Brian Kelly via LSU Tigers on TigerBait YouTube

Brian Kelly Reacts To Possible New SEC Schedule: “I Want To Play The Best,” Says Non-SEC Teams “Don’t Excite Me”

LSU head coach Brian Kelly recently expressed his support for playing nine league games and facing off against the top teams in the conference, including Alabama as a permanent opponent.

While the new scheduling model is not yet official, projections suggest that the SEC will move away from the current divisional format and instead have teams play six rotating SEC opponents and three permanent opponents.

Brian Kelly Press Conference
Brian Kelly Press Conference via LSU Tigers on TigerBait YouTube

Brian Kelly a proponent of the new model, recently told ESPN, “I want to play the best. I came down here to the SEC because I wanted to play against Alabama. I want to play A&M. I want to play Auburn, the great teams, and in our new scheduling, we get to play Alabama every year, Ole Miss every year, and A&M, and that’s really why I came down here.”

“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 added. “It prepares you for the opportunity to play for a conference championship but also the national championship.”

Nick Saban
Nick Saban via BamaCentral YouTube

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Kelly’s comments came after Nick Saban expressed his displeasure with Alabama’s possible opponents saying, “I’ve always been an advocate for playing more conference games. But if you play more games, I think you have to get the three fixed opponents right. They’re giving us Tennessee, Auburn, and LSU. I don’t know how they come to that decision.”

Saban added, “Two of them are in the top 10, and the other is in the top 10 a lot. Look historically over a 25-year history, and the three best teams in the East are Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. You look historically at 25 years, Alabama, LSU, and Auburn are the three best teams in the West. So we’re playing them all.”

It’s a good point, and considering LSU’s three fixed programs would be Alabama, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M, you can see why Kelly is more accepting of the proposed model.

Brian Kelly After Beating Alabama in 2023
Brian Kelly After Beating Alabama in 2023 via LSU Sports YouTube

When asked about Nick Saban’s comments regarding the fairness of Alabama’s proposed permanent games, Kelly said, “I think everybody has their take on the schedules.”

Kelly added, “Nick has never backed down from a challenge. I’m not too worried about whether Nick Saban is going to have his team ready when he plays LSU. He’ll be ready.”

Brian Kelly via LSU Tigers on TigerBait YouTube

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Last month, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey expressed his excitement about leading a 16-team conference, citing the opportunity to reignite longstanding rivalries such as Texas A&M-Texas, Arkansas-Texas, and Oklahoma-Missouri.

To achieve this goal, Sankey has called upon athletic directors to increase the frequency with which teams are rotated throughout the league. The SEC’s athletic directors are expected to agree on the new scheduling model in late April or early May.

Greg Sankey speaks at 2022 SEC Media Days
Greg Sankey speaks at 2022 SEC Media Days via YouTube

What do you think about the new SEC scheduling model? Let us know in the comments below.

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