Saban hoping 10 league games can lead to a permanent jump from eight

Crimson Tide photo / Alabama will play Missouri this Saturday for the fourth time since the Tigers joined the Southeastern Conference in 2012. The Crimson Tide have won the first three meetings by at least four touchdowns, including this 39-10 win inside Bryant-Denny Stadium two years ago.

For the last several years, Alabama football coach Nick Saban has been outspoken about the Southeastern Conference shifting from eight league games to nine to provide more good matchups for players and fans.

Saban is getting his desire and then some during the weeks ahead, as the SEC will begin its 10-game season consisting solely of league opposition this Saturday, but could it lead to something permanent? This year's season was delayed and reshaped in late July due to coronavirus concerns.

"I certainly think that playing 10 conference games makes it very challenging for the players, and it makes it very challenging for our team," Saban said Monday in a Zoom news conference. "I've always been an advocate of playing more games so that every player gets to play every team in the East (during their time in Tuscaloosa), and this is certainly going to create that opportunity to a large degree for a lot of our players.

"I