Auburn passes on 2010 Pac 10 opponent


The committee for the Chik-fil-A college football kickoff classic approached both Auburn and UCLA to arrange a 2010 Georgia Dome meeting of the two programs. Auburn declined.The Tigers will be hosting Clemson that season, and apparently, one out-of-conference BCS opponent is enough.

Instead of accepting the invitation, they’ve chosen to follow through on the prior commitment to open against Arkansas State. Tennessee-Chatanooga and Louisiana-Monroe round out the remainder of their 2010 out-of-conference schedule. So I say, sarcastically, obviously there was no room to work the Bruins in.

I often question the scheduling of small programs by major players of the college football landscape, and I usually receive the same answers:

1) The school was scheduled to keep the money in-state
2) The smaller program doesn’t require a home-and-home, so it amounts to a bigger payday than scheduling a BCS school, as all the money is made in your house.
3) No one else was found to fill that hole in the schedule.

These reasons aren’t reflective of Auburn’s decision, and the better answer would be, “We just don’t want to play them”. Of the 4 out of conference opponents for 2010, none are in-state. Alabama earned nearly $2 million for playing Clemson in the Chik-fil-A classic a year ago, along with the exposure gained from the national broadcast, so it can’t really be about the money. And as for the third reason, Auburn has a full slate, but programs back out of commitments all the time, especially if the replacement indicates an improvement of digits that trail the dollar sign.

In 2004, an undefeated Auburn team was denied an opportunity to play for a national title, because their soft out-of-conference schedule became a liability, crippling any attempts to leap frog undefeated Oklahoma or USC.

How quickly some programs forget.

~ by Anthony on April 21, 2009.

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