Alabama head coach Nick Saban opened the door a teeny, tiny bit that his team could one day play an in-state HBCU.
“I’ve always been an advocate of playing in-state schools,” Saban said at SEC Media Day. “Because I think it sort of helps them raise their level and their ability to compete, which obviously if you do that, you also contribute to how successful the players in those organizations can be. So I would be very much in favor of that.”
Also read: HBCU football coaches talk cost-benefit analysis of playing money games
However, the Crimson Tide has never played an HBCU in football, though rival Auburn has played both Alabama A&M and Alabama State in recent years.
Eddie Robinson Jr., the first-year Hornets head coach, said playing Alabama “would be a huge deal.”
“It would be great for our fans, a lot of Alabama State fans like either Auburn or Alabama, Robinson told reporters at SWAC Media Day on Thursday. “It’s just one of those games where I think it’d be great for the campus, for the school. It’s not on the schedule, but we’ll see if it happens one day.”
In the meantime, Alabama State will play a Power Five opponent this fall when the program travels to Los Angeles, California to play at UCLA on Sept. 10.
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