Alabama Football: Miami game will end an era for Crimson Tide

(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football is the king of regular season, neutral site games. Undefeated in 10 contests going back to 2008, the Alabama Crimson Tide has one left in Atlanta on Sept. 4 against the Miami Hurricanes.

Nick Saban smartly used the high-profile, neutral site games to showcase the progress of Alabama Football as it returned to national prominence. Except for the Duke game in 2019, the neutral site opponents were presented as potentially tough competition for the Crimson Tide.

Collectively they proved to be somewhere on a line between not so tough, to no contests. Even with Nick Saban hitting the point production brakes hard in a few games, the average score was almost a four-touchdown victory for Tide teams. The average opponent score has been 12.8 points to the Crimson Tide’s average of 38.1 points.

The games have been resume busters for some of the opposing head coaches. Clemson’s Tommy Bowden never recovered from his favored 2008 team losing to the Crimson Tide 34-10. Brady Hoke’s 2011 Michigan team finished the season ranked No. 11. After being throttled by the Crimson Tide in the 2012 opener 41-14, the Wolverines would lose four more games in 2012, six in 2013 and seven in Hoke’s last season in 2014. Bobby Petrino, trying to regain prestige at Louisville, did not make it through the entire 2018 season after opening with a 51-14 loss to Nick Saban. Clay Helton’s first full season as the USC head coach began with an Alabama Football beatdown of 52-6, as the Tide shook off a poor first quarter, to win with ease.

Change coming for Alabama Football

College football has changed since 2008. One difference is getting fans to stadiums has become a bigger challenge. Fan interest moved toward having more high-profile home games. The Alabama Crimson Tide program paid attention and replaced the neutral site openers with home and home series. Other top programs joined the parade.

Home and homes have now been scheduled with Texas, Wisconsin, South Florida, FSU, West Virginia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Arizona, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech.  The games begin in the 2022 season when the Crimson Tide will travel to Austin, TX. The Longhorns will come to Tuscaloosa the following season.

Games are now set as far out as 2035. Virginia Tech is lined up for 2035 and another Power Five team is expected to be added that season.

Based on Nick Saban’s recent contract extension, the GOAT is expected to be on the sidelines for the away and home West Virginia games in 2026 and 2027. Alabama Football fans will also count on him being around for the 2028, Ohio State Buckeyes visit to Bryant-Denny.

dark. Next. The visit to Morgantown will be special for Saban in 2026.

It is a bit presumptuous to predict the neutral game run will end with another Crimson Tide victory. On the other hand, of course, it will.