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November 19, 2012

Report: Alabama, Colorado State near deal

TUSCALOOSA | The University of Alabama and Colorado State are close to an agreement to play football games in Tuscaloosa in 2013 and 2015, the Denver Post reported Monday morning.

According to the report, the Rams could receive more than $1 million for each game. That would be a record payout for a Bryant-Denny Stadium visitor, topping San Jose State's guarantee of $900,000 to play Alabama's 2010 season opener. Although Kent State received $1.2 million from Alabama in 2011, UA offset some $500,000 of that when Louisiana-Monroe bought out its contract to play UA.

CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham described the possibility as "a rumor" to the Post, but also indicated something was in the works.

"Games like playing Alabama are certainly possibilities that we are considering. Lots of things have to line up to pull the trigger to making the commitment to playing a football game like that," Graham said. "Unless and until we actually complete that process and fulfill all of the necessary negotiations that are required to make something like that happen, that's not done."

Colorado State is a member of the Mountain West Conference, a more competitive league than some whose teams whose teams have contracted with Alabama recently. That could help the Crimson Tide's strength of schedule rating, which plays a role in BCS standings.

Mountain West member Air Force received $1.1 million to visit Michigan this year.

Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain served as offensive coordinator under Alabama coach Nick Saban for four seasons from 2008-2011 before taking the CSU head coaching job.

In McElwain's first year, the Rams are 3-8 this season, and 2-5 in the Mountain West.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.

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