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Hartselle Enquirer

Is opening weekend a trap?

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

College football starts September 5th and people are already starting to prepare. Last week was SEC media days and all the sports news headlines were filled with what the coaches and players of college football’s best conference had to say. One of the big questions would be how Alabama and Auburn handle their upcoming opening day games against USC and Clemson respectively.

Opening weekend in college football has changed a lot over the years. As Adam Sandler put it when he portrayed former Florida State quarterback Paul Crewe in the movie the Longest Yard, “We always started with a chump team to get us ready for the real competition.” In the old days fans would be lucky to see one high profile game on opening weekend as mostly they just had to make due with the fact that college football was back as big teams played lesser opponents. That all changed in about 2008 with the arrival of all the city hosted games. Since 2008, Atlanta, Dallas and Houston have hosted neutral site games while more are starting to host each year. This has caused many teams to create more high profile matchups on opening weekend which don’t involve neutral sites. This year’s opening weekend will feature Alabama vs. USC, Clemson at Auburn, Houston vs. Oklahoma, LSU vs. Wisconsin, Georgia vs. North Carolina, Ole Miss vs. Florida State and many others. So far each year there haven’t been any major upsets yet but that is bound to change. For example the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tide have only played two non power 5 teams since 2008 on opening day as they generally play one of the day’s marquee matchups. While they are 8-0 on opening day since 2008 but you have to think that one day that might change. Alabama is coming off a national title but they come into this year with their third quarterback in as many years and have lost 13 starters including Heisman winner Derrick Henry. USC is a question mark themselves with a new coach, but there is no doubt that they have plenty of talented players.

I am not choosing Alabama because I think they will lose, I don’t, they were just the best team to make my example. I am also not saying I disapprove of how opening day is done now. What I will say is that some fan bases should prepare for that inevitable upset in the first game.

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