Football Future

It could have been Southern Cal. On Tuesday, Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore announced several games on Alabama's future schedules, including Duke to complete the 12-game 2006 schedule. He pointed out that he talked to a lot of schools, including Southern Cal, other than the ones which ended up on Alabama's future schedules.

Southern Cal is not one of the teams announced on Alabama future schedules. The Trojans are currently not a team anyone is anxious to schedule, riding a two-year national championship streak and 22-week run as number one in the nation's polls.

The Crimson Tide completed its 2006 schedule with the addition of Duke on October 7. That had been expected, just as was the announcement that the return game would not come in 2007 or necessarily be played at Duke. The return game will be on September 18, 2010, at a site to be determined. Moore suggested it might be played at the Carolina Panthers' stadium in Charlotte. rather than in Durham where Duke is located.

Moore also announced upcoming games with Penn State and Georgia Tech.

"We will host Penn State on September 11, 2010, and return the game to University Park on September 10, 2011," Moore said.

He said the Georgia Tech series will begin in Tuscaloosa on September 15, 2012, and be returned to Atlanta on September 13, 2014.

Moore said, "The addition of the 12th game gives us some flexibility, but we still want to have seven home games each year. Adding these teams gives our fans some exciting match-ups."

Moore said, "I am very pleased to have Duke. I think it is good to have connections, and the connection for this game is that Wallace Wade was a Hall of Fame coach both here at Alabama and at Duke."

He said he talked to both Coach Joe Paterno and Athletics Director Timothy M. Curley at Penn State. He said all agreed that the 10-year Alabama-Penn State series of the late 1970s and early 1980s had been one that both schools enjoyed. Moore said Curley said, "Mal, you wouldn't believe how popular Alabama is here."

Moore said that a business trip to the famed Greenbrier resort in West Virginia resulted in the Alabama-Georgia Tech series. He talked with Georgia Tech Athletics Director Dave Braine on the trip. "We talked it through and made it happen," Moore said.

There has been talk between Moore and Florida State athletics director Dave Hart regarding a 2007 game between Bama and FSU in Jacksonville, and Moore said there could be an announcement about that game "within the next week or so." The commissioners of the Southeastern Conference and ACC and their television partners, CBS and ABC, are in discussions about that neutral site game.

Moore said he had talked to many schools about future games. He named Army, Navy, Indiana, Northwestern Wake Forest, New Mexico, New Mexico State. He was asked, "How about Southern Cal?" And he said he had, indeed, talked to Southern Cal.

Moore said, "It's tough to get games to work out. And sometimes you think you have them worked out, and something happens."

He also said that he thinks the SEC schedule is plenty tough and that he prefers to reserve the most difficult out-of-conference match-ups for bowl games.

Alabama Coach Mike Shula said that Moore "has been good about communicating possible future schedules really from the first day. We have some exciting games coming up." He also said he remembered well the Alabama-Penn State meetings when he was a player. "I remember it being two first class football programs," he said. "As a player, you find out a lot about yourself when you go up against a quality program."

Next season Alabama will play 12 consecutive games in regular season play. Shula said, "We'll start preparing for that in the spring with the mentality that we are going to play 12 straight. That means getting more players ready to play in the fall."

Here is Alabama's complete schedule for next year, the 2006 season:

September 2, Hawaii (the first game in remodeled and expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium); September 9, Vanderbilt; September 16, Louisiana-Monroe; September 23, at Arkansas; September 30, at Florida; October 7, Duke; October 14, Ole Miss; October 21, at Tennessee; October 28, Florida International (homecoming); November 4, Mississippi State; November 11, at LSU; November 18, Auburn.

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