Alabama Football: Opener switch from USC to TCU maybe not best

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama football and Texas Christian may have the same problem. Both programs are scheduled to open the season against Pac 12 teams.

So far there are only rumors that Alabama football may need a new opening opponent. Teams from the state of California, maybe the entire Pac 12 may need to create new 2020 schedules.

Alabama Athletic Director, Greg Byrne, no doubt has multiple contingency plans for the 2020 season. The most recent, opening weekend rumor is because students from the University of California system may not be on campus until mid-August or later. So far, Pac 12 teams are not expected to start fall camp practice until all students are allowed back on campus.

There is no justification for saying anything but what Byrne said. There is a somewhat different storyline coming from the west.

To an extent, USC seems to be reconciled to a conference only schedule due to a late start. From Reign of Troy,

"If USC isn’t able to get on the practice field for Fall Camp by the beginning of August, it would be very unlikely the Sept. 5 game will go on as planned."

USC could well lose its annual Notre Dame game, later in the season. One reason USC might be content with such a change is the Alabama Crimson Tide and Notre Dame games are most likely two losses for the Trojans.

How likely is a an USC exit and TCU entry for the Crimson Tide? Consider this information from NBC Sports.

"Los Angeles County officials announced (on May 12) they are recommending the stay-at-home order currently in place be extended another three months.  That timeline would mean the order would remain in effect through the middle of August… It’s a near-universal opinion that football programs will need a minimum of six weeks to get their players ready to safely start a new season."

If TCU must replace its scheduled trip to the west coast to play Cal, opting for a game with the Crimson Tide has advantages and disadvantages. The Horned Frogs are 12-13 over the past two seasons. An almost sure loss to the Crimson Tide would not be a turnaround game. Still, the payday would be good. Even better, the short ride from Fort Worth to Arlington Stadium might mean the next best thing to a home game at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Would the change be the best solution for the Crimson Tide? If TCU does not win more in 2020, the Tide’s strength of schedule would take a hit. That is if USC can win more in 2020. Over the last two seasons, the Trojans have been only slightly better than TCU, posting a 13-12 record.

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Alabama football fans will be glad for any game on Sept. 5. For some, an added bonus in playing TCU is former 2020, top Tide prospect, Zach Evans is now a Horned Frog.