Non-conference scheduling has gotten better in college football in recent years, but almost all of the marquee games are held at neutral sites.
Two powerhouse programs may take a different route.
According to the Tuscaloosa News, Alabama is in the midst of negotiating future home-and-home series with both Notre Dame and Texas. In those instances, one game in a series would be played in Tuscaloosa with the other in South Bend for Notre Dame and Austin for UT.
Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne confirmed to the outlet that there have been discussions about potential home-and-home series, but would not specify the programs Alabama has been in contact with:
UA Director of Athletics Greg Byrne would not confirm that the schools are in talks, but did say the athletic department is pursuing future two-game deals that would have Alabama play a game at Bryant-Denny Stadium and also play on the opposing school’s campus.
“I’ll say that we are exploring some home-and-homes,” Byrne said.
Alabama has not played a non-conference home-and-home series since it had Penn State on the schedule in 2010 and 2011. The Tide swept those two games and has a 49-6 record against opponents outside the SEC during Nick Saban’s head-coaching tenure. In addition to its slate of Group of Five and FCS home games, Alabama has future non-conference games scheduled against Louisville (2018, in Orlando), Duke (2019, in Atlanta) and Miami (2021, in Atlanta).
In the case of Notre Dame, its status as an independent program and arrangement with the ACC means there are many games already penciled into future schedules. The Fighting Irish have their ACC opponents locked in through 2037 in addition to arrangements with regular opponents like USC, Stanford and Navy. The Irish also have games with Michigan (2018), Vanderbilt (2018), Georgia (2019), Wisconsin (2020 at Lambeau Field), Arkansas (2020), North Carolina (2021), Ohio State (home-and-home: 2022 and 2023) and Texas A&M (home-and-home: 2024 and 2025) on the horizon.
With all of those games locked in, a Notre Dame vs. Alabama series likely wouldn’t fit in for many years. The teams have previously played seven times dating back to 1973, with Notre Dame claiming five victories. The most recent meeting was the 2013 BCS title game — a 42-14 Alabama win.
Texas will play the second half of home-and-home agreements with Maryland and USC in 2018 and also has future home-and-homes with LSU (2019 and 2020), Ohio State (2022 and 2023) and Michigan (2024 and 2026).
The Longhorns and Crimson Tide have played eight times with the first matchup coming all the way back in 1902. Like with Notre Dame, the most recent game was a national championship won by Alabama — the Tide’s 37-21 win in 2010.
Note: All future schedule info obtained via the great FBSchedules.com.
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