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Blog Entry

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Posted on: February 10, 2012 5:16 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 5:18 pm
 

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As of this moment, there is -- almost without question -- no more powerful coach in all of college football than Alabama's Nick Saban. But as it turns out, even Saban couldn't pull enough strings to get someone other than Missouri the coveted 14th invite to the SEC.

That's according to the account provided to the Charleston Daily Mail by West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, West Virginia University graduate, who said he and Saban had spoken and "were working toward" snagging that invitation for the Mountaineers before the league settled on the Tigers. Both Saban and his wife Terry are West Virginia natives, and Saban spent two seasons in the late '70s as a defensive assistant for the Mountaineers.

"I thought we could have been in the SEC," Manchin said. "I talked to my dear friend Nick Saban about that, and, like me, he said, 'I would like West Virginia in the SEC,' and we were working toward that."

The Charleston Gazette also reported in October that Saban had been lobbying behind the scenes for West Virginia. But to no avail: Missouri was officially added as the SEC's 14th team in early November.

"They chose Missouri instead, and then you never heard a thing else about it," Manchin said.

That decision helped lead to a bitter political struggle between Manchin and Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell. McConnell, a Louisville graduate and Republican, reportedly attempted to block the Mountaineers' bid to join the Big 12 with the hopes of getting the Cardinals the invitation instead; Manchin, a Democrat, responded by publicly calling for Congress to hold hearings on whether McConnell had committed an ethics violation.

In the end, of course, Manchin and the Mountaineers got their happy ending -- they're not even going to have to wait an extra year -- and Manchin says the feud with McConnell is in the past. But with as powerful an ally as Saban on his side, you have to wonder if he doesn't wonder what might have been if the SEC had lent a more friendly ear.

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Comments

Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: February 12, 2012 9:39 am
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Steelbuckets........I was responding to another poster who was claiming that the bottom of the SEC was weak. The bottom of every conference is weak; that's why those teams are at the bottom.I'm just merely pointing out the the bottom of the SEC had wins over OOC teams that the bottom of other conferences (Big Ten,Big Twelve,Pac-Twelve) didn't have. Wake Forest was a 5-3 team within the ACC while Vanderbilt was only a 2-6 SEC team so IMO that's a quality win for the SEC. Vanderbilt also gave Cincinnati a run for their money in the Music City Bowl thereby proving that Tennessee's win over Cincinnati was more than just a "blind squirrel finding an acorn". Florida (also without many of their key players) was a 3-5 SEC team beating an Ohio St. team that was 3-5 within the Big Ten. Therefore that's another quality win for the SEC. And these wins I'm listing were achieved by the bottom of the SEC. I haven't even begun to list what the top of the conference did.
The debate is whether West Virginia would've finished with a winning record within the SEC. I think they'd of gone 7-5 against all 12 teams in the league but that's just me.



Since: Aug 9, 2011
Posted on: February 12, 2012 9:27 am
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Also you do realize that he said the REGULAR SEASON.  In the regular season, he is correct as you have UT over Cincy and MSU over Wake for 2 FBS wins.  Wake is NOT anything worth bragging about and even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then.......



Since: Aug 9, 2011
Posted on: February 12, 2012 9:20 am
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Tennessee was a 1-7 team within the SEC but they were able to beat Cincinnati, a team that tied West Virginia for the Big East title. Vanderbilt beat Wake Forest, Florida beat Ohio St., and Mississippi St. beat Wake Forest.
I'm not sure what the point is here as I may have missed the post you are replying to, but I'd rank the UT win over Cincy as one of those "blind squirrels finding an acorn phenomen" as Cincy is far better than that.  As for the rest of them, you do realize that they were all sub .500 teams right?  So, beating a bunch of losers is something to brag about?  Ohio State was without most of their team all year and really never got it together with the NCAA witch-hunt going on and Tressel being thrown under the bus and Wake Forest has NEVER been a good football team (basketball maybe, not football), so they are not worth bragging about at all--might as well say they beat Duke or Troy.
 



Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: February 12, 2012 1:22 am
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

What the heck is all this inanity about the Confederacy? 

