Alabama to open season with Southern California in 2016

Published 11:43 am Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The University of Alabama football team will open the 2016 season in the Cowboys Classic against Southern California at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The game is scheduled for Saturday, September 3, with information on ticket sales as well as television coverage and kickoff time to be determined at a later date.

The eighth annual Cowboys Classic will be the eighth meeting between these storied programs, and the first regular season match-up since the 1970s when they split four epic battles during the 1970, 1971, 1977 and 1978 seasons.

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This came at a time in college football history when both universities were fighting for the national title on an annual basis, including a shared title in 1978 — when the only loss on Alabama’s 11-1 record was a 24-14 defeat at the hands of a Trojans team that posted a 12-1 record and won the Rose Bowl.

The two schools also squared off in the 1985 Aloha Bowl, with the Crimson Tide winning that contest 24-3. Alabama leads the all-time series 5-2.

Under head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide has played in five previous neutral site regular season games and has two more on the schedule over the next two years. Alabama has a 4-1 mark in these games under Saban, which includes four straight wins.

The Tide played Florida State in Jacksonville in 2007 as well as Clemson (2008) and Virginia Tech (2009 and 2013) in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta. UA played in the 2012 Cowboys Classic and defeated Michigan in front of 90,413 fans.

Alabama will open the 2014 season in Atlanta with a matchup against West Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff and play Wisconsin on September 5, 2015, in Arlington.

The game will mark the eighth contest in the Cowboys Classic series with ABC/ESPN. Each matchup has featured nationally ranked teams with Brigham Young University upsetting the University of Oklahoma 14-13 in inaugural game in 2009, TCU knocking off Oregon State 30-21 in 2010, LSU defeating Oregon 40-27 in 2011, Alabama downing Michigan 41-14 in 2012 and LSU’s 37-27 victory over TCU in 2013.