Alabama and Texas will officially start at noon ET (11 a.m. CT) on Sept. 10, the teams announced Thursday in conjunction with FOX. This will be the first time Alabama has played in a game broadcast by FOX in the Big Noon window as the two schools meet for a Week 2 non-conference matchup in Austin.
A kick off at noon ET/11 a.m. CT was the growing expectation for the game after FOX confirmed earlier in the spring that the contest between the Longhorns and Crimson Tide would air on the network. In recent years, FOX has placed its first games of the week in the noon ET window as opposed to a traditional prime time viewing window.
The idea of a noon kickoff was not well received, however, given historic temperatures in Austin hovering in the 90s at that time of day in September. As a result, fans recently started a Change.org petition, titled “Make Fox Put the Alabama Game at Night,” but to no avail given Thursday’s decision.
“Instead of competing with whatever game ESPN chooses to have in prime time, Fox Sports, like the cowards that they are, chooses to air their marquee game of the day at noon. Noon,” indicates the petition. “If Fox Sports wants fans to see them as the ultimate college football broadcaster, they should rival ESPN in prime time, not back out of the challenge, and obediently show their best game at noon to make sure people will watch it.”
This season’s showdown will mark Alabama’s first game on FOX since the 2009 Sugar Bowl against Utah, according to BamaOnLine’s Charlie Potter. After a 5-7 season, the Longhorns generated considerable hype ahead of Steve Sarkisian’s third campaign due to an aggressive performance in the transfer portal, including the addition of two former Alabama players – Jahleel Billingsley and Agiye Hall – with the five-star quarterback Quinn ewers.
Ewers fought Map of Hudson in the spring and Sarkissian said after last month’s spring game that he had noticed impressive growth in that position. Texas has yet to name a starter amid competition that is expected to spill over into fall camp.
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Alabama and Texas last met in the 2009 BCS National Championship game, which resulted in the first of six Crimson Tide titles and counting under Nick Saban after the Longhorns saw off the star quarterback Colt McCoy fall with an injury early. Texas and Alabama will soon become SEC enemies, with the Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners joining the conference no later than the 2025 season. Oklahoma was also the recipient of a Big Noon window for a game of fame this fall on Thursday, as it was announced that the Sept. 17 Oklahoma-Nebraska game will kick off at 11 a.m. CT for a second straight year.
Brad Crawford contributed to this report.