Big nonconference games vanishing
Where have all the big-time intersectional games gone?
For two seasons now, Alabama has been the savior of Labor Day weekend college football. While the vast majority of FBS schools seek out season-opening chumps, the Crimson Tide have dared to play somebody.
Last year Bama played a neutral-field game in Atlanta against Clemson to start the season. This year it will face Virginia Tech, also in Atlanta.
Taking on ranked nonconference teams right away? That qualifies as a profile in courage these days. But compare it to 30 years ago, ...
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According To Schedule
Alabama and Virginia Tech will get together on Labor Day weekend. USC visits Ohio State on September 12. But that's about it in 2009. Big-time intersectional matchups just don't happen as often as they used to. What happened? How does scheduling work? ESPN.com will look at the issue all week.