It’s happened. The college football gods have thrown a bone to the peasants and granted the world with the ultimate west coast vs. deep south matchup.
It’s blue state against red state. Street tacos facing off with southern BBQ. Margaritas vs. sweet tea. Lane Kiffin’s second coaching job, against his second offensive coordinator job.
It’s a game featuring schools combining for 26 national championships and
eight seven Heisman Trophy winners. It’s the charisma of Steve Sarkisian against the genius of Nick Saban.
It’s USC. It’s Alabama. At Jerry World. With all of college football watching.
The game comes billed as the 2016 Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas, and was reported by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.
USC & Alabama will play Sept. 3, 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 16, 2014
In order for the game to go on as planned, the Trojans had to get the OK from New Mexico, who had been scheduled for the same date. Ultimately, that game has now been pushed back to 2020.
USC hasn’t played a in a kickoff classic style neutral site game on opening weekend since 2004, when they defeated Virginia Tech in the BCA Classic at FedEx Field. 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. Perhaps interestingly enough, USC might be better off that there isn’t a home and home with the Tide. Bama is 4-0 all-time USC in the state of California.
The series is highlighted by two games fully entrenched in USC lore, both of which Trojan wins 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.
Perhaps the 2016 affair can settle some old bragging rights. And who knows, maybe the Trojans and Tide can preview the Cowboys Classic with a Jerry World meeting in January.
OK…let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. It’s just that USC vs. Alabama will never not be awesome.