Report: Alabama, TCU Considering Playing Each Other For Season Opener
According to Paul Finebaum of SEC Network, Alabama and Texas Christian University are considering playing each other on Sept. 5 due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
Due to the intensity of the coronavirus in the state of California, both teams have reportedly began talks regarding playing in Dallas for the season opener. Alabama is currently scheduled to take on USC, while TCU is slated to travel to face California in Berkeley.
“It’s going to come down to the five Power 5 commissioners," Finebaum said on ESPN's "Get Up" on Tuesday morning. "Those are the men who will sit at the table and decide, and one thing very interesting about this, there’s already scrambling going on. Alabama plays Southern Cal in the first game of the season at Jerry’s World, there’s already talk going on between Alabama and TCU about meeting instead of the other two because TCU plays at Berkeley and the California schools, they do not believe, will be available for that date.”
The report of talks between the two universities was later confirmed by BamaInsider.
Later in the day on Monday, Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News shared a text that he had received from UA director of athletics Greg Byrne. After Hurt inquired of the potential talks between the two schools, Byrne only had a quick reply.
"Our plan is to play USC," Byrne wrote.
Similar news has come from Fort Worth. In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati expressed a similar sentiment to that of Bryne.
"We are preparing to play Cal in Week 1,” Donati told the publication. “If we determine at some point that we cannot do so, we’ll look at other options.”
While both ADs are neither confirming nor denying the possibility of talks, it is certainly understandable that both schools would be considering alternatives to the Sept. 5 opener.
Earlier this month, California governor Gavin Newsom announced that he expects that the state will not host stadiums full of fans in either August or September. This caused many concerns for the upcoming college football season, which is likely the primary option that both Alabama the TCU are considering other options as backup.
The PAC-12 has also reportedly began discussing having an abbreviated conference schedule to allow for the season to start on time. USC head coach Clay Helton told the L.A. Times that many options are being considered.
“We’ve been talking about all different scenarios about the opportunity of maybe starting on time," Helton said. "The opportunity where maybe it’s pushed back. The opportunity where maybe it’s more of an abbreviated conference schedule. All those discussions are being had.”
The Crimson Tide and the horned frogs have faced off only five times in series history, with TCU holding a 3-2 advantage. The last time the teams faced was in 1975, when Alabama emerged victorious by a margin of 45-0.