USC to play Alabama in 2016 Cowboys Classic

Former USC coach Lane Kiffin could be on the opposite sideline from the Trojans in the 2016 Cowboys Classic if he's still the Alabama offensive coordinator.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

USC fans might be seeing former head coach Lane Kiffin sooner than expected.

On Wednesday, USC announced that it would begin its 2016 season by playing in the Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 3 against Alabama, where Kiffin is now the offensive coordinator.

The Trojans were originally scheduled to play New Mexico at home in their 2016 opener, but that game has been moved to Sept. 19, 2020.

“We are excited to participate in a game that is such an attractive matchup for the nation’s fans,” USC Coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “The 2016 Cowboys Classic not only brings together two of college football’s most tradition-laden and successful programs, but teams that in 1970 played a significant role in shaping the history of the game.


“At USC, we have always tried to schedule as many outstanding nonconference opponents as possible because we believe that should be part of the experience our players get when they come here. The Trojans versus the Crimson Tide in Arlington will certainly be such a game.”

USC and Alabama haven’t played since 1985, when the Crimson Tide beat the Trojans, 24-3, in the Aloha Bowl.

Alabama leds the all-time series 5-2 and the schools split the national title in 1978 even though USC defeated Alabama that year, 24-14. USC is 21-11-1 all time against the Southeastern Conference.

USC and Alabama claim a combined 26 national titles (15 for Alabama, 11 for USC), 66 bowl wins and seven Heisman Trophy winners.