When it comes to scheduling nonconference foes, the SEC doesn't get much credit. Like, none. But Alabama has done pretty good job of stepping out of the SEC's comfort zone every once in a while.
There was the Michigan game this year, which was just ... yeah. Alabama played Penn State in 2011 and 1010, Virginia Tech in 2009 and Clemson in 2008. Alabama is also set to play Michigan State in a home-and-home in 2016 and 2017. Alabama will also meet West Virginia in the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Nick Saban has done a good job of getting at least one signature nonconference game a year.
And the Tide could be on the verge of yet another one, as it sounds like talks between Alabama and Wisconsin are going on to have a game between the two schools in 2015.
During a speaking engagement in Mobile, Ala., Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said that there are discussions between the two schools about a future game.
"I can't announce anything, but we're still talking about playing the game," Alvarez said. "We haven't signed anything, but we are in discussion."
There was speculation about this game earlier this year, but it appeared as though the idea was dead after Saban reportedly declined the game. Well, maybe things have changed.
And that's a good thing. For starters, with a playoff finally coming to college football, schedule strength will finally be important again. That means the SEC has to step up its schedule game because it might hurt some teams when it comes to deciding on that fourth playoff team.
So that got me to thinking (I know, rare occurrence): What other nonconference matchups would I like to see now that a playoff is coming?
Here are five nonconference matchups I'd like to see in the very near future. Your move head coaches and athletic directors:
1. Alabama vs. USC: Cali speed versus southern speed. All that flash against all that grit. Two historic programs going at it, and both are really talented. Please, sign me up. Lane Kiffin would get another shot at the SEC, and Alabama would get a chance to show off again on the national stage.
2. LSU vs. Texas: These two national powers already do battle in the recruiting world, so why not the real world? This would be a perfect matchup inside Jerry's World and that place would be rocking. Gumbo and brisket anyone? Yeah, that's a tough sell.
3. Florida vs. Oregon: So. Much. Speed! I'm sure this was one of the matchups many people thought about when Urban Meyer was still at Florida, but it's not like the Gators won't be able to recruit a ton of speed now that he's gone. A home-and-home would be great because of the venues, but neither team would have issues filling seats at a neutral site.
4. Georgia vs. Florida State: Mark Richt gets a shot at his old place of employment. Both do plenty of battles when it comes to recruiting and aren't too far away from each other. You could go home-and-home or play this at numerous neutral sites. Just imagine these two fan bases mingling with each other.
5. South Carolina vs. Ohio State: The Head Ball Coach taking on Meyer again? That storyline alone has me very intrigued. Plus, both of these teams are only going up from here. And Steve Spurrier is 2-0 against Meyer when Tim Tebow isn't his quarterback. I'm pretty sure Tebow's worn out his eligibility ...
I'm sure you guys have plenty more you'd like to see. What are yours?