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It’s official: Alabama vs. WVU in ’14 Kickoff Game

US President Barack Obama (L) walks with AP

Last night, Ben noted that Nick Saban recently mentioned the possibility of his current school and the flagship university of his home state squaring off in the 2014 season opener in the state of Georgia.

Today, Alabama-West Virginia in two years officially became a reality.

In a press release sent out Thursday evening, it was confirmed that the Mountaineers will square off with the Tide in the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.  The game will be played in the Georgia Dome on Saturday, Aug. 30.  No time has been set, although there’s little doubt the game will be broadcast in prime time.

“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is an outstanding event and we look forward to opening the 2014 season in Atlanta,” said Saban (pictured) in a statement. “Gary Stokan and his staff do a great job in hosting this game and the atmosphere in the Georgia Dome has been like a BCS bowl game in our previous experiences there. The exposure for our football players and our program is tremendous and it is a great experience for our fans. This will be the sixth time we have played a non-conference game at a neutral site, and the fourth time at Atlanta.

“I believe that playing an opponent that has the national reputation that West Virginia does, one of the top programs in the country, provides a great challenge for our players and gives us something to look forward to in the offseason. We are privileged at the University of Alabama to be a part of what has become a great tradition in college football with first-class organizations like the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the City of Atlanta.”

Saban grew up in Fairmont, WV, about 20 miles southwest of Morgantown.

The release states that tickets to the 2014 game will be evenly split between the two teams, creating “a true neutral-site game” despite the Georgia Dome’s location in the heart of SEC country.

The 2014 meeting will mark the first time the two schools have faced each other in football.

“Playing in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is a great opportunity for our football program and will be an exciting event for our fans,” said WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen (not pictured). “Alabama is one of the top teams in college football history, and it will be a tough challenge for us.”

The Tide is 10-8-1 all-time versus Big 12 schools — WVU is moving from the Big East this year — while the Mountaineers are 24-22-2 against SEC teams.

In addition to the 2014 game, the Tide will also face Virginia Tech in the 2013 Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome.  There will be a pair of kickoff games this year: Tennessee vs. North Carolina State, Clemson vs. Auburn.

It had been previously been announced that Boise State will play Ole Miss in the second game of the 2014 Chick-fil-A doubleheader.

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11 Responses to “It’s official: Alabama vs. WVU in ’14 Kickoff Game”
  1. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: May 17, 2012 6:32 PM

    How many more months ??? I’m ready lets kickoff already!

  2. polegojim says: May 17, 2012 6:47 PM

    I hope the Tide will have recovered from the 2012 Kick Off by then!

    Go BLUE!

  3. southernpatriots says: May 17, 2012 7:02 PM

    Great news! Both teams and fan bases should be happy with this scheduling. The Chick-fil-A folks are good people, Truett and Dan Cathy and their team and crew do a great deal of good for a huge number of children, and always host the event well, as Coach Saban experienced and acknowledged.

    Mountaineer players (and former players) are some of the best fans and people we have met in our many decades in college football. They have been so very helpful with the annual outreach to the children of Appalachia, and always Mountaineers have been great fans and hosts both in Baton Rouge and in Morgantown. Coach Dana recognizes the uphill challenge it will be to meet Alabama, but that gives the Mountaineers a few years to adjust to the Big 12 schedule which should help.

  4. mountaineer50415 says: May 17, 2012 7:08 PM

    Until we meet in 2014 Roll Tide and Go Mountaineers. When we meet in August of 2014, Go Mountaineers. What fantastic news!!!!
    Next season slaughter Michigan.

  5. Deb says: May 17, 2012 7:15 PM

    Michigan, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia! Three more exciting opening days for Alabama!! Can’t wait for September 1 in Dallas!!!

    Roll Tide!!

  6. kupski says: May 17, 2012 8:10 PM

    Alabama/ W.va ?

    This is a an opening day ass kicking for W.va

    The Tide will roll them easily. Sounds like wasted T.V. revenue. Will be “exciting” for the first 5 minutes of the 1st quarter, then downhill for the Mountaineers from then on.

  7. Deb says: May 17, 2012 8:28 PM

    @kupski …

    Hey … I’m an Alabama fan, but we don’t know what’s going to happen in a game scheduled three seasons from now. Never count your chickens.

  8. indywvu says: May 17, 2012 8:31 PM

    kupski hit the shine a little too early tonight…

  9. phillyb6 says: May 18, 2012 9:16 AM

    Wait wait wait… You mean that isn’t Dana Holgorsen pictured with Saban?

  10. Romulus says: May 18, 2012 3:46 PM

    ah, the old crimson rednecks and their 9 nc. Lets go Mountaineers & War Damn Eagle!!!!

  11. neovenator250 says: May 19, 2012 2:23 PM

    3 years in a row for Alabama? Seriously? Can we not get another team to sign up for these things?

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