Tide preparation open dates halved

The Southeastern Conference has released its composite 2011 football schedule, and this time with no backlash.

"I haven't heard any negativity," SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said Thursday.

Alabama quickly balked when last year's schedule was released, because the Crimson Tide were forced to play their final six league games against teams that had open dates the week before. The Tide wound up 3-3 in those games, the lone blemishes of a 10-3 season that culminated with a 49-7 thrashing of Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl.

This year's schedule originally had Alabama playing four SEC opponents coming off open dates, but Auburn switched a nonconference game against Samford from Nov. 5 to the week before the Iron Bowl.

"I can't think of any other situation that forced us to facilitate any other moves," Bloom said.