Alabama will kick off its quest to win five consecutive College Football Playoff titles against Duke in 2019 in Atlanta, the Crimson Tide and Blue Devils announced Monday morning.
(Mostly kidding about that five-peat. Mostly.)
It will be Alabama’s sixth appearance in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff, which included the first Atlanta-based neutral site game in 2008 (against Clemson) and will include 2017’s curtain-lifter against Florida State. The Tide have also played Virginia Tech (2009, 2013) and West Virginia (2014) in Atlanta to begin various seasons, and opened the 2016 season against USC at AT&T Stadium.
There is, of course, a ton of money to be made off these neutral-site games. And that’s fine, but how much more fun would it have been to see Alabama travel to Lane Stadium and face a raucous, Enter Sandman-energized crowd at Virginia Tech instead of doing one of these games? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
But alas, we’ll just have to settle for these big neutral-site games, though Alabama-Duke might not exactly qualify as one of those. It’s not a bad consolation, of course.