Day shift just doesn’t suit Alabama these days, and we get it. It’s hot. It’s real hot.
But whom to blame for the fact that the Crimson Tide keeps landing these daytime kickoffs, like that awful 11 a.m. kick for Southern Miss on Sept. 21?
Blame the triple-whammy. The Tide is damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t and damned because it must.
College athletics programs enslave themselves to TV, so they must kick off at the best time slot network overlords can afford them.
According to Nick Saban, Alabama has trouble finding more attractive opponents, hence dog games against opponents glad to come and get the guarantee check. Just like Saban teaches his players, don’t look at the scoreboard.
Unattractive games fall down the pecking order of network priorities, so here Alabama stands, caught at the nexus of the networks’ and the SEC’s pursuit of a national audience, and Alabama fatigue. If folks outside of the Alabama fan base are to watch, they want an opponent that night give them at least a half of belief.
Maybe, just maybe, they’ll see an upset.
What if Alabama said to heck with TV? If the Tide can’t get a cooler time slot in September, just take its ball and play at night.
The game won’t air, but that’s more incentive for fans to come and stay through blowouts. The folks who would do it need their Tide fix, after all.
It’s not like Alabama will lose national branding, not while Saban has it perpetually in the national-title conversation. A little less exposure could mean fewer people flipping through channels and finding that ugly score with second-teamers on the field.
Could that mean just a little less Alabama fatigue?
Fat chance, almost as fat as the chance any program would say no to TV.