Barry Jackson

UM, Alabama in talks to open 2021 season in Atlanta

Alabama football coach Nick Saban talks with the media Wed., Aug. 16, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban talks with the media Wed., Aug. 16, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. AP

The University of Miami is in conversations about playing the University of Alabama to kick off the 2021 season in Atlanta, a source confirmed to The Miami Herald.

Nothing has been signed, but both sides are interested.

The potential of this matchup was reported by The Tuscaloosa News earlier in the day.

The game would be the annual Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium, which is set to open next week.

The two teams last met in the Jan. 1, 1993 Sugar Bowl, with No. 2 Alabama decisively defeating No. 1 Miami, 34-13, to win its 12th national championship and end UM’s 29-game winning streak.

Alabama intercepted Gino Torretta three times that night.

The enduring memory from that game: Lamar Thomas caught a deep pass from Torretta and was sprinting for what seemed like would be an 89-yard touchdown, when Alabama's George Teague caught him from behind, stripped the ball from him, and started running the other way before being tackled.

Alabama leads the all-time series, 14-3, but all but two of the matchups happened before 1980. UM beat Alabama 33-25 in the 1990 Sugar Bowl.

Hurricanes coach Mark Richt talks about the heat, the humidity and the players' energy during the team's scrimmage at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

If the deal is finalized, that would mean UM would open the season with a marquee matchup in at least three of the next four seasons.

UM is set to open the 2018 season against LSU in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 1, and will play the Florida Gators in Orlando to open the 2019 season on Aug. 31. Miami is scheduled to play Temple on Sept. 5, 2020, but it’s uncertain if that will be UM’s opener that season.

Miami plays host to Bethune Cookman to open this upcoming season, at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 2.

Among other UM non-conference games scheduled: at Toledo in 2018, Central Michigan in 2019, Michigan State in 2020 and 2021, FIU in 2020, Temple in 2020 and 2023, Appalachian State in 2021 and Texas A&M in 2022 and 2023.

Here are a lot more UM notes from Thursday, including personnel items, potential position switches down the road and recruiting talk. And here’s a link to all five of my stories today... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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