USC Football To Face Alabama In Arlington In 2016
July 16, 2014
The USC football team will open its 2016 season on Sept. 3 against Alabama in the eighth annual Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., in a Labor Day weekend neutral site game.
Information on ticket sales, kickoff time and televising network for the 2016 Cowboys Classic will be announced at a later date.
The Trojans' originally-scheduled game on that Saturday date, at home against New Mexico, has been moved to Sept. 19, 2020, in the Coliseum.
"We are excited to participate in a game that is such an attractive matchup for the nation's fans," said new USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian. "The 2016 Cowboys Classic not only brings together two of college football's most tradition-laden and successful programs, but teams that in 1970 played a significant role in shaping the history of the game.
"At USC, we have always tried to schedule as many outstanding non-conference opponents as possible because we believe that should be part of the experience our players get when they come here. The Trojans versus the Crimson Tide in Arlington will certainly be such a game."
USC and Alabama last met in 1985, a 24-3 Crimson Tide victory in the Aloha Bowl.
Alabama holds a 5-2 series lead over USC. Both of USC's wins came in Birmingham: 42-21 in 1970 in a game that was credited with helping to integrate Southern football because of the outstanding performances that day by the Trojans' African-American players, particularly fullback Sam Cunningham, tailback Clarence Davis and quarterback Jimmy Jones, and 24-14 in 1978, a year in which the schools split the national championship (USC won UPI's and Alabama won AP's). Besides the Aloha Bowl win, the Crimson Tide's victories came in 1938 in the Coliseum (19-7), in the 1946 Rose Bowl following the 1945 season (34-14), in 1971 in the Coliseum (17-10 in the Coliseum) and in 1977 in the Coliseum (21-20).
USC of the Pac-12 and Alabama of the Southeastern Conference boast two of college football's most storied traditions. In their history, the teams have produced 26 national champions (11 by USC, 15 by Alabama), 66 bowl victories (32 USC, 34 Alabama), 7 Heisman Trophy winners (6 USC, 1 Alabama), 272 All-American first teamers (161 USC, 111 Alabama), 797 NFL draftees (483 USC, 314 Alabama), 52 College Football Hall of Fame players (31 USC, 21 Alabama) and such legendary coaches as USC's Howard Jones, John McKay, John Robinson and Pete Carroll and Alabama's Wade Wallace, Frank Thomas, Bear Bryant and current head coach Nick Saban.
USC's most recent game against an SEC opponent was a 50-14 road win at Arkansas in 2006. The Trojans hold a 21-11-1 edge over current Southeastern Conference foes and have won the last 4 meetings.
USC's last visit to the Dallas area was for the 1995 Cotton Bowl (following the 1994 season), a 55-14 win over Texas Tech.
USC has a 9-4 record in games it has played in the state of Texas, falling to Georgia Tech in its last visit to the state in the 2012 Sun Bowl, 21-7.
The 2016 Cowboys Classic will be USC's first appearance in AT&T Stadium, but Alabama's third. The Crimson Tide beat Michigan in the 2012 Cowboys Classic and will play Wisconsin in the 2015 Cowboys Classic. Pac-12 schools have appeared in the Cowboys Classic in 2010 (Oregon State lost to TCU) and 2011 (Oregon fell to LSU).
USC has a tradition of playing challenging non-conference opponents in the regular season. Since 1926, USC has annually (except during World War II) played Notre Dame in a series that last year was extended through 2023. USC has a home-and-home series set against Texas in 2017 (in Los Angeles) and 2018 (Austin), as well a 3-game series with BYU in 2019 (away), 2021 (home) and 2023 (home). In the past 15 years, Troy has had Ohio State, Auburn, Nebraska, Penn State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Syracuse, Hawaii, Minnesota and Virginia on its regular season non-conference slate.
This year's Trojan non-conference foes in addition to Notre Dame are Fresno State and Boston College. As a member of the Pac-12, USC plays 9 conference games annually.