Not that you didn’t already know, but the Iron Bowl rivalry never really sleeps.
This week, it was confirmed that Alabama’s Week 4 game against Southern Miss is set for a noon ET kickoff, which will mark the fourth consecutive afternoon start for the Crimson Tide this season. That trend isn’t sitting well with the university, with athletic director Greg Byrne expressing disappointment over the start times.
“We are disappointed that our game against Southern Miss has been selected as a daytime kickoff at home,” Byrne said in his statement Monday. “We realize we’ve played more non-conference day games at home in September than any other SEC team since 2014. There have been a number of conversations with our conference office, and they also recognize the challenges these kick times present for our student-athletes and fans.”
Fast-forward nearly 24 hours, and Gus Malzahn met with the media to discuss Auburn’s Week 3 game with Kent State, which is set for a seven p.m. ET kickoff. In doing so, he appeared to toss some serious, albeit lighthearted shade at his in-state rivals.
Submitted without comment, we present Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn…
'Playing a very solid Kent State team. 6 p.m. kick. Personally, I wish it was at noon. We'd have more time to prepare for our next opponent.'
(Todd Van Emst photo) pic.twitter.com/RxDB6H2NW5
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) September 10, 2019
Malzahn was later asked if the extra six hours of potential preparation was worth the challenges of playing an early game under the sweltering September sun, and the Tigers coach simply smirked and said “that’s a good question.”
When prodded for an answer, Malzahn said, “My answer is I wish we were playing at noon.
Auburn and Alabama will meet Nov. 30 at Jordan-Hare Stadium for the 84th renewal of the rivalry, with a likely start time of 3:30 Eastern. The Crimson Tide has won four of the last five matchups and six of the last eight, with all of the wins in that stretch coming by at least 11 points.