Not surprisingly, there’s more than passing interest in the marquee matchup of the first full weekend of the 2017 college football season.
Saturday, Sept. 2, Alabama and Florida State will take the field in Atlanta to kick off the year in the first-ever game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (probably). It’s expected that this latest edition of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will feature Crimson Tide and Seminoles squads that will be ranked inside the Top Five of most major polls and is being described by the host party as perhaps “a matchup of the two highest-ranked teams to ever play on opening weekend in the nearly 150 years of college football.”
As such, it was officially confirmed Friday that the 71,000-seat stadium is sold out for the highly-anticipated opener.
“We’re calling this game the GOAT, the Greatest Opener of All Time, because of the projected rankings, the dominance of these two programs and the fact that this is the toughest ticket I have seen in my 20 years in college football,” said Gary Stokan, CEO and president of Peach Bowl, Inc, in a statement. “To possibly have #1 against #2 in the first game of the season is a credit to the programs that Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher have built and their willingness to play this game shows their desire to compete at the highest level.”
“We knew this was going to be a special game, but I’m not sure we fully expected it to reach historic levels like this,” said Percy Vaughn, Peach Bowl, Inc. chairman.
The Tide and ‘Noles have met four times previously, the last coming during Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa in 2007. The two football programs have combined to win five of the last eight national championships — Alabama with four (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015) and Florida State with one (2013).
Both Saban and Fisher were born and raised in West Virginia, with the latter serving as the former’s offensive coordinator at LSU from 2000-04.
And, for the degenerates in the audience, the Tide is anywhere from a six- to 7.5-point favorite depending on the sportsbook.