Alabama AD Greg Byrne responds to fan who criticized Tide's non-conference schedule
Recently, ESPN ranked the nation’s 10 easiest non-conference schedules for 2019, and four SEC programs were listed: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Of the four, only Alabama is likely the only legitimate College Football Playoff candidate; so, the Tide’s schedule will always be under a microscope. With non-conference foes of Duke, New Mexico State, Southern Miss and Western Carolina, it gives ammunition to criticize the Tide’s schedule, regardless of its conference schedule.
Recently, a fan named Clark Packard and former Alabama star Jonathan Allen had a back-and-forth discussion on Alabama’s non-conference schedule, and Alabama AD Greg Byrne also chimed in.
Here’s the conversation, based on the original discussion headed by none other than Paul Finebaum:
No because are conference schedule is tougher than any other conference!
— Jonathan Allen (@jonallen93_) June 22, 2019
Sure. Tell that to the SEC schools that play tough out of conference schedules; SC plays Clemson and UNC; UGA plays Norte Dame and GT; UF has FSU; A&M has Clemson. Alabama can schedule better out of conference opponents.
— Clark Packard (@clark_packard) June 22, 2019
Scheduling is challenging. It takes two teams to make it work where there is mutual interest and dates that work.
— Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) June 23, 2019
These schedules are formed years in advance, and it is very difficult to schedule other powerhouse programs in the near-future.
As Byrnes notes, Alabama has scheduled future home-and-home series with Texas (2022, 2023), West Virginia (2026, 2027), Notre Dame (2028, 2029) and Oklahoma (2032, 2033).