Charles Barkley refuses to root for Alabama even if they ‘played Afghanistan’
Charles Barkley went on a passionate rant about why he “can’t root for Alabama” in the College Football Playoff while sitting courtside at the USC-Auburn men’s basketball game Sunday.
The “Inside the NBA” personality, who is an Auburn alum, didn’t hold back when he likened Afghanistan to supporting Alabama and explained his “problem” with undefeated Florida State missing the CFP.
I cant root for Alabama under any circumstances, Barkley said during an interview with ESPN on the broadcast Sunday, according to On3. I love Coach Saban. Hes been great to me.
“But I can never root for Alabama. Under any circumstances. I told you if they played Afghanistan, Id be pulling for Afghanistan.
4Former NBA and Auburn player Charles Barkley walks onto the field prior to an NCAA football ame between Georgia and Auburn on Sept. 30, 2023, in Auburn, Ala. APBarkley’s banter is all in fun, as he and Saban have exchanged playful comments all the way back to the Iron Bowl rivalry between Auburn and Alabama.
The NBA legend added that he can’t pick a winner for the CFP, which includes No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama in the Rose Bowl and No. 2 Washington facing No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.
Barkley also explained why he believes FSU was “penalized” by the CFP committee after the Seminoles went undefeated despite losing their quarterback, Jordan Travis, the ACC Player of the Year, who suffered a season-ending broken leg against North Alabama in November.
4Alabama head coach Nick Saban walks the field after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia in Atlanta on Dec. 2, 2023. AP4Former NBA player Charles Barkley high fives fans during the Tiger Walk before the Iron Bowl NCAA college football game against Alabama in 2017. APHeres my problem with the whole thing as a player, they penalize because they lost their starters, Barkley said. I said, Well, wait a minute, you showed total disrespect to the backups. That was my whole problem.
“Hey, you know how much I love Coach Saban and Alabama. I mean, I dont like Alabama, I like Coach Saban. Winning with backups should have gave you brownie points, not penalize you.
If were gonna play sports now where it only matters if youre using your starters, I dont want to be in that world. They won three games with a backup and another backup. To be honest with you, Im really looking forward to the playoffs now that I went on my rant.
“I have zero idea whos going to win those two games because we got four elite teams and Im gonna be watching.
4Alabama head coach Nick Saban. APThe Seminoles became the first unbeaten Power 5 conference winner to miss out on the CFP.
Florida State will instead take on Georgia in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.
Head coach Mike Norvell said he was “disgusted and infuriated with the committee’s decision” in a statement earlier this month.
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