Report: BYU, Alabama may meet in season opener

FILE - In this Sept. 28. 2019, file photo, Alabama coach Nick Saban leads the team onto the field before an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Alabama football team released an emotional video Thursday, June 25, 2020, speaking out against racism and ending with the message that “all lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.” Saban and many prominent players, both Black and white, appear in the video that was written by Alabama left tackle Alex Leatherwood. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

After the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences announced they’d be playing conference-only games this year, BYU was left with what is currently a five-game schedule for the 2020 season.

The cancellations have wiped out the entire first third of the season and the season finale. The Cougars were set to kick off the season against rival Utah on Sept. 3 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, but it seems BYU may have found a way to still start the season on time — against arguably the top program in the nation.

According to a report from AL.com on Saturday, there’s a “strong possibility” of BYU being a Week 1 opponent for Alabama.

While the SEC has yet to make any announcements regarding changes to the upcoming season due to the coronavirus pandemic, AL.com SEC reporter Matt Zanitz wrote Saturday that if the conference decides not to go to a conference-only format, BYU could be the season-opening opponent for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama was scheduled to start the season against Pac-12 opponent USC on neutral ground in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 5. That game now is off in the wake of the Pac-12 nonconference cancellations.

Alabama would be BYU’s third matchup against a SEC program in the four years. The Cougars most recently defeated Tennessee in double overtime in 2019.