Alabama vs. USC, The Kickoff Classic To End All Kickoff Classics
In fine fashion, it was announced that Alabama and USC (yes, THAT USC, not the bogus USC in the SEC) would be kicking off the 2016 season in Dallas at the Jerry-Dome. Alabama has sort of made a habit of these types of games under Saban.
This will be the third time they will play in Dallas and they’ve played in Atlanta to kick the season off four times, including West Virginia this season.
This is big news on a lot of fronts, but some have argued that this is making it harder for Alabama fans to enjoy their beloved Crimson Tide (Kevin Scarbinsky being one) because it takes games that could potentially be in Tuscaloosa away from there.
Scarbo’s take here, is well, just plain wrong…in fact, it’s a great thing when Alabama gets these types of games scheduled, especially when they get to be played at such great venues at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. My wife and I traveled to Dallas in 2012 when Alabama played Michigan and it was a grand time. The game is also a national showcase of Alabama’s current football program, and if nothing else, it further heightens Alabama’s reach nationwide with recruiting.
More and more, Alabama is establishing itself as a dominant recruiting force from coast to coast, and these games give Saban even more street cred to tout what Alabama can offer recruits all over the nation.
Also, these games have a “bowl-game” like feel to them, and that type of preparation is a good thing for a team that routinely finds itself in championship situations year in and year out. The atmosphere, the anticipation…all of this helps Alabama get mentally ready for the year, and it tests them right out of the gate (more times than not).
There are definitely some benefits to a home and home situation, and while it would be awesome to see Alabama play USC in California (and USC come to Tuscaloosa), I’m happy to see these guys go toe-to-toe in Dallas in 2016. Hopefully, Lane Kiffin will be around long enough to see it.