Nico at rollbamaroll.com has brought up that the UTEP @ Alabama game in 2008 may have been canceled. I for one view this as a good thing. Not for the fact that we would not be playing Mike Price’s team with an ESPN pity party following afterwards, but that now we can beef up our non-conference schedule a little bit in order to keep up with the rest of the SEC in 2008.
I subscribe to the theory that you should at least have one marquee non-con match-up every year. It creates a buzz within the fan base and gives the players something new and exciting. Plus, it usually means a good TV appearance if both teams are any decent. With UTEP on the 2008 schedule, there really isn’t anything to look forward to with the non-conference portion, minus the revenge game on Northern Illinois (how lame does that sound?)
I would like to see Alabama at least attempt to schedule a one time match-up with one of the following:
Iowa , Wisconsin, Michigan State
Texas, Nebraska, Kansas State
USC, California, Oregon State
Boston College, Virginia Tech, Clemson, NC State
I’m trying to avoid playing teams we’ve recently played, have already scheduled, or currently have a bit of bad blood with (I think Saban playing Miami would qualify as bad blood). I enjoy the games were we are able to just enjoy meeting new fanbases and have a good time before and after the games, like the Oklahoma series.
I just hope there is still enough time to approach another team. It may be a tall task to attempt to grab a BCS conference team for a October 11th match-up. But, this is all merely speculation, we don’t even know if the game has been canceled or not.
Please list some of your thoughts. What teams would you like to see approached? Is it probable that the athletic department is going to actually attempt a stronger non-conference opponent?