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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: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:33 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Hard to believe that in 2012 anyone would consider whether a school is from a state that was in the confederacy to qualify for membership in the SEC. Talk about living in the past. Get over it, the confederacy lost and winning in football is not going to change history.



Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:21 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Maryland was never one of the 13 stars on the Rebel flag and neither was West Virginia. Kentucky and Missouri were......thus they're a better fit. End of story.



Since: Sep 3, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:08 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

they teach us how to spell


andyham7
Since: Oct 29, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 7:07 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Sep 3, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 6:42 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Missouri had a star on the CSA flag but they never left the Union the same with Kentucky and Maryland
plus that was 150 plus years ago, what does that have to do with college football? 



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 6:24 pm
 

Flip a coin

Either way, the SEC got what they needed: a tomato can to make the schedules of the better teams easier.  Like Mizzou, WVU would have been lucky to ever go .500 in the SEC.  I wish they had gotten the invitation just so they could have been humiliated as much as they deserve.  
 
WVU will lose at least three games every year in the Big 12, but they could easily have lost five a year in the SEC.  Either way, I don't expect those bragging billboards to be a yearly ritual.   



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: February 11, 2012 4:56 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

Missouri is a better fit because they were part of the Confederacy as were all the other schools in the SEC. West Virginia was not. Thus, historically the new alignment in the SEC makes sense.

What about other candidates? Well, Tulane and Georgia Tech used to be members, and the Yellow Jackets could make a very good case as they had good rivalries with Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee and Alabama. Tulane is no longer competitive enough to make it in this conference. Yes, I know, Ole Miss has struggled of late too. Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Florida State and Miami would be good choices too although their ties to the SEC in the past other than Clemson vs. South Carolina and Florida vs. Florida State and Miami are very tenuous.

The best choice for inclusion in the SEC would have been Georgia Tech. But, the Yellow Jackets presumably showed no interest in rejoining the conference. The next best choice was Missouri, and they are in. West Virginia is a better choice than Texas A&M historically, but the Aggies have more of a history playing SEC schools than the Mountaineers do.

Thus, it was quite right than the SEC did not cave in to the influence and power of Coach Saban on this issue.



Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 4:12 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

WVU would off ben much better fit then Missouri(who is in the SEC EAST?) or add them both plus add a North caonia school, maybe Wake Forest with the extra money and the recruiting bost of SEC.




Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 3:46 pm
 

Report: Saban tried to get WVU SEC invitation

West Virginia historically better than Missouri? I don't see that in either sport. Regardless, the SEC could've waited and gotten someone better than either of them. Unfortunately, after admitting Texas A&M (a pretty good choice IMO) they were backed into a corner and had to hastily add a 14th school.


andyham7
Since: Oct 29, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2012 3:00 pm
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Post Deleted by Administrator



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