Pat Dye is a legend in the world of Auburn football and what he says carries considerable weight. With that in mind, Dye has recently been discussing the possibility that the Tigers could move from the SEC West to the SEC East and his proposal is apparently expanding to other parts of the Auburn program.
“It makes sense. If we ever had the opportunity to geographically realign, it makes sense. It really makes sense for Missouri, because of the travel or other things like that.”
In simple terms, the geography works out, as Missouri operating in the SEC East is nonsensical. However, the set-up of the current SEC would not allow Auburn to play Alabama every season unless the Crimson Tide did not play against Tennessee. That, in addition to many other factors, makes the switch anything but easy and Jacobs acknowledged some of the pitfalls.
“Are we willing to give up the traditional rivalries? When you look around the nation at conferences that have done realignment, they’ve lost some of those rivalries. Has that helped them or hurt them? I don’t really know. What it would take to do that was for us to say ‘We’re not going to play the same traditional rivalries that we have in the past. We’re going to go to the East.’ Or does that matter? Do you look at a different way of scheduling altogether? We’re certainly open to it.
“I would want to preserve the Auburn-Alabama rivalry, however we could do that. … The Auburn-Alabama game right now, it just means too much to too many people to give that up. I think there are other ways that we could possibly change without having to give that rivalry up.”
This does not seem to be an issue that is on the front burner for anyone outside of Auburn but even chatter behind it is newsworthy because of the wide-ranging implications.