Is Bama#039;s opener worthy of TV?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The debate over scheduling weak sisters, especially in Southeastern Conference football, has been bantered back and forth over the last decade and a half.

So when college football season gets cranked up, we can look forward to those gut-wrenching Auburn vs. Mother Sills Bake Shop or Alabama vs. Hall's Gas and Go games.

That may be stretching it a bit, but I don't have to remind you of some of those choice teams the Tide and Tigers have played previously in non-conference action.

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On second thought, let's do take a look. There's Louisiana-Monroe, The Citadel, Utah State and the list goes on and on.

These are the so-called "money games." These are the games that colleges like Auburn or Alabama pay up to $400,000 for these weak sisters to come to their place, take a thumping and go home with a nice check.

These are the games we football nuts look forward to over the course of the summer until that glorious late August or early September evening?

To add insult to injury, Fox Sports Network is actually considering televising the Alabama's season opener against Middle Tennessee.


It's hard to even believe that this game is one of the better early-season matchups worthy of television.

So let's take a look at those stellar showdowns during the week of Sept. 3 in the SEC:

n Southwest Missouri State comes to Arkansas. Here that cash register? Cha-ching.

n Wyoming at Florida. OK. Urban Myer's debut.

n Boise State at Georgia. The boys of Smurf Turf play between the hedges in Athens. Now this has promise.

n Louisville at Kentucky. Would be a great basketball matchup, but not in football. Rich Brooks better update that resume quick.

n North Texas at LSU. Cha-Ching.

n Ole Miss at Memphis. This has promise. Albeit the collective football fan base of these two schools would only fill half of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

n Murray State at Mississippi State. Cha-Ching.

n Central Florida at South Carolina. Steve Superior makes his return.

n UAB at Tennessee. Cha-Ching.

n Vanderbilt at Wake Forest. Nice wine and cheese game. Lots of wine.

Then you have Georgia Tech at Auburn. Finally a game worthy of television.

Plenty of storylines here. ACC vs. SEC. Can Auburn continue its winning streak and have its winning streak continue with a brand new backfield? Can Reggie Ball make the Yellow Jackets' an ACC championship contender?

No offense Tide fans, but I would give my left arm to see Oklahoma or even UCLA roll into Tuscaloosa again than to watch a quarter of the Middle Tennessee game.

That's the way college football has evolved. The SEC didn't rake in more than $60 million in television revenue for nothing last year.

Just when you have had enough of those great games like Alabama vs. Middle Tennessee and North Texas at LSU, a 12th game will be added to the college football schedules next season.

Don't expect to see an Auburn vs. Southern California matchup any time. You'll see games like Auburn vs. Western Kentucky or Alabama vs. Appilachain State.

I can hear the Fox Sports Network programming director already pulling his hair out over those stellar showdowns.

Let's just hope a good rerun of ER or CSI will be on that day.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. You can e-mail him at or call (334) 383-9302 ext. 122.