Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are the dominant team in the SEC. After becoming a regular fixture in National Championship game, the Tide would undoubtedly benefit most from the conference relaxing rules on the matter.
That’s why it is so puzzling why Saban is so opposed.
Last season, Saban made headlines by attempting to block Maurice Smith from transferring to Georgia. Smith was eventually able to transfer, but only after obtaining an official waiver from the SEC.
According to Barrett Sallee on SiriusXM, Saban is staunchly against what he deems “free agency in the SEC”
“Why should guys leave your team and go play for someone else and then you have to play against them? I don’t think that’s fair. I think we would benefit as much as anybody in our league if you said we could transfer. Kentucky’s got a good player? Let’s go see if we can get him to come to Alabama. Why do we want that? Why do we need that? How does that help the integrity of what we are trying to do as a conference?”
Saban might be trying to protect the integrity of the conference. Or he might be trying to protect the status quo of the conference. With Alabama handling its rivals in the toughest conference in college football every year, it stands to reason they’d like things to stay the same.
Making in-conference transferring more accessible might make it easier for some teams to build a powerhouse that could rival the Tide. LSU and Auburn would also draw huge numbers of talented players from smaller SEC schools. Kentucky and Missouri would essentially be non-factors.