The Alabama Crimson Tide have canceled their 2016-17 football series against the Michigan State Spartans, the Detroit Free Press has reported.
Alabama and Michigan State were scheduled to meet at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 3, 2016 and at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Sept. 2, 2017.
In a text message from MSU athletics director Mark Hollis to the Free Press, Hollis stated “Alabama requested to cancel the series due to uncertainty with the SEC schedule. While disappointed, in the spirit of collegiality, we agreed to the request.”
The uncertainty over the future scheduling format in the SEC as well as a potential nine-game conference schedule has Alabama and other teams dropping some games in order to start fresh.
Back in July, Alabama and Georgia Tech agreed to postpone their 2019-20 home-and-home series. New dates for the series have yet to be established.
And in May, South Carolina canceled their 2021-22 series against Georgia Tech.
In each instance, the “uncertainty” over future scheduling in the SEC was cited as the reason for postponement or cancellation.
Shortly after news broke of the Alabama-Michigan State cancellation, the Tuscaloosa News (via TideSports.com) reported that Alabama was in discussions to play a neutral-site game in 2016 against a “big-name opponent.”
Who might that opponent be? No names were mentioned, but some possibilities could include Texas, Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC, Florida State, Miami (FL), and Clemson. Stay tuned.