The Alabama Crimson Tide may open the 2020 college football season against the BYU Cougars, according to a report by AL.com.
Alabama was previous scheduled to open the 2020 season on Saturday, Sept. 5 against the USC Trojans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. However, the Pac-12 decided to play a conference only schedule this season due to the ongoing novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
BYU also had their season-opener canceled due to the Pac-12’s decision. The Cougars were slated to play at in-state rival Utah on Thursday, Sept. 3.
If the Crimson Tide and Cougars do play this season, it will mark only the second meeting between the two schools on the gridiron. Alabama defeated BYU in their first contest, 38-31, at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Sept. 5, 1998.
Alabama’s three other non-conference contests remain on their schedule, for now at least. The Crimson Tide are slated to host Georgia State on Sept. 12, Kent State on Sept. 26, and UT Martin on Nov. 14.
BYU, on the other hand, has had a total of five contests on their 2020 slate canceled. The Cougars, a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Independent, suffered those scheduling casualties via the previously mentioned decision by the Pac-12 and a similar move by the Big Ten.
As a result, BYU lost a home game against Michigan State (Sept. 12) and road contests at Utah (Sept. 3), Arizona State (Sept. 19), Minnesota (Sept. 26), and Stanford (Nov. 28).
Remaining games on BYU’s 2020 schedule currently include Utah State, Missouri, Houston, San Diego State, and North Alabama at home and Northern Illinois and Boise State on the road.
If BYU loses more games off of their 2020 schedule, the Cougars could pair up with the other FBS Independents for some games or even in-season home-and-home series. Notre Dame still owes BYU a game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, but the likelihood of that contest occurring this season is slim.
Notre Dame, a scheduling partner with the ACC, currently has six opponents from that league on their schedule. If a move to conference-only schedules is made, the Fighting Irish could wind up with more games against ACC opponents.
BYU currently has no games scheduled against any of the other FBS Independents this season (Army, Liberty, New Mexico State, UConn, and UMass).