Home Uncategorized Texas vs. Alabama worthy of celebration, especially if it starts a trend

Texas vs. Alabama worthy of celebration, especially if it starts a trend

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SportsPulse: Did your team make USA TODAY Sports’ college football post-spring top 25? Paul Myerberg breaks it all down. USA TODAY Sports

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It’s too much to suggest Alabama’s and Texas’ fortunes pivoted with a pinched nerve.

Alabama might have won the BCS national title anyway that night in January 2010. If it hadn’t, surely Nick Saban’s dynasty would have commenced soon. And even if Colt McCoy hadn’t hurt his right shoulder in the first quarter, even if he had completed the game and Texas had won — Mack Brown has always insisted that’s how it would have gone — the Longhorns star would have been finished after that. Their quarterback issues would surely have unspooled, anyway, the program spiraling along with them.

But McCoy and Texas went down. Alabama’s rise began, the first of five national championships in a decade of unparalleled excellence.

Which brings us to the delicious series announced Wednesday. Alabama and Texas will play in Austin in 2022, and in Tuscaloosa in 2023. College football fans should celebrate the development — especially if it signals a trend.

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Yeah, that’s four and five years out. Although that’s actually not long at all when it comes to nonconference scheduling, there’s no way to know if the Tide will still be rolling along under Saban (who says, over and over again, that he has no thoughts of retiring) or Tom Herman will have returned Texas to the top (or if someone else will be trying to do so).

It’s unlikely either game will become the kind of pivot point as the storied programs’ last meeting — though it could be a Playoff accelerant for either (or maybe even both). But it is exactly the kind of intersectional matchup the sport needs.

College football’s tapestry is enriched when Ohio State and Oklahoma meet in Norman and Columbus. When Texas and USC play in the L.A. Coliseum, and then in Austin. Or the Longhorns in South Bend, and Notre Dame traveling to Texas. Or Alabama and Notre Dame, Touchdown Jesus and Tuscaloosa (coming up in 2028 and 2029). Or when Georgia and Clemson bus 75 miles to each other’s stadiums, or Clemson and Auburn travel to their similar campuses, or Auburn and Penn State play home-and-home … and so on.

Those matchups are not easy to schedule, and they bring risk, yes. But they’re worth it on multiple levels. And especially coupled with the announcement last month that Alabama and Notre Dame will play, it’s a welcome development for college football’s current dynasty.

Alabama. Texas.

Tuscaloosa. Austin.

Home-and-home series. Details here https://t.co/Va1j9uySsN#RollTide#OutworkYesterdaypic.twitter.com/1at5ulkXi8

— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) May 16, 2018

Texas. Alabama.

Coming in 2022 and 2023.#ThisIsTexas#HookEmhttps://t.co/gEYisSRkbSpic.twitter.com/0qTKzsaqdS

— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) May 16, 2018

Of all programs, Alabama could afford not to challenge itself in the nonconference schedule (if you doubt, see 2017 when the Tide did not win the SEC West and a neutral site matchup with Florida State turned out to be of negligible help when the Seminoles faltered to a 7-6 record); the Tide have built up that much credibility with their dominance. Yet Saban routinely proclaims his desire to schedule well in nonconference — and for others in the SEC and around college football to do the same — and backs it up with the actual schedules.

Signing up to go to Austin and South Bend also removes one of the complaints — though minor — about Alabama’s scheduling formula. The Tide’s last road nonconference game was in 2011 at Penn State. In recent years, Alabama has mastered the art of playing (and winning, of course) one-off neutral-site games against name opponents in season openers. Since that trip to State College, Alabama has played Florida State, USC, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Michigan — all in either Atlanta or Arlington, Texas. (The Tide opens the 2018 season with Louisville in Orlando.)

Those were nice matchups, but not as challenging as playing a road game. And as important — or at least, it ought to be as important — those neutral-site games are not nearly as good for fans of either program. When Texas comes to Tuscaloosa or Alabama visits Austin, though, those campuses will buzz.

TV will, too. Maybe everything aligns and it propels one of the programs (or both!?) into the Playoff. Regardless, it’s good for college football.

College football spring games in 2018

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Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy gestures to his

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy gestures to his team during their spring game.  Sue Ogrocki, AP
Oklahoma State wide receiver Tyron Johnson (13) reaches

Oklahoma State wide receiver Tyron Johnson (13) reaches for the ball but can’t get to it as he is defended by cornerback Taoheed Karim during the Cowboys’ spring game.  Sue Ogrocki, AP
Virginia linebacker Dominic Sheppard warms up during

Virginia linebacker Dominic Sheppard warms up during the annual Orange and Blue spring game.  Andrew Shurtleff, AP
Former Georgia player and Pro Football Hall of Famer

Former Georgia player and Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton pets Uga at the Bulldogs’ spring game.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
A Keegan-Michael Key rings the victory bell after the

A Keegan-Michael Key rings the victory bell after the conclusion of the Penn State Blue-White spring game at Beaver Stadium.  Matthew O’Haren, USA TODAY Sports
Alabama head coach Nick Saban watches the A-day game

