Last month, Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Alabama Crimson Tide were having discussions about playing some future football games.
One of the possibilities that was reportedly being explored was Cincinnati hosting Alabama in 2015 to open the renovated Nippert Stadium.
But Alabama traveling to Nippert in 2015 is not very likely because the Crimson Tide would be left with only six home games, an occurrence that is avoided whenever possible by the big SEC schools.
Yesterday, Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville joined the JOX Roundtable on 94.5 FM in Birmingham and essentially stated that a home-and-home with Alabama was unlikely.
“I’m in charge of our schedule now, so, I’m out there trying to find teams to play,” said Tuberville. “Now would I be really fired up about it (playing Alabama)? Probably not because it would be a one-game match. The reason we won’t play some of the other teams is because you can’t get a return game.”
Tuberville is mostly correct in that statement, especially regarding Alabama. The Crimson Tide have only played one home-and-home series under Nick Saban (Penn State in 2010 and 2011). They also played the back half of a series against Duke in 2010, which began in 2006 and was scheduled earlier than that.
Instead of more home-and-home series, Alabama has opted to go the neutral-site game route. The Crimson Tide have played five neutral-site games under Saban, have two in the cards (2014 vs. WVU, 2015 vs. Wisconsin), and have been rumored for more.
Tommy Tuberville went on to talk more about scheduling and how difficult it is to land a home-and-home series with the bigger schools.
“We’re building a new stadium, 45,000 seats, it’s going to be really nice. But a lot of teams won’t come play us on our home ground,” Tuberville said. “They think that it’s too tough a challenge or too risky, especially now with the teams having to play their conference games.”
“We’ve got BYU on the schedule. I’ve got Michigan home-and-home coming up. Let’s see…we’ve got talks in with Texas A&M and some other teams. It’s just hard to get a team to say ‘Yeah, we’ll have a home-and-home with Cincinnati’ when it’s a little bit risky. We’re not a bad football team. Look, we’ve got good football players.”
“We’re just not going to be one of those teams that’s just going to go somewhere and play and not get a return game. So I’m throwing my bait out there to try to find that school who will do a home-and-home in the next 5-6 or 7 years.”
Cincinnati is scheduled to open the 2014 season on Friday, Sept. 12 when they host Toledo at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. That’s the third week of the season and it follows consecutive open dates for the Bearcats. Tuberville also talked about that anomaly.
“It’s totally screwed up from administration’s of the past at Cincinnati. It was totally blown.”