Nobody better use the “Bama don’t play nobody” phrase ever again.
On Thursday, Alabama added another home-and-home series against Ohio State. The games, slated for 2027 and 2028, will first be played in Ohio Stadium and then in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
It will be the first time the teams have played during the regular season since 1986.
“This series with Ohio State adds another outstanding non-conference opponent to our future football schedules,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said in a statement. “We are thrilled at the progress we’ve made in securing such quality home-and-homes that will provide tremendous opportunities for our team and an exciting game-day atmosphere for our fans in the coming years.”
Since taking over as athletic director, Byrne has locked in 11 home-and-home series, including the upcoming neutral site game against USC, on September 5.
In the next 15 years Alabama has scheduled Texas in 2022 and 2023, Wisconsin in 2024 and 2025, Florida State in 2025 and 2026, West Virginia in 2026 and 2027, Ohio State in 2027 and 2028, Notre Dame in 2028 and 2029, Georgia Tech in 2030 and 2031, Oklahoma in 2032 and 2033, Arizona in 2032 and 2033 and Virginia Tech in 2034 and 2035.
Alabama also has games with South Florida for 2023, 2024 and 2026.
Nick Saban will likely coach a few of those games, but it will be interesting to see who the head coach is at the time of the Ohio State matchup. Nonetheless, this type of series is what’s so great about college football.
Byrne gets it, neutral site games are great, but home-and-home matchups between two storied programs is how it should be. The College Football Playoff committee has valued overall record over the strength of schedule, but with the possibility of expanding the playoffs to eight teams, the expectations could change. A larger playoff would allow teams to schedule tougher regular-season non-conference opponents and have more room to breathe with a loss.
Critics will continue to argue against Alabama, but its an argument that no longer is supported. The Crimson Tide has its toughest schedule in over a decade. They play USC to open the season, then Georgia two weeks later in Tuscaloosa. They travel to LSU and play Auburn at home. According to ESPN’s FPI, Alabama will face one of the toughest schedules in college football.
Alabama deserves a lot of credit for its efforts to schedule powerhouse opponents in the coming years.
The message Byrne is sending is that; Alabama will play anyone, anytime and anywhere. Just as long as the opposing team wants to do so.