Stephen Patrick | Analyzed Sports
Primetime: FSU vs. Alabama Showdown Awaits
With Rivalry games against Miami, Florida and division games against the defending national champion Clemson, along with Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of the Louisville Cardinals, What is FSU thinking? The schedule is tight, but that didn’t stop FSU from adding college power Alabama. It only causes for excitement, in the first game of each team’s season, but for No. 3 Florida State, they’re coming into the season with expectations at its highest since the 2014 season.
“It’s the two winningest teams in the last seven years,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Since I’ve been coaching here, it’s the two winningest programs in America, bar none. That’s what you want to see, the best playing the best. Right now, we’re both considered the best. Now, whether we turn out that way will depend on the season, but I think it’s a great opportunity and a great challenge. That’s what life is. That’s what the ball is.”
“They are an excellent football team, but we can’t get caught up in a one-game deal,” he said. “We play Miami, N.C. State, we go down to Wake (Forest) who plays great defense, we go into conference play. We’ve still got Florida, Louisville, Clemson, all our conference opponents. I think our division and this conference is as good as anyone in America.”
The game will be a reunion for several coaches on the FSU staff; four assistants have worked under Alabama coach Nick Saban. Saban doesn’t have to plan for Dalvin cook. FSU will miss Cook but have options at tailback in Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick. The potential for the receiving corps to improve behind Auden Tate and Nyqwan Murray can lead to big plays this year. The 2017 season hinges on the offensive line’s ability to keep QB Deondre Francois more upright than he was last year.
“We’re used to playing in big games, used to those environments and we’ll play in another one (against Alabama),” he said. “Understanding all the hoopla that goes with it is important. All that hype goes away; all those cheers go away. That doesn’t mean you can’t be emotional, but are you prepared to play? That’s the key component.”
Florida State seems favorite to win the ACC, but don’t be shocked if the Seminoles are a two-loss team right in the center of the College Football Playoff debate. The game will provide an early indication of just how dangerous both teams are for the College Football Playoff. The Seminoles are big underdogs heading into the opener. The pressure is on Alabama in this one. If FSU football loses the game, there isn’t the shock factor since it is supposed to happen and the Seminoles can still win out and make the CFB Playoff. If the Crimson Tide lose, the sky will be falling on Tuscaloosa after dropping last year’s title game to Clemson and then losing the opener.