Saban's Crimson Tide Narrows Focus Towards Saturday's Opener

  • Saban's Crimson Tide Narrows Focus Towards Saturday's Opener

Saban's Crimson Tide Narrows Focus Towards Saturday's Opener

Hurts rushed for almost 1,000 yards, finishing with 954, but passed for just 185 a game as a freshman previous year.

The national championship game said it all, according to Rainer Sabin of AL.com: it "captured the essence of what Hurts was his freshman year - a reluctant passer and a willing escape artist".

Player A threw for 31 touchdowns to nine interceptions at 8.4 yards per attempt last year on a team that hasn't won a conference championship in 12 years.

Louisville's Lamar Jackson celebrates a touchdown against Florida State, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in Louisville Ky.

Michigan and Michigan State have the potential to be great, or to fall completely flat, much like Sparty did last season...

-QB Deondre Francois returns with loads of hype around his sophomore season. The Buckeyes are going to be ultra-talented in 2017, and a week two win over the Oklahoma Sooners will spring-board them to a big season.

With that in mind, here are three things that need to happen in the 2017 season to reestablish dominance for this glorious conference.

Tuskegee head coach Willie Slater leads his team against Alabama State University. Last year, the weakness of the Jackets defense was up front. But now his start and maybe even an appearance is in the air.

Jacksonville State: The Gamecocks got a jump on the start of the season as they knocked off Chattanooga 27-13 last week.

This is the first big event in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta - it also hosts this year's national title game.

The Crimson Tide has become accustomed to being in this position after knocking off Wisconsin in the 2015 opener and USC to begin 2016.

"As I said before, there are some guys who are going to step up and play their tails off". I think what it shows you is there's probably a real small population of guys (messing up).

Florida State was the victor of the final BCS National Championship behind a quarterback by the name of Jameis Winston.

Such a challenging opener, Saban said, helps the players focus during the offseason. I think when you have good safeties, they can minimize the big plays that you ever give up because a lot of times they're ready to stop the ball when it breaks the line of scrimmage.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops has not been as successful in his last two years, but he has more pieces at his disposal this season.

"This is a completely different team", Saban said.

This replaces the heavily criticized BCS postseason system, which ran from the 1998-2013 seasons and was often accused of unfairness relating to team selections. Head coach Nick Saban and select players met with the media at noon, before the Crimson Tide put in a two-hour session in full pads at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility later in the day.

There are holdover defensive stars, including safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne, and plenty of other National Football League timber. The Crimson Tide and Seminoles are in his top five.

For college football's opening weekend, LSU and BYU were scheduled to play at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday night. Quarterback Jalen Hurts ran for 954 yards last season, but has much room to mature as a passer. "They're going to bring it, and we have to bring it as well".

Scarlett and Callaway are the most significant players who will be missing from the game. That's how a lot of first games are. Ridley's long speed, short-area quickness and excellent route running skills make him a hard matchup no matter who's lined up against him.

"He's made great strides as his career went along. This is always the challenge in an opening game".

In another Week 1 matchup of two preseason Top 25 teams, Florida is sitting as a four-point underdog ahead of a neutral-site game against MI at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Give me one half of Ohio State's opener at IN on Thursday night, and I might believe that the Buckeyes are going to win the National Championship.

Florida State will find out immediately if it has the talent to get back to the College Football Playoff for the first time in three years.

The two coaches also have interesting ties.