Since Pete Carroll’s success against the SEC, USC and its fans have long wanted more tilts with southern powerhouses like Florida, Alabama and LSU. They might be getting their wish, as Dan Patrick mentioned a rumor on his radio show this morning that could see the Trojans face Alabama at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The game, known as the Cowboys Classic, has yet to announce teams for the 2016 edition. Both USC and Alabama need an opponent to fill out their schedule following the Trojans’ home-and-home series with Texas A&M falling through, and Penn State pulling out of their date with the Tide.
Currently, Alabama has yet to reach a deal with any non-conference foes in 2016 and a new SEC rule states that they’ll have to play at least one game against a power conference team. The Crimson Tide typically do that, as Saban prefers neutral site games in Week 1.
Alabama has four neutral site games since Nick Saban was hired, going a perfect 4-0. The Tide played in the Cowboys Classic once before, when they dismantled Michigan in 2012. Furthermore, they’ve played in Atlanta three times with a pair of wins over Virginia Tech and a victory against Clemson.
As for the Trojans, they haven’t played a in a big-ticket neutral site game on opening weekend since 2004, when they defeated Virginia Tech in the 2004 BCA Classic in Landover, Maryland. Two years ago, USC played Syracuse at the Meadowlands, but that was a home gate for the Orange.
The Trojans are 2-5 all-time against Alabama, with the last meeting coming in the 1985 Aloha Bowl, of all places.
The series is highlighted by two historic games, both of which concluded as USC victories at Legion Stadium in Birmingham.
In 1970, No. 3 USC defeated the 16th-ranked Crimson Tide 42-21 on the back of Sam ‘Bam’ Cunningham, who lead the Trojans with 135 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The win sparked social change at Alabama, as black players such as Cunningham showed Bear Bryant among others that integration was long overdue.
Eight years later in 1978, while ranked seventh in the country, the Trojans beat No. 1 Alabama again, by a score of 24-14. The two teams then controversially wound up splitting the national championship despite the head-to-head game at the beginning of the season.
Alabama is 4-0 all time against USC in the state of California, so maybe it’s a good thing for the Trojans to explore a game with the Tide elsewhere.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see what happens and you can vote in our poll.