The NCAA has "long considered Nevada taboo territory for hosting its championship events," but that "policy changed" today following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on sports betting, according to Chris Murray of the RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL. The organization in a release stated that it will be "temporarily allowing NCAA championship events to occur in states that offer sports wagering." This gives the "potential for permanent changes in the future." Murray notes Nevada now could "host NCAA championship events such as an NCAA Regional in baseball, softball or golf; NCAA Tournament basketball games; or other such events." The news will likely have a big impact in Las Vegas, which was 'barred from hosting high-profile events" like NCAA Tournament games or the CFP. Las Vegas is one of the largest cities in the U.S. and has "world-class arenas" as well as the Raiders' stadium scheduled to open in a couple years, meaning it will "likely be an NCAA destination." The NCAA has allowed leagues to "hold conference tournament in the state," but the organization "drew the line at NCAA championship events, citing the risks of sports betting" (RGJ.com, 5/17). NCAA President Mark Emmert is "calling for federal regulations on sports gambling, joining the NFL, NBA and other leagues." Meanwhile, the NCAA stated that it will "not change its rules that prohibit gambling on sports by athletes and all athletic department employees, including coaches" (AP, 5/17).
Alabama and Texas will play a home-and-home series in '22 and '23, and college football fans "should celebrate the development -- especially if it signals a trend," according to George Schroeder of USA TODAY. The matchup is "exactly the kind of intersectional matchup the sport needs." College football’s "tapestry is enriched" when certain matchups occur, like Ohio State-Oklahoma, Texas-USC, Texas-Notre Dame, Georgia-Clemson, Clemson-Auburn and Auburn-Penn State. Those matchups are "not easy to schedule, and they bring risk." But they are "worth it on multiple levels," especially "coupled with the announcement last month that Alabama and Notre Dame will play." It is a "welcome development for college football’s current dynasty" (USA TODAY, 5/17). In Ft. Worth, William Wilkerson notes the '22 Alabama-UT matchup "will be the 10th meeting between the two and the first" since Alabama defeated Texas in the '09 BCS National Championship Game. UT is "second in the NCAA with 898 all-time wins" and Alabama is 5th with 891. To accommodate this series, UT and Ohio State have "mutually agreed to push back the dates of their home-and-home series" to '25 and '26. UT has also "canceled a home game with UCF that was scheduled for Sept. 9, 2023" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/17). ESPN Stats & Info noted, "Alabama and Texas haven't met outside of a bowl game since 1922. The meeting in Austin in 2022 will mark the schools' first meeting in the Texas capital in 100 years." The Austin American-Statesman's Brian Davis: "Notre Dame, USC, LSU, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan... these are games Texas should be playing. And trips the fans should absolutely want to take" (TWITTER.com, 5/16).
FLORIDA FIRST: In Jacksonville, Phillip Heilman notes the city announced FSU "will host" Boise State at TIAA Bank Field in its season opener Aug. 31, 2019. FSU will be the home team and "take in the ticket revenue from the game -- the city gets a share of money from concessions and parking -- before concluding their home-and-home series on the road" against Boise State during the '20 season. Several details are "still to be decided surrounding the first-ever meeting" between the schools -- "most notably, the game time and broadcast partner." Jacksonville Sports Council President & CEO Rick Catlett said that ticket prices were "still being decided as of this week, but they will be cheaper than last year’s kickoff games" in Atlanta (FSU-Alabama) and Dallas (Florida-Michigan) (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/17).
LET'S GET IT STARTED: Alabama "will face Louisville in ABC's first Saturday Night Football game" of the '18 season and Miami "plays LSU on Sunday night of the season-opening weekend." It will be the "third straight season ABC airs a Sunday night game on Labor Day weekend" (AP, 5/16).