Well, this sounds like a neat trade. Kent State wriggled out of their 2011 game with Purdue to instead travel to Tuscaloosa for a game against Alabama on September 3, the opening week of the season, payout escape clause be damned.
Any special bonds in this upcoming rout? Oh, no big deal. It's only the return of MAC native son Nick Saban.
The lovingly-hatable coach of the SEC's meanest, crimsonest team played at Kent State from 1970-71 (almost 15 years after Lou Holtz) and somehow because the head coach at Toledo for one wild autumn in 1990 before waffling between the NFL and the NCAA ranks. And even as much of a punk success he has become, he still respects his roots.
Get a load of this cat talking up our quaint set of 13 teams:
The Mid-American Conference is really good football conference, I think. There’s been a lot of good players and a lot of good coaches come out of that league for a long, long time. They have their own tradition. I coached in that league. I played in that league, so I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kent State and the Mid-American Conference.
What's with the sudden love? Maybe because his fullback decided to transfer to this curious conference.
But Saban's career MAC record, including Michigan State and LSU, is 12-1. That one loss Toledo's 13-12 defeat in '90 to CMU, with whom they shared a conference title. And no, Saban says he had nothing to do with scheduling his alma mater. Also, as pointed out by Decatur Daily's Michael Casagrande, Alabama's last tussle with the MAC was in 2003, when they lost to then-ranked NIU 19-16. That was during the Tide's drab Mike Shula days. If you see an Alabama fan today, please remind them that one time they sucked, and at some point they will again.
They will not, however, suck enough to lose to KSU, even if superhero lineman Roosevelt Nix flies around and kidnaps every quarterback on the depth chart, feeding them nothing but Akron highlight reels. But hey! They'll be on national TV! And the game could be glose after 15 minutes. False hopes are the opiate of the masses.