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Alabama-USC set for 2016 opener in Arlington

Alabama USC

Hell.  Yes.  Now we’re (officially) talking.

Of all the big non-conference matchups that have come down the pike over the past few months, this might be the biggest.  And most anticipated.

In twin press releases, Alabama and USC announced that the two storied football programs will kick off the 2016 college football season Sept. 3 with a neutral site game.  The game will be played at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Tex., in what by then will the eighth annual Cowboys Classic.

The announcement is not actually a surprise in that there was speculation a couple of months ago, but it’s still huge scheduling news.

The two programs last met in the Aloha Bowl following the 1985 season and first met in 1938.  All told, the Tide and the Trojans have squared off seven times — the former owns a 5-2 edge — including the historic meeting in 1970 “in which John McKay’s visiting Trojans, with their all-black starting backfield, pounded Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant’s all-white Crimson Tide 42-21.”  That game, the story goes, forever changed Alabama football.

The 2016 appearance in the Cowboys Classic, incidentally, will mark the second consecutive appearance for Alabama in Arlington as the Tide is set to take on Wisconsin in the 2015 Classic.  The Tide also opened the 2012 season against Michigan in Arlington.

Of course, there’s also a chance that the UA-USC game could feature the Trojans playing against their former head coach, although it seems somewhat doubtful that current Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will still be in Tuscaloosa two years from now.  A man can dream, though.  A man can dream.

(Photo credit: Showtime)

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27 Responses to “Alabama-USC set for 2016 opener in Arlington”
  1. seminolez says: Jul 16, 2014 12:21 PM

    hopefully usc will be back on its feet by then and this will be a good game

  2. irishlad19 says: Jul 16, 2014 1:06 PM

    It would be surprising if the Trojans can recruit enough talent in the next two years to be competitive with the Tide Juggarnaut

  3. Deb says: Jul 16, 2014 1:11 PM

    This just makes me giddy with excitement!!! Looking forward to USC being back on its feet and to this being a fantastic contest between two storied programs!

    And for those interested in the historic 1970 game, try to catch Showtime’s excellent documentary Against the Tide. You can check this link for air dates.

    http://www.sho.com/sho/reality-docs/titles/3398568/against-the-tide#/index

  4. 11inthebox says: Jul 16, 2014 1:17 PM

    Prior to that historic game in 1970, Bear Bryant provided the greatest quote ever about his role in the integration of college football.

    “I won’t be first, but I won’t be third either.”

    Classic.

  5. birdsflynorth206 says: Jul 16, 2014 1:38 PM

    I’ve been waiting fir this match up for a while now. Hopefully Kiffin will still be Alabama’s OC when this game happens. Either way it’s going to be a good game. #FIGHTON

  6. drummerhoff says: Jul 16, 2014 2:24 PM

    Good for USC. Good for Bama. Good for college football!

    Ps
    Also, anyone who thinks USC needs to get better to compete with Bama will be surprised how good they are this season. It will be tough to top last season’s win total (10) but they have the talent on the DL and usual strong talent at the skill spots. What’s not to like?

  7. seminolez says: Jul 16, 2014 2:34 PM

    It would be surprising if the Trojans can recruit enough talent in the next two years to be competitive with the Tide Juggarnaut

    ——————

    Oklahoma hasn’t recruited on the tide’s level but we saw how that turned out. Recruiting isn’t everything

  8. garrgarz says: Jul 16, 2014 2:47 PM

    As a long time Alabama fan, I’m proud to say that I have attended 5 of the 7 Bama-SC match ups. Of course the three times I witnessed Bama win those contests were the most special to me but the 1970 game, known as the “Sam Cunningham game” is often discussed.

    The ESPN special angled the story to let the viewer think that Cunningham one handedly integrated the then all-white Alabama team by running all over the Tide that night. It makes for a great storyline but it’s simply not the truth. Alabama already had black athletes on campus that season either sitting out a transfer year or playing on the freshman team (in those days freshman were not varsity eligible). The real truth is that Alabama in 1970 was not a very good team. They went 6-5 that season and suffered several blowout loses. Not many expected Alabama to beat USC that night and the outcome surprised very few in the State of Alabama.

    Also in the ESPN story, it is said that Coach Paul Bryant walked Sam Cunningham into the Alabama locker after the game ‘to show Bama players what a real football player looked like.’ I know several men from that 1970 Bama team and not one of them confirmed that that story ever took place. Once again…a story made up for dramatic TV effect.

    I look forward to seeing the Tide-Trojan match up again in 2016

  9. gatorcheme says: Jul 16, 2014 2:54 PM

    Dammit!!! Why couldn’t they agree to a ‘home and home’?

    I’m stuck here in (yawn) Trojan/Bruin country.

  10. billmead1976 says: Jul 16, 2014 3:01 PM

    USC going to send Alabama home with their tail between their legs.

    Ask Auburn and Arkansas what happened.

  11. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 16, 2014 3:13 PM

    What a way to start a College Football season! The ratings will be astronomical.

    I bet it pulls a 10 share.

