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Alabama desperate for 12th game in 2015, will 'take anybody'

Don't worry Alabama fans ... the Tide will hopefully find somebody to play them in 2015. (USATSI)
Don't worry Alabama fans ... the Tide will hopefully find somebody to play them in 2015. (USATSI)

DESTIN, Fla. -- Bill Battle has tried everything.

He's called dozens of teams.

He's deployed help from ESPN and SEC. He's inquired about teams switching dates to come to Tuscaloosa.

After all that, he still has one vacancy on Alabama's 2015 schedule.

“Right now we'd take anybody,” Battle said.

This is the reality of the SEC staying with an eight-game schedule -- the merits of which I've argued strengthen the league's positioning until the College Football Playoff calls its bluff. But some years teams will have trouble getting good games. In this case, Alabama was hurt by the SEC's recent months-long scheduling moratorium as it figured out its future conference format.

Can somebody help Battle out and play Alabama? Sounds like the Tide would even take a home-and-home at this point, but Battle said he's not sure that's feasible because “everybody's scheduled for '15.”

Alabama has Wisconsin and Louisiana-Monroe on the non-conference schedule, and though Battle doesn't remember the third game offhand, Alabama is expected to play an FCS opponent in mid-November, according to a source.

That means Battle probably can't schedule another FCS for strength-of-schedule purposes, though he sounds desperate enough to do just that.

Or what about BYU, whose independence creates scheduling issues in the College Football Playoff era?

“We've called everybody we know,” Battle responded.

Battle wants to get this done quickly because the longer Alabama waits, “the more expensive it gets,” he said.


Jeremy Fowler is a national college football insider with CBSSports.com. Fowler joined CBS in 2012 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for two seasons and covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel for two years. Fowler is also a contributor to the CBS Sports Network.
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