Alabama head coach Nick Saban watches the A-day game at Bryant Denny Stadium.  Marvin Gentry, USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback Troy Pride Jr.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback Troy Pride Jr. (5) breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Miles Boykin (81) in the second quarter of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium.  Matt Cashore, USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Dexter Williams

Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Dexter Williams (2) celebrates with offensive lineman Sam Mustipher (53) after a touchdown in the second quarter of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium.  Matt Cashore, USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) scrambles

Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) scrambles away from defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) at Bryant Denny Stadium.  Marvin Gentry, USA TODAY Sports
Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver KJ Hamler (1)

Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver KJ Hamler (1) fumbles the ball during the second quarter of the Blue-White spring game at Beaver Stadium.  Matthew O’Haren, USA TODAY Sports
Alabama defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48) is

Alabama defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48) is blocked by offensive lineman Richie Petitbon (72) during the A-day game at Bryant Denny Stadium.  Marvin Gentry, USA TODAY Sports
Former Georgia Bulldogs players Sony Michel (left)

Former Georgia Bulldogs players Sony Michel (left) and Nick Chubb carry the Rose Bowl Trophy on the field prior to the Georgia Spring Game at Sanford Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Eric Stokes (27) breaks

Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Eric Stokes (27) breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman (9) during the Georgia Spring Game at Sanford Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Joe Arcangelo (41)

Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Joe Arcangelo (41) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the Blue-White spring game at Beaver Stadium. T  Matthew O’Haren, USA TODAY Sports
Clemson receiver Trevion Thompson makes a catch against

Clemson receiver Trevion Thompson makes a catch against cornerback Cameron Scott during the team’s spring game.  Adam Hagy, USA TODAY Sports
Former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson runs onto

Former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson runs onto the field as an honorary coach before the team’s spring game.  Mark D. Smith, USA TODAY Sports
Florida receiver Trey Thompson is stopped by linebacker

Florida receiver Trey Thompson is stopped by linebacker Nick Smith during the team’s spring game.  John Raoux, AP
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks to his players

Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks to his players in the huddle during the team’s spring game.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
Clemson running back Ty Thomaso is chased by defenders

Clemson running back Ty Thomaso is chased by defenders while carrying the ball during the team’s spring game.  Adam Hagy, USA TODAY Sports
Florida State coach Willie Taggart walks on the field

Florida State coach Willie Taggart walks on the field during the team’s Garnet and Gold spring game.  Melina Myers, USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra attempts to catch

Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra attempts to catch a pass while being defended by defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles during the team’s spring game.  Mark D. Smith, USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State running back Master Teague breaks through

Ohio State running back Master Teague breaks through a hole during the team’s spring game.  Greg Bartram, USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh quarterback Rickey Town is under pressure

Pittsburgh quarterback Rickey Town is under pressure from defensive lineman Dewayne Hendrix (8) and Patrick Jones II during the team’s spring Blue Gold game, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Pittsburgh.  Keith Srakocic, AP
Florida State running back Cam Akers runs the ball

Florida State running back Cam Akers runs the ball past linebacker Adonis Thomas during the team’s Garnet and Gold spring game.  Melina Myers, USA TODAY Sports
Missouri receiver Dominic Gicinto during the team's

Missouri receiver Dominic Gicinto during the team’s spring football game  L.G. Patterson, AP
Ohio State offensive lineman Joshua Alabi blocks during

Ohio State offensive lineman Joshua Alabi blocks during the team’s spring game.  Jay LaPrete, AP
Old Dominion's Kesean Strong looks for an opening through

Old Dominion’s Kesean Strong looks for an opening through the line during the team’s spring game.  Steve Earley, The Virginian-Pilot via AP
James Madison running back Eric Kirlew picks his way

James Madison running back Eric Kirlew picks his way through traffic during the team’s spring game.  Daniel Lin, Daily News-Record via AP
Pittsburgh running back Darrin Hall is tackled during

Pittsburgh running back Darrin Hall is tackled during the team’s annual spring Blue Gold game.  Keith Srakocic, AP
Connecticut quarterback David Pindell breaks free

Connecticut quarterback David Pindell breaks free on a run during the team’s annual spring game.  Jessica Hill, AP
Virginia Tech running back Coleman Fox celebrates his

Virginia Tech running back Coleman Fox celebrates his touchdown run during the team’s Maroon-White spring game.  Matt Gentry, The Roanoke Times via AP
Michigan State running back LJ Scott, left, tries to

Michigan State running back LJ Scott, left, tries to avoid the tackle of Dillon Alexander during the team’s spring game.  Al Goldis, AP
Auburn quarterback Malik Willis loses his footing during

Auburn quarterback Malik Willis loses his footing during the first half of the team’s spring game.  Brynn Anderson, AP
Mississippi receiver D.K. Metcalf makes a touchdown

Mississippi receiver D.K. Metcalf makes a touchdown catch against D.D. Bowie during the team’s spring game.  Bruce Newman, The Oxford Eagle via AP

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