Kirk Herbstreit expects Alabama vs. FSU to be biggest opening week game ever
When discussing Alabama’s 2017 season, it’s almost impossible not to mention the Week 1 opponent, Florida State.
Kirk Herbstreit was recently on “The Paul Finebaum Show” to talk about Alabama’s upcoming season when he made a prediction for the preseason rankings.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 21, 2017
If the Crimson Tide and Seminoles are No. 1 and No. 2 as Herbstreit expects, that would make the meeting in Atlanta the highest-ranked opening week matchup since preseason polls began in 1950. Earlier this month, Jason Kirk at SB Nation compiled a list of opening-week matchups featuring the preseason No. 1 vs. a top-20 foe:
- 1983: Nebraska vs. No. 4 Penn State
- 1986: Oklahoma vs. No. 4 UCLA
- 1985: Pitt vs. No. 5 North Carolina
- 1953: Notre Dame at No. 6 Oklahoma
- 1957: Oklahoma at No. 8 Pitt
- 1978: Alabama vs. No. 10 Nebraska
- 1984: Auburn vs. No. 10 Miami
- 1998: Ohio State at No. 11 West Virginia
- 1990: Miami at No. 16 BYU
- 1991: Florida State vs. No. 19 BYU
- 2016: Alabama vs. No. 20 USC
- 1950: Notre Dame vs. No. 20 North Carolina
- 1958: Ohio State vs. No. 20 SMU
As Kirk’s research shows, even if Alabama is No. 1 and FSU is No. 3 it would still be the highest-ranked Week 1 matchup. FSU looks like a worthy candidate for a high preseason ranking. Jimbo Fisher’s squad loses RB Dalvin Cook, but much like Alabama, the Seminoles have a way of reloading with top talent, including 2017’s top running back recruit, Cam Akers. The Seminoles are coming off of a 10-3 season and return starting QB Deondre Francois.