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Penn State Football: Nittany Lions And Alabama Talked Opening 2016 Season At Neutral Site

by on May 17, 2014 10:00 AM

Penn State and Alabama facing off at a neutral site location was almost in the cards for the 2016 season opener but didn't quite work out according to a university spokesperson.

"There were discussions about playing the 2016 season opener against Alabama at a neutral site and moving Kent State to another year, but it didn't work out," the spokesperson told StateCollege.com.

All of this may have flown under the radar had it not been for Alabama head coach Nick Saban saying earlier this week that Penn State had backed out of the game.

While it may never be known publicly why the game fell through it stands to reason that either the location had yet to be settled on or a Penn State program coming out of sanctions in 2016 decided against taking on what will likely still be one of the best teams in the nation.

Neither Saban nor the Penn State spokesperson indicated if the game was recently dropped from the discussion table or if this was water long under the bridge. Penn State's 2016 schedule has been completed for quite some time but nothing in the non-conference schedule is ever truly set in stone.

Additionally, Penn State and LSU are still -- at least in theory -- discussing a possible neutral site game down the road. No public comments have been made regarding that contest aside from an initial confirmation of talks following an accidental leak by the Big Ten Network.

None of this is exactly earthshaking news. But it is an interesting look at how college football programs go through the negotiation process of a major college football series without almost anyone knowing about it. 

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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