Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Idle Hands: ‘Bama Begins Uncanny SEC Schedule

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Greg McElroy  of the Alabama Crimson Tide hands the ball off to Mark Ingram  during the game against the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
If the three-game stretch against Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina was/is considered the “gauntlet” portion of the Alabama schedule, the remainder of the SEC calendar should be known as the “Crimson Tide Bye.”

The contest against South Carolina will symbolize the start of six consecutive SEC games for the Crimson Tide where the opponent will have been afforded a bye week prior to playing Alabama.

The Alabama bye week will come a week prior to the contest with LSU in Baton Rouge.

However, the LSU Tigers will also be idle the same week as the Crimson Tide.

So…are bye weeks good or bad?

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 11: Dre Kirkpatrick  of the Alabama Crimson Tide breaks up a pass intended for Devon Smith  of the Penn State Nittany Lions at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Alabama coach Nick Saban has gone on record with research stating that over the last five years SEC teams (excluding Alabama), are
29-29 following the so-called “benefit” of the bye week.

Coach Nick Saban believes the importance of an idle week is merely circumstantial.

Common knowledge would suggest that a bye week allows a team to recover from injury and regain focus. However, an off week could also put an “end” to momentum and the idle time could be detrimental to team morale.

Advantage or disadvantage one thing is certainly clear.

Since the SEC reformatted the league in 1992 to include two six-team divisions, no school has played as many “idle-week” teams as the Alabama Crimson Tide will play during the 2010 season.

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