In what many are calling the greatest opening weekend of college football, the marquee game Saturday night is between No. 1 Alabama and No. 20 Southern California.
It’s a battle between the two most recent dynasties in college football and will certainly play a huge role in setting the early tone for the race to the College Football Playoff, but the Crimson Tide obviously have greater expectations.
For the Trojans, you could call it a free shot at the nation’s premier program that could catapult Southern Cal back into the realm of college football’s elite. However things shake out on Saturday, let’s hope we get a well-played, competitive contest.
Here is what a few national media outlets are saying about Week 1’s primetime showdown:
- If you’ve watched college football over the last few seasons, it’s no surprise that Alabama is a pretty heavy favorite to defeat USC, but if you dig deeper and look at the talent on both rosters, the two programs are much closer. FOXSports’ Stewart Mandel explains why the Crimson Tide are not a good matchup for the Trojans and why USC is not getting real consideration to win this game. Needless to say, nobody really knows what to expect in Week 1.
- Speaking of roster breakdowns, Alex Scarborough and Kyle Bonagura of ESPN put together an in-depth look at this matchup position-by-position. With USC holding its weight in that regard, maybe the Trojans will pull off a shocker to kick off the season. If there’s one thing for certain, there’s plenty of question marks on both sidelines, and whoever figures out the answers to those questions first likely wins the game.
- While some 2,000 miles separate Alabama and Southern California, the two programs have a pretty big connection heading into the season opener: Lane Kiffin. The Crimson Tide offensive coordinator, of course, had a stint as the Trojans’ head coach before being let go midseason in 2013. That connection makes for a good storyline heading into Saturday, and ESPN’s Ted Miller dove into Kiffin’s relationship with current USC coach Clay Helton.
- There’s no doubting what Alabama’s goal is each season. National championships are expected, not hoped for in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide are looking to start that journey once again on Saturday. Nick Saban deserves a ton of credit for maintaining that level of consistency over the past decade, and that success has really stemmed from Saban’s ability to adapt to the changes college football has faced over the past decade, writes John Zenor of the Associated Press.