The UAB football team will be looking to make some noise early as they’ve agreed to travel to College Station in 2018 to take on the Texas A&M Aggies.
There are also rumors floating around about going to the Plains to face Auburn sometime in the near future.
While a lot of this may have to do with the money the university receives in return for playing these elite programs, I also think head coach Bill Clark knows that the fastest way to get his team and this program back on the map is to play high level competition, and to show that they can compete with those teams.
From 2008 to 2014 the Blazers played 13 games against SEC opponents, and while they failed to pick up a win in any of those games, they managed to compete in a lot of them, including taking the Volunteers to overtime in Knoxville in 2010. That same year they lost by just five to Mississippi State.
In 2014, the last year UAB played football, they hung in there with a very good Mississippi State team losing by just 13.
So while these games give fans an opportunity to travel to a fun college football environment, a win – or even a close game – can help put the team on the map.
In their first season back in 2017 UAB will take on Florida, and I expect in the years to come that coach Clark will get the team back to playing at least two SEC games a year.
It doesn’t just have to be an SEC team either. It was fun seeing the team go into Columbus, Ohio in 2012 and hang close with Ohio State in a 29-15 loss.
I think Coach Clark has enough confidence in the kids they’ve brought in, and in the future generation of kids they will bring in, that he believes they’ll be able to compete with some of the best teams in the nation.
We better schedule them now, because before long they won’t want to see the Blazers coming to town!