Earlier this year, Alabama Coach Nick Saban was asked about playing neutral site games as opposed to home-and-home arrangements with non-conference team. Saban said he would prefer to play all games in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Obviously, no team is going to have all home games. But how much does it really matter?
In his previous nine years at Alabama, Saban has coached the Crimson Tide in 72 regular season Southeastern Conference games, 36 at home and 36 on the road. His record in those 72 games is 60-12, and it’s equal at Bryant-Denny Stadium and on the road, 30-6 in both home and away games.
Saban has won four national championships at Alabama. His first, the 2009 team, went undefeated. The other three all suffered one loss.
In 2011, Bama went 12-1 in winning the national title. The lone loss was to LSU, 9-6 in overtime, in Tuscaloosa.
In 2012, the Tide went 13-1, losing one game: to Texas A&M, 29-24, in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Last year’s national championship team was 14-1. Alabama lost to Ole Miss, 43-37, on the Alabama home field.
This week Alabama will be on the road for its first SEC game of the year. The Tide, ranked first in the nation, will take on No. 17 Ole Miss in Oxford at 2:30 p.m. CDT Saturday with CBS televising the game.
Saban is 8-1 in his previous opening SEC games on the road, the one loss coming to Mississippi in 2014.
(Facts are facts: although Alabama has a 51-10-2 all-time record against Ole Miss, including an 8-3 record in games played in Oxford, the Rebels have won the last two meetings, in 2014 by 23-17 and last year in Tuscaloosa.)
Saban at Alabama is 7-2 against the Rebels, including a 3-1 record in Oxford.
Historically, some of Alabama’s biggest wins have been on the road and some of its most disappointing losses at home (Tuscaloosa or in Birmingham when most of the big Bama games were played at Legion Field). The was brought to mind in this year’s Alabama-Southern Cal opener in Arlington, Texas, this year. With that 52-6 win, the Tide now has a 6-2 all-time record against the Trojans. The two losses came in Birmingham. Bama has defeated USC three times in the Los Angeles Coliseum, once in the Rose Bowl, once in the Aloha Bowl, and this year in Texas.