Saban Would Not Oppose Adding A&M

Alabama Coach Nick Saban is not saying he is for expansion of the Southeastern Conference, and specifically the addition of Texas A&M from the Big 12 to the SEC, but he probably wouldn't oppose it.

when Alabama Coach Nick Saban was asked about the possibility of the SEC taking in Texas A&M, he said, rather unconvincingly, "I don t really know a whole lot about it, and I don t really have a strong opinion about it, other than the fact that I have a tremendous amount of faith, trust and confidence in our presidents, our commissioner who has done a fabulous job in this league all of the people in the SEC office. They ll make a good decision about what s best for our league and how we proceed in the future. I feel comfortable and confident in that."

Saban was at Michigan State when Penn State went into the Big Ten. His experience following that addition has shaped his opinion to some extent.

"There were all kinds of naysayers," Saban said. "Why would we let a team as good as Penn State into the league. It s going to mess up the balance of the league. And all of these different negative things that people had to say about it.

"And the fact of the matter is, Penn State opened up the whole East to the Big Ten. We could never get a player anywhere in the East at Michigan State before Penn State got into the league. It became one of our best faraway recruiting places all the way from the Tidewater, where Plaxico Burress was from, or Julian Peterson from Washington, D.C., all the way up to Philadelphia, all the way to New York City and New England because the Big Ten got a tremendous amount of exposure in the East, which they never got before.

"So it actually helped Michigan State that Penn State got in the league. Now that was another tough game that we had to play, but we always played one more tough game than what we needed to anyway."

Because of that experience, Saban said, "I guess this would say that I really don t oppose it. And I m not saying I think we should do it. I m just saying I wouldn t oppose it."

Saban said, "I have all the respect in the world for the Big 12. There are a lot of good teams in that league: Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri. There re a lot of good teams over there. But I also feel like we've got very capable people in the right positions to make the right decisions for the future of the league. We've got a great league the way it is. It doesn't need to be changed, unless it benefits the league as a whole."?

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