There was a point a few years ago when Nick Saban wanted Alabama Football to play only Power Five teams. Since no other college football coach agreed about Power Fives playing just Power Fives, the lofty goal was unachievable.
Such a change might happen in college football someday, but it would require a different bowl structure and also probably no more than a Power Three consolidation.
Thanks to the historical data provided by mcubed.net we know that among current Power Five teams, there are only 12 teams the Alabama Crimson Tide has never played. There would be some pleasant symmetry if, within the next several seasons, Alabama would play all 12. Such a result will not happen, with one reason being some of the teams would have no interest in taking on an Alabama team.
Seven of the 12 teams are in the ACC and the Big Ten. From a college football history perspective, it would be fitting for the Alabama Crimson Tide to play Pittsburgh from the ACC and Iowa from the Big Ten. Neither has the historical status of the Alabama Crimson Tide, but they are programs with histories of success.
Though the NCAA list of National Championships by Major Selectors does not include Iowa, the Hawkeyes could claim five National Championships from other selectors. Iowa has also been the Big Ten Champion 10 times and that is no small accomplishment.
Based on the NCAA, Pittsburgh can legitimately claim National Championships under Pop Warner in 1915, 1916, and 1918; along with 1976, under Johnny Majors. The school can also claim four more National Championships under Jock Sutherland in 1929, 1931, 1934, and 1936.
Alabama Football vs. Oregon would have sizzle
Iowa and Pittsburgh would be solid opponents for the Crimson Tide. A game tied to little college football history, that would nonetheless have more sizzle, would be the Alabama Crimson Tide vs. the Oregon Ducks.
Fans of both programs would relish an Alabama vs. Oregon game so much, a home-and-home would be best. Another unlikely, but not impossible opportunity would be for the Crimson Tide and the Ducks to meet in the 2023 CFB Playoff. A confrontation between an Alabama defense and former Auburn quarterback, Bo Nix would thrill Alabama fans.
Not much will be lost if the other nine teams remain on the Crimson Tide’s never-played list. They are Virginia, Wake Forest, Kansas, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue, Arizona, Arizona State, and Oregon State.
As it stands, Alabama Football is scheduled to play the Arizona Wildcats in the 2032 and 2033 seasons.