TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama finalized the 2010 football schedule Monday. And it will make for quite a first season for what will be a newly expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The home schedule includes Penn State (Sept. 11), Florida (Oct. 2), Ole Miss (Oct. 16) and Auburn (Nov. 26). San Jose State will be the first team to play in front of the new seats in the south end zone that will push capacity over 101,000 in the season opener Sept. 4.
Former Alabama coach Bill Curry will bring his new FCS program Georgia State to Tuscaloosa on Nov. 20 sandwiched between SEC West opponents Mississippi State and Auburn.
The only non-conference road game Alabama faces comes Sept. 18 when it travels to Duke. SEC contests with Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee and LSU will all be played on the road.
Having a non-conference opponent the caliber of Penn State on the schedule is part of the plan coach Nick Saban said Alabama has to play one high-profile game outside of the SEC each fall.
Saturday’s opener with No. 7 Virginia Tech serves as this fall’s non-conference heavyweight game.
“I think the national exposure from playing in a game like this enhances overall and helps recruiting everywhere,” Saban said.
The Tide will travel to Penn state in 2011 and have series with Georgia Tech and Michigan State scheduled in the future. Only the 2012 season lacks a similar opponent to this point.
Cody still over the limit
Even after missing a few practices with the flu, Terrence Cody has not lost enough weight to play with the “rabbit” squad used in third-down passing situations.
Saban had set 348 pounds as the required weight for Cody who said he was at 355 when practices opened Aug. 6.
The speed and agility of Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor “will be one of the biggest challenges to our defense,” Saban said.
That places even more of a premium on quickness on the Tide defense — a trait for which Cody hasn’t always known to possess.
Crimson Tide versus the Hokies
The meeting between Virginia Tech and Alabama brings together two of the most unique nicknames in college sports — the Hokies and Crimson Tide.
So what is a Hokie?
According to the Virginia Tech Web site, it has no meaning.
The nickname stuck after students were asked to submit ideas for new cheers in 1896, senior O.M. Stull entering the winner entitled “Old Hokie” yell. Stull later said it had no special meaning, he just thought it would grab people’s attention.