Alabama-Florida State to Open 2017

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Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post first reported Friday via Twitter (yay Friday afternoon breaking news!) that an Alabama-Florida State dream match will open the 2017 college football season.

Alabama and Florida State’s campuses are separated by a little over 300 miles, but the the two college football powers have played just four times in their illustrious histories. The last came in 2007, when each were near their respective nadirs.

The Seminoles won, 21-14, in a contest that frankly wasn’t anywhere nearly as exciting as it should have been with more than three decades of separation since the last Alabama-Florida State encounter and the programs’ combined five national titles won in the interim. The wait this time is much shorter, but the product should presumably be much, much more befitting the names attached.

Nick Saban is obviously committed to marquee season-opening matchups. The Crimson Tide opened 2012 against Michigan, last season vs. West Virginia, this year against Wisconsin and they kickoff 2016 with USC.

The only unfortunate caveat: These are one-off contests played on neutral sites. The Alabama-Florida State game, D’Angelo writes, is slated for play in Atlanta. Similarly, Alabama-USC the year prior will be played in Jerry World, part of the Tide’s agreement to regularly open their seasons in North Texas.

College football needs more of these high-profile games like Alabama-Florida State, but home-and-home series played in the hallowed venues these programs call home is far more enticing. To that end, hey! We’re only a decade away from UCLA-Georgia in the Rose Bowl.