Crimson Tide cancel on Spartans

Updated: September 26, 2013, 10:09 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Michigan State has granted Alabama's request to drop two future meetings from the schedule.

The Crimson Tide asked to cancel the football games scheduled for 2016 and '17.

Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said Thursday the school made the request because of "the uncertainty of the conference football schedule in those years."

The Southeastern Conference hasn't ruled out a move to a nine-game league schedule since the expansion to 14 teams.

The games would have pitted Alabama coach Nick Saban against his former school. He was Michigan State's coach from 1995 to '99.

The Spartans were scheduled to visit Tuscaloosa in 2016, with the Crimson Tide going to East Lansing the following year. Michigan State still has Notre Dame and two midlevel opponents on the schedule each of those years. Alabama now does not have any nonconference opponents contracted for 2016.

Information from ESPN.com's Brian Bennett and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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