ATLANTA, Ga. (WIAT) — No other team since 2007 has been on ESPN’s travelling college football pregame show, “College Gameday,” more than Alabama. It’s no surprise the Worldwide Leader in Sports will once again feature the Tide Saturday before the Chick-fil-a Kickoff Game in Atlanta.
With No. 1 facing No. 3 in the first game of the season, there’s a lot of hype around this game, especially the winner.
“To me, the winner of this game’s in the College Football Playoff,” “College Gameday” analyst David Pollack said. “I mean, I think 25% of it is settled. The loser, obviously, they lost a great opportunity, but if its close game, they’re not out of the mix, either.”
The host of the show, Rece Davis, took it one step further than Pollack.
“I think this first game in Atlanta will also be the championship game that we see in Atlanta,” Davis said. “ I think they’re the two best teams.”
While the fans are eager for the game to begin, Pollack believes the players absolutely feel the same way and that it stems from opening the season against a high quality opponent.
“Its so different. Your whole off-season thought process is completely different,” Pollack said. “You’re so much more focused, you work harder in the weight room. I opened with Clemson as a sophomore and I opened with Georgia Southern as a senior. It’s night and day.”
Alabama enters the game a seven-point favorite, but many believe Florida State has a great chance to give the Tide a season-opening loss for the first time under Nick Saban. Davis believes if the Seminoles are going to win, it starts with the offensive line.
“To win this game, the number one thing they have to do is protect Deondre Francois,” he said. “I know the narrative has been, ‘Oh, he held the ball too long, not all the sacks were on the offensive line’ and that is true, but a lot of them were, so they need to make sure that they protect him.”
To hear more from Davis and Pollack about the game, check out the videos above for the complete interview with each analyst.
Alabama and Florida State kick off Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Central.