

April 11th, 2010
11:38 am

Alabama can handle anything that comes their way. The same goes for Alabama fans. They can walk the walk.

Georgia and their fans on the other hand, can only talk the talk.

Dig into your history books Dawgs. That’s all you have left!


Georgia = Notre Dame of SEC

April 11th, 2010
11:45 am

Get used to having us hand it to you in a doggie bag dawgs

Georgia = gymnastics school

April 11th, 2010
11:47 am

Alabama = Football school


April 11th, 2010
11:50 am

Alabama = displaying national championship trophy for their fans in large Walmart parking lots

Georgia = displaying their 30-24 rings over Tech and Bronze plated weedeaters for their fans in Dollar General parking lots.

Denver Dog

April 11th, 2010
11:50 am

Why not complain about those powerhouses that they play this year, last year, and the year before. Scheduling the patsies is the real Bama problem, not what the other teams do before they play Bama. The bear would’ve said take care of your game, the rest will take care of itself. Apparenlty Saban says it is not fair for the other teams to make schedules that they like. Kind of like the reason he got run out of the NFL on a rail.