When it comes to big-name opponents, the University of Alabama football team has played nearly all of them during the Nick Saban era.
There have been neutral-site games against Michigan and Southern California. Ohio State and Michigan State have been playoff opponents. Penn State was the last program it faced in a home-and-home series, and Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne recently signed contracts to play Notre Dame and Texas.
Add the regular Southeastern Conference schedule to the list, and few prominent programs have not gotten a taste of the Crimson Tide.
Florida State? Played the Seminoles twice. Saban has faced Clemson three times. Miami is coming up on the schedule in 2021.
Nevertheless, there are some matchups Crimson Tide fans should want to see for a variety of reasons. Here are 10 in no specific order:
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers are just about the only traditional power Alabama hasn’t played during the Saban era. The programs haven’t faced each other since 1978. With former Central Florida coach Scott Frost having taken over his alma mater, there would be some extra buzz.
Boston College: Although they haven’t played since 1984, the Golden Eagles are one of the few programs with a winning record against Alabama at 3-1. New England in the fall is also pretty awesome.
Purdue: Saban’s career record against the Boilermakers is 1-3-1, in part because Purdue once had a quarterback named Drew Brees. It’s also a program that Alabama has never played before.
Navy: Saban was an assistant coach for the Midshipmen in 1982, and he left for his first stint at Michigan State as Spartans defensive coordinator. Navy is also one of the few long-established programs Alabama has never played.
Army: If Navy makes the list, Army has to be on it as well. If Alabama must pay nearly $2 million to entice some teams to visit Bryant-Denny Stadium, who better than a military academy?
Wisconsin: Yes, they did play in the 2015 season opener, but that was in Arlington, Texas. Camp Randall should be on every college football fan’s bucket list. So should Husky Stadium in Seattle for its unforgettable scenery.
Hawaii: How much fun would it be to see one of the Tagovailoa brothers have a homecoming game? Granted, some Crimson Tide fans would have a tough time getting there in their RVs, but many still made the last trip in 2003.
Oregon: Every former Saban assistant seems to get a shot at his former boss, so Mario Cristobal should as well. As an added bonus, the game would feature arguably college football’s most traditional uniforms against who knows what Nike would come with.
Iowa: The Iowa wave to the children in the hospital is a tradition every team should want to be part of at least once. Moreover, Saban probably would like another shot at the Hawkeyes for the 2004 Capital One Bowl, his last game at LSU that ended with Iowa scoring on the final play.
Rice: This was going to be either Stanford or UCLA, but California’s legislature has Alabama on its list of states where it restricts publicly funded travel. So Rice gets the nod because it’s the lone school the Crimson Tide have face at least three times and never defeated. The last meeting was in 1956.