UAB Football is not backing down from a challenge with the announcement of games against SEC foes Florida in 2017 and Texas A&M in 2018. UAB played two SEC teams in the 2014 campaign at Mississippi State (a very good, close game too) as well as at Arkansas.
The question is, who else could we schedule?
News broke in April of talks with Auburn about a potential game in the future, but Auburn does not have an open 0ut-of-Conference(OOC) schedule spot open until the 2018 season, according to fbsschedules.com, and I personally doubt we would schedule two SEC games our second season back.
Some candidates that I feel UAB should look into are South Alabama, Georgia State, Tennessee, Troy, and Memphis.
Personally, I think South Alabama is a no-brainer. We were scheduled to play a home-and-home series with them for 2015 and 2016, but obviously that was disrupted. So why not resign that deal? It would be a close game for both schools, allowing easy travel for fans, bands, teams, etc. and could start a great in-state rivalry. However, South does not have an open OOC spot on their schedule until the 2019 season.
Georgia State would be an interesting match up as well, I think. They are relatively close, and when we were not selected for a bowl game, Georgia State was ineligible for a bowl too because of moving up to FBS that season. There were many people on the College Football Subreddit, on reddit.com/cfb/, that went as far as to reach out to the NCAA so that we could play a final game against them as the “Ineligibowl.” Both UAB and Georgia State have open OOC spots for 2018.
I list Tennessee because, personally, I feel robbed of an SEC victory. We were slated to take on the Volunteers as the season opener for the 2015 season in Nashville. Having seen how we played the previous season and how Tennessee looked at the beginning of this past season, I believe we could have won that game. Both UAB and Tennessee have open spots for 2018, but like I stated earlier, I do not see us scheduling two SEC schools our second year back.
Troy is on this list for obvious reasons. My first game as a Marching Blazer was at Troy. Both games I got to experience against ‘that school south of here’, as we say, were great and that rivalry should be reignited. Whoop ’em! Unfortunately, Troy does not have an open slot for an OOC game until 2019, so this rivalry may take a while to start again.
Last, but certainly not least, is Memphis. The Battle of the Bones, in my opinion, should never have been stopped, but I am not in charge of such decisions. I have heard stories about games against Memphis, and I hate that I was not able to experience them, but that can be amended! However, Memphis does not have an OOC game open until 2019, so that rivalry may stay dormant for a while yet, too.
There may be several other candidates that could easily spring up if the Big 12 does expand in the next year or so, as Memphis may be in consideration for such expansion. The AAC, if that were to happen, might then take a Confernce USA team to replace them. However, conference realignment and expansion is not my forte, and that is all hearsay now anyways.
I can’t wait to see who UAB football will add to future schedules, and am just glad we are talking about future football games at UAB.
Ever Faithful, Ever Loyal!