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Friday, June 19, 2009
Big 12 lunch links: How about UT-Alabama in a future series?

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It's good to be the matchmaker.

Texas has made some noise about wanting to improve its nonconference schedule. And that's even before the Longhorns' Louisiana-Monroe/UTEP/UCF/Wyoming trip through the pastry wagon might bite them in the BCS this season.

Alabama coach Nick Saban checked in with reporters before leaving on vacation. Among the topics he broached was the Crimson Tide's upcoming schedule.

The Crimson Tide have a future home-and-home series with Penn State, Michigan State and Georgia Tech. Saban told the Tuscaloosa News that those are games he "likes to play."

Saban repeated a notion about Alabama's future scheduling, saying it would be exciting for his team to play upcoming matchups against five of the nation's top programs, "including ones that have a history with Alabama." He mentioned five potential targets for those games: Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan, USC and Texas.

Ah yes, Texas. The Crimson Tide and Longhorns have plenty of history. Remember Tommy Nobis and Joe Namath in the 1965 Orange Bowl? Randy Braband stopping Wilbur Jackson on fourth down in the 1973 Cotton Bowl? Or Russ Wood's four sacks that Texas still overcame to win the 1982 Cotton Bowl?

The Longhorns are 7-0-1 in their history against Alabama. The two teams haven't played during the regular season since 1922.

Saban told reporters that the Crimson Tide would be willing to play at neutral-site games in the future against top opponents, as well as work them into future schedules in home-and-home series.

Texas could either bow to tradition and play at the Cotton Bowl, or opt for megabucks and  bells and whistles by playing at Jerry World in Arlington, Texas. Or play the game in Austin.

There's a history between Saban and Mack Brown. Remember what an Internet sensation it was when Saban was coaching the Miami Dolphins and was pictured wearing Longhorns gear during a scouting trip to Austin?

Could that help the two old friends pulling off a scheduling deal?

All of us as football fans can only hope so.

Almost as delicious as the possibility of future Texas-Alabama games are these lunchtime links.

Enjoy them and enjoy Father's Day over the weekend.