San Jose State University and the University of Alabama, two schools that combined for five third-round picks in the 2009 National Football League draft, will battle for the first time in college football action in the 2010 season opener for both teams.
The Spartans and Crimson Tide (click on the link for the Alabama release) will meet in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Saturday, September 4.
The trip across the Mississippi to face a Southeastern Conference opponent will be the first for San Jose State since 2003 when the Spartans traveled to the University of Florida.
“We’re pleased to add Alabama to the schedule. We’re playing USC (Southern California) this year and Alabama next year – two of the most storied programs in the history of college football,” says San Jose State coach head coach Dick Tomey. His wife, novelist Nanci Kincaid who has family roots in Alabama, toured the state earlier this year promoting her most recent book, “Eat, Drink & Be From Mississippi,” published by Little, Brown & Company.
In the 2009 NFL draft, San Jose State defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert (Chicago, 68th pick) and cornerback Christopher Owens (Atlanta, 90th pick) and Alabama running back Glen Coffee (San Francisco, 74th pick), offensive guard Antoine Caldwell (Houston, 77th pick), and safety Rashad Johnson (Arizona, 95th pick) were selected.
“I have great respect for Alabama and its athletics director Mal Moore, whom I’ve known for 40 years,” adds Tomey, who is in his fifth season with the Spartans, 29th as a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) head coach and is the current President of the 10,000-member American Football Coaches Association.
Tomey and Alabama’s Nick Saban are two of the six active FBS head coaches to coach teams to nine-win seasons at three or more schools. For Tomey, he did it at Hawaii, Arizona and San Jose State; Saban, at Toledo, Michigan State, LSU and Alabama.
Moore, Alabama’s director of athletics, recently completed a three-year term on the NCAA’s Football Issues Committee. Tom Bowen, San Jose State’s director of athletics since December 2004, is one of seven athletics directors currently serving on the same NCAA committee.
The Spartans’ 2010 game at Alabama replaces a road game originally scheduled against Stanford University.
ETC.: By mid-September, both San Jose State and Alabama will have a game with Utah in its record books for 2009. The Crimson Tide faced Utah in the Sugar Bowl on January 2. The Spartans host the Utes in San Jose State’s 2009 home opener on September 12...San Jose State wide receivers coach Ken Margerum and Alabama All-America linebacker Woodrow Lowe are two of the 16 FBS players in the College Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2009...The Spartans and the Crimson Tide won conference championships in the same years twice (1975 and 1981)...LSU (1999) and Florida (1991 & 2003) are the two SEC schools that faced San Jose State in football.