Did LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly Takes Dig At Nick Saban For Whining Over SEC Schedule

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has always been one to voice his displeasure when things aren’t to his liking. From the NIL having no real restrictions to his wrongly accusing Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders of “buying” 2022 No. 1 overall recruit Travis Hunter. Saban even took a shot at his former offensive coordinator, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher as pertains to NIL deals being used to lure players. 

Now the seven-time national championship-winning coach isn’t too happy about the new SEC format with Texas and Oklahoma set to join the conference in 2024. 

In an interview Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated last week, Saban didn’t sound too pleased with the conference’s decision to give the Crimson Tide a pretty tough trio of permanent opponents beginning in 2024. 

“I’ve always been an advocate for playing more conference games,” Saban told Dellenger. “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 came to that decision.”

Saban’s gripe is baseless, because the Crimson Tide already plays those three teams in rivalry games yearly. With the Volunteers and Bayou Bengals both beating the Tide.

Seven-time national championship-winning coach Nick Saban isn’t too happy about the new SEC format with Texas and Oklahoma set to join the conference in 2024. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

LSUs Brian Kelly Welcomes The Challenge 

On Monday, Kelly gave his take on the new SEC in an interview with ESPN and said it’s the reason he came to the conference. 

“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,” said Kelly, who is entering his second season at LSU. “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 want to play those games, and I think playing nine SEC games is great for your schedule, and it prepares you for the opportunity to play for a championship but also play for the national championship.”

Kelly is like bring on all challenges and we’ll be ready. And if you know Saban this is his MO, complain about something new that changes things and then go out and dominate. 

Kelly’s Not Fooled By Saban’s Ways 

Although he may fuss and complain, Kelly knows Saban will be up for the new SEC gauntlet beginning in 2024. But that didn’t stop him from taking a subtle little dig at Saban on Monday. But he also acknowledged and showed respect for Saban and his ability to prepare his team.

“I think everybody has their take on the schedules,” Kelly said. “Nick has never backed down from a challenge. I’m not too worried about whether Nick Saban is going to have his team ready to play LSU. He’ll be ready.”

Saban hasn’t been too happy with the changes in the college football landscape, where he once held the upper hand in every way. The Crimson Tide general has to get through this adjustment period.

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