After being the victim of a stunner in the national championship game against Clemson just a few months ago, the Alabama Crimson Tide have been, without a doubt, grinding their teeth in anticipation for the 2017 season.
That will finally happen September 2 when No. 1 Alabama plays in a nonconference showdown against No 3 Florida State in Atlanta. It has the makeup to be one of the best season openers of all time and it will have all the hype and then some.
Most experts seem to be leaning Alabama’s way on the game, but that revolves around Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough making an impact. If the Seminoles are able to slow him down, quarterback Jalen Hurts will be forced to throw, and he wasn’t the best at doing so last year under center.
The blockbuster of an early-season test should give a good indication about what the future holds for each team as they inch closer toward conference play.
Coming off of a season which many say was the best yet under coach Nick Sabin, Alabama brings back another absolutely-loaded roster paired with plenty of five-star recruits, all of whom have revenge firmly on their minds.
After dropping the championship game to Clemson, 35-31, in one of the most crushing ways, the Crimson Tide opened as the early favorites to take home the trophy this season. Sure, Hurts struggled in the playoffs, but you have to keep in mind that he was just 18-years old and playing on the biggest stage of his lifetime. Now, with a year of solid experience under his belt, he could prove to be the x-factor if all goes according to plan. And of course, there’s the fact new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will have a full season to implement his offensive schemes, which are sure to bring some big plays and points to the scoreboard.
With many players with solid experience, what figures to be a stout defense and Scarbrough returning out of the backfield, there’s no telling what this year’s version of Alabama team is capable of achieving if they can avoid injuries throughout the season.
Right away after the 2016-17 season the Crimson Tide opened the as favorites to return to the national title game and walk home victorious. They opened at +300, according to OddsShark, followed behind by Florida State at +750, Ohio State at +800 and USC at +900.
Things get a little beat easier for Alabama the next couple weeks, as they play two nonconference games against Fresno State and Colorado State, respectively.
Now that more than a few months have gone by and the rosters are set, here’s a look the odds for the top 10 teams to win the national title this season, per OddsShark on August 24.
Ohio State +650
Florida State +750
Penn State +1600