Don't you know that this is exactly what many of the losing teams from other sections of the country (and some winners too!) are constantly saying about the SEC: that this is our way of getting back for not winning the Civil War?  This is insane!

The Civil War has NOTHING to do with this--it's about culture and geographic location, it's about RIVALRY in FOOTBALL--it's the SEC, NOT the CSC--it NEVER was intended as a "Confederate" conference, and it saddens me to see some folk in here lend credence to the absurd notion that football has become a means for avenging the war--it's a SPORT, and the SEC is d@mned good at it--let it go there and don't give the fools who think it's about an old war any more ammunition so they can use that as a non-sequitur means of whining!

It was a great loss in my opinion when the SEC lost Georgia Tech as their rivalry with Georgia was a great in state rivalry akin to the Auburn Alabama game. I regret that politics has prevented there being another real power in my beloved bayou state for I would dearly love an in-state rivalry. Tulane was "once upon a time" that rival; but size and scope of the football program made Tulane too easy of a win and that's too bad too. (They were also once in the SEC and like Vandy and Ky, usually in the doormat section with all due respect to those programs.) Getting back to this CW nonsense, I could care less. I'm talking great football--not a war fought over 150 years ago that would have divided this great nation had the result been different. Think about that option! The teams of the SEC "should" be in the SEC because they're generally in the southeast.   I know, I know, geography be hanged with all the realignment. Idaho is hardly in the East, and many other teams have joined conferences quite distant from their original conference alignment. Colorado is about as "Pacific" as Louisiana is Arctic. The whole thing has gone haywire--but all that notwithstanding, I think WVU would have been a great addition to the SEC (No slight to MO. as my father's side of the family hails from the "show me" state and my brother attended the University of Missouri.) I simply consider it more SEC than MO which borders Illinois and we're getting pretty far-afield from the southeast. I actually would have liked to see Georgia Tech rejoin, and perhaps a team from NC, Florida State would have been a great addition given it's already well established rivalry with Florida. 

Bottom line--hindsight is 20-20 and we'll just have to do with what we have. It is what it is, and all-in-all, I think the expansion of the SEC is far less geographically absurd than some of the other realignments. I just wish they'd put all this Civil War nonsense to bed once and for all.

 



Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:29 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

West Virginia probably would've gone better than .500 last year in the SEC. No argument there but you list the bottom of the SEC as though it was terrible and it wasn't. Tennessee was a 1-7 team within the SEC but they were able to beat Cincinnati, a team that tied West Virginia for the Big East title. Vanderbilt beat Wake Forest, Florida beat Ohio St., and Mississippi St. beat Wake Forest. I don't know where you get off posting that the bottom of the SEC only beat two FBS teams in 2011. That's garbage. In fact the bottom of the SEc was FAR stronger than the bottom of any other conference........that's why the SEC has been the best for several years.



Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2012 9:55 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

fla, vandy, miss st miss,tenn and kent had TWO wins against fbs reams in the regular season last year, and you are saying wvu wouldnt go 500. they went 10-3 and demolihed clemson, who by the way beat auburn. me thiks you are underestimating. if they was in the sec all they would have to do is schedul the 4 creampuffs that the sec does and beat 2 teams. they would beat kent tenn miss vandy for sure. big12 got rid of misery and got a better team. same with a&m.



Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 9:26 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

I'm not sure about West Virginia either......not Virginia.



Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 9:25 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

It's hard to believe anyone's stupid enough to interpret that the Civil War banter is serious. What is important is that the new members of the conference can fit in culturally. In other words.....do they love football and will they support their programs "SEC style"? That's why the Civil War was brought up.
I'm not worried about Texas A&M in that regard. They average 70,000 a game and their football program is one of the Top 20-25 programs of all time when it comes to success on the field.  Missouri? I'm not sure about them. They're not really a southern university even though that state was one of the 13 starts on the Rebel flag. More importantly, do they love football in Missouri with a passion? They might....I'm not sure. But I'm not sure about Virginia either.
BTW......the Confederacy didn't lose. They just ran out of soldiers.



Since: Sep 3, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:37 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

been trying to say that
Wash 



Since: Sep 3, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:34 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

West Virginia was part of Virginia so they were part of the flag

 but still what does this have to do with football 


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