We’ve already established that some schools and conferences could play this fall while others may not. And while no one has come out and say it, political forces tell us the Pac-12 would be the first Power 5 league to fold on the idea of a fall college football season, and the Big 12 and SEC would be the last.
And so, a day after a it emerged that the Pac-12 has discussed playing a conference-only season, Alabama and TCU have reportedly held talks about an 11th hour schedule swap.
Alabama has had talks with TCU in case USC has to be replaced on the Week 1 schedule for the upcoming season according to @finebaum.
TCU is scheduled to play Cal on Sept. 5, the same date as Alabama vs. USC is scheduled in Arlington.
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) May 12, 2020
In a sport where non-conference games are regularly scheduled 10 to 15 years in advance, a change less than three months from game day would be an unprecedented — but perhaps necessary — move.
Reached by Tuscaloosa News beat writer Cecil Hurt, Alabama AD Greg Byrne said Alabama still plans on meeting USC at AT&T Stadium.
Received a text from Alabama AD @Greg_Byrne a few minutes ago in response to asking about possibility of an Alabama-TCU opener.
His response: “Our plan is to play USC.”
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) May 12, 2020
The Sept. 5 game, assuming it happens, will be Alabama’s fourth and final scheduled appearance in the Advocare Classic, as the Tide — who helped pioneer the revival of the neutral site opener — transition back to home-and-home series starting in 2022. Alabama is 4-0 all-time at AT&T Stadium, having beaten Michigan, Wisconsin and USC in previous Advocare Classics and drubbing Michigan State 38-0 in the 2015 Cotton Bowl. TCU is 1-3 at stadium just a 20-minute drive down I-30 East. The Frogs beat Oregon State in the 2010 Advocare Classic, lost to LSU in 2013, to Oklahoma in the 2017 Big 12 Championship, and to Ohio State in September 2018.
Alabama and TCU have played just five times previously and not at all since 1975, but the programs have a shared history. TCU running back Kent Waldrep was paralyzed in the Frogs’ 41-3 loss to the Tide in 1974, and Bear Bryant ensured Alabama took care of Kent and the Waldrep family decades into the future.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Relevant afternoon update….:
As it pertains to college football, Pac-12 coaches have said they need 6 weeks for ramp-up/camp. A stay-at-home order through July would make that impossible, if the plan was to start the season on time https://t.co/6B2d5sC3En
— Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) May 12, 2020
USC AD Mike Bohn knocked down the report.
I enjoy regular conversations with @Greg_Byrne. We have every intention of playing our game against Alabama.
I’d like to remind all our fans that this is an uncertain time and there will be much disinformation. We continue to explore every model for the 2020 football season.
— Mike Bohn (@USC_mikebohn) May 13, 2020
While Colin Cowherd joined the chat, adding to it.
Told by two people I trust — USC v Alabama isn’t happening. Trojans can’t even practice in LA potentially for several months. This is why Bama already talking to other possible opponents. Not official but understood. Feeling now that Pac 12 football in spring — much more likely.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) May 13, 2020