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Posted: 10/6/2005 10:28:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 10:28:40 AM EDT by HardShell]
(NOTE:  I would have put this in the "SPORTS" forum, but I thought it would mean more/have more interest here...)

www.al.com/sports/birminghamnews/kscarbinsky.ssf?/base/sports/1128504640150110.xml&coll=2



The Birmingham News


Sports columnist Kevin Scarbinsky

Liberty can't pair UA or AU with Blazers

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Alabama and Auburn aren't thinking about the Liberty Bowl. They have other plans for New Year's Eve.

They should. At the moment, they're the best football teams in the SEC.

Thanks to a crafty deal, the Tide and Tigers won't have to worry about a postseason trip to Memphis for years.

They may play there. They just won't have to get all shook up about it. Because they won't have to play UAB.

It's in the contract that'll match teams from the SEC and Conference USA in the Liberty Bowl from 2006 through 2009.

That's the power of the SEC.

All SEC Commissioner Mike Slive had to do, back in July, was let it slip that his teams preferred to play only teams from other BCS conferences, as usual, in their next lineup of bowl agreements to start next season.

The Liberty Bowl and Conference USA got the hint and took it from there. To make up for C-USA's position as a BCS outsider, they proposed a big, fat asterisk to Big Brother SEC: No rematches. No wannabe in-state rivals.

If you meet during the regular season, as LSU and Tulane will, you can't meet again in the Liberty Bowl. If you live in the same state, as Alabama and UAB do, you can't share the same field.

That cleared the final hurdle for the SEC to return to Memphis, which it preferred over Houston all along.

No less a C-USA cheerleader and BCS critic than Gene Bartow called it "a win-win deal."

"I think it's good for everybody," the former UAB AD and current Harris Poll voter said. "It would have been better if there were no asterisk, but I don't think that should've been a deal-breaker."

The Liberty Bowl was smart enough to realize it needs the SEC to regain some credibility it didn't have when it matched C-USA and the Mountain West. C-USA was smart enough to realize it needs the Liberty Bowl at the top of its postseason lineup to help push for even greater respectability.

The asterisk, according to SEC executive associate commissioner Mark Womack, is hard and fast and not negotiable. A school like Mississippi State can't waive it to play a school like Southern Miss.

So the asterisk will eliminate some intriguing matchups, but give the SEC credit for not shutting out C-USA completely.

As for Alabama and Auburn, it's not in their best interest to play UAB in the Liberty Bowl because the field there won't be level.

The bowl gets first choice from C-USA, but it'll be in the final rotation of SEC selections. Without the asterisk, a very good UAB team could have a chance to make history against a very ordinary Alabama or Auburn team.

Some important UAB people understand that. They just can't admit it in public. Bartow, the elder statesman, is different. He can see and say that the Blazers vs. anyone in the SEC - anytime, anywhere - is an opportunity too good to pass up.

"When UAB gets a chance to go to that bowl," he said, "whoever they play, it'll be big."

Give him Liberty, even with handcuffs.



Link Posted: 10/6/2005 3:32:51 PM EDT



The SEC gestapo needs an enema.  Bottom line.  Hardshell, you know anybody?
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 6:19:33 PM EDT
Whatever.

Bama has absolutely nothing to gain by playing UAB...ever.  If they win, it's no big deal but if they happen to lose....
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:46:07 AM EDT
Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once...
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 10:36:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CavalryJim:
Whatever.

Bama has absolutely nothing to gain by playing UAB...ever.  If they win, it's no big deal but if they happen to lose....



nor, AU playin' 'em either...

MSU & Mississippi made the mistake of playin' USM, but have hence rectified that situation.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 10:43:35 AM EDT
The asterisk, according to SEC executive associate commissioner Mark Womack, is hard and fast and not negotiable. A school like Mississippi State can't waive it to play a school like Southern Miss.

Like MSU EVER wants to play USM again.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 2:19:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:


The SEC gestapo needs an enema.  Bottom line.  Hardshell, you know anybody?



Hey man... Bama and Auburn will never give UAB a chance to play. As much as I enjoy watching UAB football sometimes, I think it was a fruitless effort. I don't see UAB EVER being much more than an MTSU football team. They don't have it and they never will.
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 5:30:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CavalryJim:
Whatever.

Bama has absolutely nothing to gain by playing UAB...ever.  If they win, it's no big deal but if they happen to lose....



I agree fully.

And I think that UAB could beat either team on a really bad day (OK, maybe not Alabama this year).

The folks in Tuscaloosa have gotten VERY nervous over the past several years when UAB has fielded very good teams because it takes away from the REAL Alabama team in Tuscaloosa.

What a bunch of bullshit. I find it very amusing that a big SEC school like Alabama gets rattled over a team like UAB who is THEIR DIRECT COUSIN.

UAB was founded to provide an urban Alabama education that Tuscaloosa could not offer: primarily nursing and medicne. And now Tuscaloosa gets scared.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 6:36:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Jfor:
... I don't see UAB EVER being much more than an MTSU football team. They don't have it and they never will.



A bunch of angry LSU fans who went to homecoming a few years ago expecting a "gimme" would probably disagree with you...  and a stunned Tennessee almost got a similar lesson this season.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 6:45:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Jfor:

Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:


The SEC gestapo needs an enema.  Bottom line.  Hardshell, you know anybody?



Hey man... Bama and Auburn will never give UAB a chance to play. As much as I enjoy watching UAB football sometimes, I think it was a fruitless effort. I don't see UAB EVER being much more than an MTSU football team. They don't have it and they never will.



Bah, I'm appalled!
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:43:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:

Originally Posted By Jfor:

Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:


The SEC gestapo needs an enema.  Bottom line.  Hardshell, you know anybody?



Hey man... Bama and Auburn will never give UAB a chance to play. As much as I enjoy watching UAB football sometimes, I think it was a fruitless effort. I don't see UAB EVER being much more than an MTSU football team. They don't have it and they never will.



Bah, I'm appalled!



We did suck this week as homecomming

That was a bad game. I would pick that one to go to.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 8:14:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2005 8:14:41 AM EDT by BeetleBailey]

Originally Posted By notso:

We did suck this week as homecomming

That was a bad game. I would pick that one to go to.



I was hoping that wouldn't be brought up .

I was there too.  

ETA:  25 yard line, close to the UAB band.  Where were you?
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 3:18:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:

Originally Posted By notso:

We did suck this week as homecomming

That was a bad game. I would pick that one to go to.



I was hoping that wouldn't be brought up .

I was there too.  

ETA:  25 yard line, close to the UAB band.  Where were you?



Other side of the band IIRC, I was in section 7 next to the crazy icicles who painted their chests and got hypothermia.
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