Permanent Alabama Football Opponents in 2024 and Beyond Floated

Getty's Mike Rodak revealed the likely Alabama football permanent opponents in 2024 and beyond when Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC

When Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC, it’s likely that Alabama football and the rest of the conference will have three fixed opponents — and’s Mike Rodak has submitted his three guesses for the Crimson Tide’s likely foes.

Two are all but certainly locked in, as Rodak says, but the third could be a toss-up. “Two of Alabama’s permanent opponents would be obvious: Auburn and Tennessee,” he wrote. “The third is less certain, with some projecting Mississippi State because of proximity and others predicting LSU because the juice that rivalry with Alabama has brought to the SEC over the past decade.”

While Mississippi State and Alabama football has been a one-sided rivalry in the Nick Saban era — with the Crimson Tide winning every matchup besides Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa back in 2007 — Alabama-LSU has been an important game that has determined SEC West and even College Football Playoff National Championships in recent seasons.

Many Annual Alabama Football Rivalry Games Will Disappear

After this upcoming season, the SEC will do away with divisions altogether instead of simply re-shuffling the deck by adding Texas and Oklahoma to the West and sending a team like Auburn to the East. As Rodak points out, that’ll eradicate several rivalries that have formed in the aftermath of conference realignment in 1992 and then again in 2012.

“What will go away after 2023 will be Alabama’s annual games against at least four of its current SEC West opponents,” he wrote. “Schools like Arkansas, Texas A&M and Ole Miss would no longer appear on Alabama’s schedule each season, and would become part of the biannual rotation with other schools such as South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt.”

There will be a more open conference, as Rodak notes, with Alabama football playing all but three schools in the conference very infrequently. “That means Alabama would travel to Lexington or Gainesville as often as it would College Station or Fayetteville.”

Alabama Football Could Play in More Than One Iron Bowl Annually

One of the most spectacular possibilities for the 2024 season and all seasons beyond it, as Rodak writes, is that Auburn and Alabama football could play multiple times a year — as opposed to the current singular Iron Bowl setup each season. “Alabama has played Auburn once every season since 1948, but under the 12-team playoff system beginning in 2024, a second Iron Bowl could happen in any given December,” he wrote.

Rodak explained how the state of Alabama’s most sacred Saturday could happen twice in a season. “It would take Alabama and Auburn to both make the 12-team playoff, then for one of those schools to host the other in a first-round playoff game,” he wrote. “Or, they could meet in a later round of the 12-team playoff, which will include quarterfinal, semifinal and the national championship game at bowl-game sites.”

That’s the case for all of Alabama’s SEC rivalries as Rodak points out. “Same for any other SEC opponent: Alabama could play the same team twice in any given season, something Saban has noted was not uncommon during his time in the NFL.”