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Alabama cancels series with Michigan State

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

The much anticipated rematch of the 2011 Capital One Bowl has been canceled
The much anticipated rematch of the 2011 Capital One Bowl has been canceled. (USATSI)

The home-and-home series between Alabama and Michigan State is no more. Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis confirmed the news to the Detroit Free-Press on Thursday afternoon.

"Alabama requested to cancel the series due to uncertainty with the SEC schedule," Hollis told the paper via text. "While disappointed, in the spirit of collegiality, we agreed to the request."

The series had been scheduled for Tuscaloosa in 2016 and East Lansing in 2017.

The uncertainty with Alabama's SEC schedule is likely related to wondering whether the SEC will have moved to a nine-game conference schedule by then, leaving only three non-conference dates available. The truth is, when it comes to Alabama, the Tide don't really need to worry about strength of schedule in the playoff era when it comes to the selection committee. It's Alabama.

As for Michigan State, this may actually be a benefit to the Spartans, even if fans wanted to see these games. The Big Ten will be playing a nine-game conference schedule starting in the 2016 season, and the Spartans already have a non-conference game against Notre Dame scheduled for both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Adding Alabama to that mix leads to a very difficult schedule to navigate.

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