USC AD: 'We have every intention' of playing Alabama as scheduled in Week 1

Yahoo Sports

USC athletic director Mike Bohn says the school is still planning on playing Alabama in Week 1.

The Trojans and Crimson Tide are set to open the 2020 season at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, much like they did in 2016. And as rumors swirled that Alabama may be needing another opponent, Bohn chimed in on Twitter Tuesday night to calm the speculation.

TCU-Alabama speculation

Tuesday morning, the idea of a game between TCU and Alabama to start the season gained steam as it was even talked about by ESPN’s Paul Finebaum. TCU is set to play Cal in Week 1. If USC couldn’t play Alabama and Cal couldn’t play TCU, then a TCU-Alabama game sure would make a lot of sense, right? AT&T Stadium is just a short drive away from the TCU campus in Fort Worth.

TCU AD Jeremiah Donati said his program was still planning on playing Cal.

“We are preparing to play Cal in Week 1,” Donati said to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If we determine at some point that we cannot do so, we’ll look at other options.”

Conference-only schedule for the Pac-12?

The idea that TCU and Alabama would need new Week 1 opponents was sparked by the Pac-12’s discussions of a conference-only schedule in 2020. Like other conferences, the Pac-12 and its member schools have run through various scenarios on the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on college football and USC coach Clay Helton talked about the conference-only scenario on Monday.

Unlike other major conferences, the Pac-12’s footprint includes California, a state that has been the most proactive when it comes to coronavirus shutdowns. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that he has a hard time envisioning football stadiums full in the fall, and it’s still an open possibility whether California-based schools — and other schools in the Pac-12 for that matter — will have students on campus when the 2020-21 academic year begins.

Tuesday, the Cal State University system announced that it would not open campuses to in-person instruction in the fall. The CSU system includes Fresno State, San Diego State and San Jose State. The University of California system, which includes Cal, is discussing a similar approach, though it hasn’t made any official announcements.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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