Nick Saban, Gus Malzahn asked about playing SEC opponents the week before 2020 Iron Bowl
The Southeastern Conference appears to have thrown Auburn a bone and moved the Georgia game up to October and away from its typical slot in mid-November starting in 2020.
The thought behind the move is it would help the Tigers ease into the Iron Bowl in late November, as facing two potential top five/top 10 teams in a three-week span was too difficult for Auburn. That makes some sense but for years, both Auburn and Alabama have hosted FCS opponents the week prior to the Iron Bowl. Not any longer.
In 2020, Auburn will host LSU while Alabama will host Texas A&M the week before the Iron Bowl. So much for giving Auburn a break in mid- to late-November.
During his most recent media availability, Malzahn was asked to share his thoughts on the end of Auburn’s 2020 schedule.
“I’m going to be honest with you, I’m focused on this year’s schedule, not next year’s schedule,” Malzahn said before opening up a bit. “The thing about us… it’s tough every year. It’s just where you want to put them. What have we got? LSU and they [Alabama] got Texas A&M? Before we play each other? That’s what I’m always concerned about. As long as it’s pretty equal, I’m good.”
Saban was asked a similar question during his most recent media availability and he really didn’t seem to appreciate being asked to look that far ahead down the road.
“You know, I haven’t even looked at the 2020 schedule. We play Duke in three weeks or whatever. I don’t have any reaction to the schedule,” Saban said. “We work hard to try and have the best schedule we can have. It’s our goal to try and get two Power 5 teams to play. You guys act like we pick who we play. We don’t pick who we play, we have to get somebody to play and that’s what we try to do.
“I can’t even tell you who we play (in 2020). So, I can’t respond to something I haven’t even looked at.”
Sure, Coach, we believe that.