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#pounditThursday, March 30, 2023

Brian Kelly responds to proposed SEC schedule

Brian Kelly smiles at an LSU press conference

Dec 1, 2021; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Newly named LSU Tigers head football coach Brian Kelly answers media questions after being introduced in a press conference at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Dennis-USA TODAY Sports

LSU coach Brian Kelly is not quite in agreement with Nick Saban on the proposed new SEC schedule.

The SEC is planning on adding a ninth conference game and eliminating divisions once Texas and Oklahoma join the league in 2024. One way of doing this that is being considered involves giving each SEC team three permanent opponents and six rotating ones. Under the SEC’s current plans, which are based on a 10-year rolling success metric, LSU and Alabama would be paired as permanent opponents, with the Crimson Tide also facing Auburn and Tennessee.

Kelly told Heather Dinich of ESPN that he is totally on board with facing the Tide every year, citing that sort of game as the reason he left Notre Dame for the SEC.

“I’ve been in this for three decades, and no disrespect to any of the other schools that we play outside of the SEC, but they just don’t excite me,” Kelly said. “I want to play the best. I came down here to the SEC because I wanted to play against Alabama.”

Kelly’s remarks are in contrast to what Nick Saban had to say about the proposed scheduling. In short, Saban thinks Alabama is getting the short end of the stick with the schedule.

Kelly’s attitude is admirable, though it helps that the Tide are regarded as the superior program to LSU these days. The Tigers would have a lot to gain from facing Alabama regularly as it provides them with a huge opportunity for a signature win, a chance that LSU seized in Kelly’s first season.

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