Neutral Zone Trap
Alabama head coach, and former Michigan State assistant, Nick Saban today discussed his team's scheduling philosophy at SEC spring meetings.
Saban talked at length about difficulty scheduling OOC games, so I asked about Mich St, which wanted to play Bama but games cancelled... — Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) May 27, 2014
Saban said he'll play them but when/where complicated - Mich St doesn't want to play neutral site, he says — Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) May 27, 2014
The Spartans actually had a home-and-home series scheduled against the Tide for 2016 (in Tuscaloosa) and 2017 (in East Lansing). However, Alabama opted to cancel the contract, citing "uncertainty with the SEC schedule."
And it's a bit unfair to lay blame for that on an unwillingness by Michigan State to play neutral site games. A Spartans spokesmen tells me that in lieu of the scheduled home-and-home, Alabama had proposed playing a pair of neutral site games games, but in two southern cities: Atlanta and Dallas.
Also consider that Michigan State has indeed demonstrated a readiness to tackle tough environments. This upcoming season, for instance, the Spartans will travel to Eugene to face an Oregon squad that's won 15 of their last 16 at Autzen Stadium.