Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne Shoots Down Rumors Of Possible Week 1 Game Vs. Notre Dame Football In 2020
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Alabama AD Shoots Down Rumors Of Possible Game Vs. Notre Dame

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne refuted rumors that Notre Dame and the Crimson Tide could play this year in a tweet Saturday morning.

"Looking forward to our future H&H (sic) series (with Notre Dame)" Byrne tweeted. "However, contrary to reports, we will not be playing this season."

Byrne was responding to a suggestion by Gary Stoken of the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic made Friday on ESPN Radio the two could play as a result of games lost to the Big Ten's and Pac-12's decisions to play conference-only schedules this year. Alabama's Week 1 game vs. USC in Arlington, Texas was wiped out by the Pac-12's decision. Notre Dame lost games against Wisconsin (Oct. 3), Stanford (Oct. 10) and USC (Nov. 28).

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Notre Dame could turn to Alabama as one replacement game for the three it lost from its 2020 schedule.
Notre Dame could turn to Alabama as one replacement game for the three it lost from its 2020 schedule. (Spencer Allen)

The most likely scenario for Notre Dame to fill its empty slots and any future ones that come up with more conference-only decisions is joining the ACC for a season. ACC commissioner John Swofford has said Notre Dame will be included in his decision to go conference-only, if he chooses to do so. The ACC, Big 12 and SEC have not yet announced any changes to the season.

Stoken also suggested one possibility for the ACC and SEC is a "conference plus one" model that would allow teams to keep one of their non-conference games or possibly schedule a new opponent if needed. Eight conference games and two non-league games could be another option.

Four SEC and ACC teams have annual rivalry games against each other. There are three more SEC vs. ACC matchups on the schedule this year, plus a Sept. 12 game between Arkansas and Notre Dame.

Notre Dame and Alabama will play a home-and-home series in 2028 and 2029, starting in South Bend and ending in Tuscaloosa. The teams last met in the 2012 BCS championship game, which the Crimson Tide won 42-14. The Irish lead the all-time series 5-2.

Earlier in the week, former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn hinted at a possible SEC game as a schedule addition for the Irish.

"Don't be surprised if you hear about a Notre Dame vs. SEC team match up this year," Quinn said on Atlanta-based radio show Sports Talk Extra 106.3. "One that is a historic rivalry!"

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