  12. Straight Cash Homie says: Jul 16, 2014 3:52 PM

    Surprised it wasn’t the University of South Charleston or something. We all know Bama likes to play an inferior schedule compared to the rest of the SEC.

  13. garrgarz says: Jul 16, 2014 4:25 PM

    “Straight Cash Homie says:
    Jul 16, 2014 3:52 PM
    Surprised it wasn’t the University of South Charleston or something. We all know Bama likes to play an inferior schedule compared to the rest of the SEC.”

    Since Saban’s arrival Alabama has played out of conference opponents such as Florida State, Clemson, Michigan, Penn State (twice) and Virginia Tech. The Tide plays West Virginia this season and Wisconsin next season. About the only inferior opponent I see is Southern Cal in 2016.

  14. dumbpollack says: Jul 16, 2014 5:03 PM

    Here’s hoping SC shows a little more than the girls in highliter and blue did in this game a few years back.

    Go Bucks

  15. Straight Cash Homie says: Jul 16, 2014 5:08 PM

    Notice I said an inferior schedule to the rest of the SEC. Said nothing about OOC. Thanks for being a homer but go ahead and do some reading and maybe you will learn a little something. You would think people would learn to do research before mouthing off like they actually know something.

    Just incase you don’t want to read the articles I posted below I will tell you what it says. 2012 Alabama SOS ranking dead last in the SEC. 2013 Alabama SOS improved to 12th out of 14 teams. Guess what though OOC is included in that. So either you are saying the SEC isn’t that great of a conference schedule or their OOC isn’t as great as you think it is. Which is it? I have proof of what I’m saying (they play inferior schedules compared to the rest of the SEC) where’s yours?

    http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2013/sec-football-strength-of-schedule-2013/

    http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2014/sec-football-strength-of-schedule-2014/

  16. garrgarz says: Jul 16, 2014 5:36 PM

    Bama doesn’t control the conference mandated schedule…they just show up and play who the league office tells them to play. If you want me to be one of those “SEC” chanting homer fans you won’t get it from me. I could care less about the other 13 teams.

    Strength of schedule can be very subjective. Alabama on Mississippi State’s schedule looks tough for Mississippi State. But the other way around, it seems like just another common opponent for Alabama. When you’re on top of the heap that’s the way it’s going to be.

    My advice to Bama’s opponents, get better.

  17. Straight Cash Homie says: Jul 16, 2014 5:40 PM

    No matter which way you slice it a weak schedule is a weak schedule.

  18. garrgarz says: Jul 16, 2014 8:05 PM

    Sounds like your school has been on the wrong end of a few Bama butt whippings.

    Alabama makes no apology for being a Top 5 team each year. The other schools need to raise their bar.

  19. Straight Cash Homie says: Jul 16, 2014 9:20 PM

    Not really as a matter of fact my alma mater has done alright against the SEC and as I recall it beat Bama back in 2007 21-14 for one of Bama’s funniest loses and if memory serves me correctly I don’t think they have been scheduled since.

    Its plain as day what their strategy is. Instead of going with “to be the best you got to beat the best”, the strategy seems to be “to be the best make the easiest schedule possible”. Numbers don’t lie whatsoever. You can make all the excuses that you want but the bottom line is that they pretty much play the weakest schedule in the SEC year in and year out. I don’t know if math is your strongest but no matter how much of a homer you are the truth is spelled out for you. Weakest in 2013, 3rd weakest in 2014, and I’m pretty sure they will be close to that mark again this season.

  20. rolltide510 says: Jul 16, 2014 9:37 PM

    Hey Garrgarz,

    Are you ever going to forget the time a Florida State fan lectured you on strength of schedule? I know I sure wouldn’t. That’s a special moment right there.

  21. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 16, 2014 9:45 PM

    @Straight Cash Homie

    You know why Bama’s schedule is lower compared to the rest of the SEC…

    Bama doesn’t have to play Bama….

  22. Straight Cash Homie says: Jul 16, 2014 10:14 PM

    Me a Florida State fan? Wow are you wrong, try again.

    Texans – Nice try, there are plenty of ways to get around that.

  23. garrgarz says: Jul 16, 2014 10:19 PM

    Florida State? The school that will be forever known as ducking the SEC for the ACC talking about strength of schedule. LOL! I’m done.

  24. scbaby2013 says: Jul 16, 2014 11:08 PM

    Fight on Trojans!!! Beat the tide!!!

  25. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 17, 2014 8:27 AM

    So happy to hear this news. Love when the elite programs play each other.

    On the other hand, gravy training Ohio State announced they are playing Toledo for their home opener in Columbus with Big Ten refs for their opener in 2016.

  26. packerbadger says: Jul 23, 2014 2:26 PM

    NICE! One team that got the “death penalty” and the other that should!

  27. packerbadger says: Jul 23, 2014 2:33 PM

    Deb says:Jul 16, 2014 1:11 PM

    This just makes me giddy with excitement!!! Looking forward to USC being back on its feet and to this being a fantastic contest between two storied programs!
    ==================================

    Only difference is that USC is a very reputable school for education and Alabumpkin’ is a complete joke.

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