[Update: The Big Ten has issued a statement saying Delany was not referring to Alabama.]
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has given Alabama bulletin-board material for its season-opening showdown against Michigan at at Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 1.
“I don’t have a lot of regard for that team,” Delany said in an interview with the Associated Press about non-division winners. “I certainly wouldn’t have as much regard for that team as I would for someone who played nine conference games in a tough conference and played a couple out-of-conference games on the road against really good opponents.
“If a poll doesn’t honor those teams and they’re conference champions, I do.”
Delany appeared to be taking a shot at Alabama for making the BCS National Championship Game despite not winning its conference championship or even its SEC division title. Alabama played only eight conference games in the SEC.
This comes after Saban vehemently disagreed with Delany’s vision for a conference-champion-only playoff.
It should be pointed out that Alabama lost one game last year in the toughest conference in college football and had a nonconference game at the Big Ten’s own Penn State in September, which it crushed 27-11. Alabama also humiliated Michigan State in the 2011 Capital One Bowl, 49-7.
And now the Tide, winners of two of the last three national titles, opens the 2012 season with a neutral site game against Michigan. You can bet they will be even more jacked up to defend their national title now.