Blakeney, Saban support in-state matchups

Published 1:34 pm Friday, July 22, 2011

While nothing seems to be in the works, both Larry Blakeney and Nick Saban have said they would support scheduling in-state schools.

Of course, Alabama already plays Auburn and Troy has UAB but at each of the coaches’ respective media day conferences the question arose about scheduling one another.

“That’s a big yes,” Blakeney said. “We would certainly like to play both of our in-state institutions.”

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Both Alabama and Auburn already regularly  play teams from Troy’s Sun Belt Conference. Over the years, the Tide and the Tigers have scheduled all but one Sun Belt football team … Troy.

“They already play teams from our league every year,” said Blakeney. “It makes financial sense and interest would be high for Troy to play either Alabama or Auburn.”

Saban echoed Blakeney’s remarks but stopped short of mentioning Troy.

“We sort of instituted at LSU that we do that (play in-state schools).” Saban said at SEC Media Days in Birmingham. “We started to do that so it promoted all the programs in-state.”

Troy plays both Alabama and Auburn in baseball and basketball but the football team have yet to meet.

With Auburn playing Florida Atlantic this season, the two football powerhouses will have played eight of the nine Sun Belt schools.

Most notably, Alabama fell to Louisiana-Monroe in Tuscaloosa in 2007, 21-14. The Crimson Tide would beat both Western Kentucky, 41-7, and Arkansas State, 35-0, in 2008.
Auburn defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 42-3, on October 2, last season.

Saban says like LSU he would support the possibility of playing the likes of Troy, UAB, and South Alabama.

“I certainly would support the effort to do that in our state in Alabama,” he said.