TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Alabama and South Florida will start a three-game football series in the 2023 season.

The schools announced Thursday they'll play in Tampa, Florida on Sept. 16, 2023. They'll meet in Tuscaloosa the following season on Sept. 7 and again Sept. 12, 2026.

Alabama and South Florida have met only once before. The Crimson Tide won 40-17 in 2003 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban says South Florida coach Charlie Strong ''has built a strong program.'' Saban says that ''playing this kind of competition only makes our team better.''

Alabama opens next season against Duke Aug. 31 in Atlanta. South Florida opens a day earlier against Wisconsin at Raymond James Stadium.

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