Charles Barkley says he’d rather root for Afghanistan than Alabama in College Football Playoff

Charles Barkley’s Auburn roots run deep to the point where he won’t support an Alabama team no matter the circumstances. 

Barkley, who played three seasons at Auburn from 1981 to 1984, was sitting courtside during the USC-Auburn men’s basketball game when he did an interview with ESPN. 

It was there where he made the connection between supporting Alabama to Afghanistan. 


“I can’t root for Alabama under any circumstances,” he said during the interview, per On3. “… I told you if they played Afghanistan, I’d be pulling for Afghanistan.”

Barkley added that head coach Nick Saban has been great to him despite his hatred toward the Crimson Tide. He noted that he and Saban have had quips for each other that stem from their college allegiances.


However, Barkley found a problem with Alabama moving into the College Football Playoff as the No. 4 seed, knocking out the undefeated Florida State Seminoles.

“Here’s my problem with the whole thing as a player; they [were penalized] because they lost their starters,” Barkley explained. “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 don’t like Alabama, I like Coach Saban. Winning with backups should have gave you brownie points, not penalize you. If we’re going to play sports now where it only matters if you’re using your starters, I don’t want to be in that world. They won three games with a backup and another backup. To be honest with you, I’m really looking forward to the playoffs now that I went on my rant.

“I have zero idea who’s going to win those two games because we got four elite teams, and I’m going to be watching.”

Barkley said he wouldn’t pick a winner of the national championship, but clearly the Crimson Tide is last on his list.

Barkley may be rooting for Florida State instead because they will take on the Georgia Bulldogs, who Alabama defeated in the SEC Championship to get into the playoff. Georgia was the No. 1 seed and undefeated until losing to Saban’s group.

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