There is no bigger season opener in college football than Alabama vs. Florida State which will take place on September 2, 2017, at the brand new Mercedes-Benz-Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the last six days the BamaInsider.com Staff along with the Warchant.com Staff have previewed the two teams in several different categories. Today, in our final segment we compare the two head coaches and provide a game prediction of the #ATLShowdown
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BamaInsider.com On Nick Saban
Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban has a record of 119-19 since taking over the Crimson Tide in 2007. He won one National Championship in 2003 as the Head Coach of LSU and has won four as the Head Coach at Alabama (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015).
What continues to set Saban apart from the rest of college football is his drive to win, to be the best, and his program operates like a highly successful organization, where the little things have to be perfect in order for the greater good to achieve greatness. Saban already has a statue erected outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, but it’s obvious he is aiming at the most National Football Championships in NCAA History. Currently, he has five, Bear Bryant has 6.
Warchant.com On Jimbo Fisher
Jimbo Fisher has said many times that his coaching style was influenced heavily by both Nick Saban and Bobby Bowden, and those are certainly two great mentors for any young coach.
Bowden was celebrated during his career for his ability to relate to people -- players, recruits, recruits' families, etc. -- as well as his imagination as an offensive playcaller. Fisher has picked right up where Bowden left on as a recruiter, routinely hauling in top-five recruiting classes, and he used the Bowden offenses he played in and coached in (with Terry Bowden and Bobby Bowden) as a building block for the schemes he runs today.
As important as the Bowden influence has been for Fisher, the Saban impact is likely even greater. When it comes to the day-to-day running of his program -- and his long-term vision for FSU Football -- Fisher leans heavily upon the best practices that he and Saban developed during their years together at LSU. It can be seen in everything from the sophisticated approach they use to evaluate recruits to their NFL-style approach to building systems and processes. Throughout his career, Saban has shown an impressive ability to meld old-school approaches with new-age technology, and Fisher is very much of the same mindset.
BamaInsider.com's Game Prediction
Nick Saban is 10-0 in home openers as Head Coach of Alabama, the early line has been set by Las Vegas with Alabama being a 5 point 1/2 favorite. This opener is gigantic for college football, it’s on primetime tv, in the new Atlanta Falcons Football Stadium, and the difference will be Alabama’s defense. If Florida State does not get on the board early and Alabama controls the tempo, it will be Goodnight Seminoles in the ATLShowdown. Alabama 35, Florida State 17.
Warchant.com's Game Prediction
Florida State very well could end up as one of the best teams in the country this season, and the Seminoles should have a great shot at returning to the College Football Playoff. But this season opener will be a tough spot for a team that will be working in so many new players on offense.
These wide receivers have the talent to be better than the ones they replaced. Same goes for these young offensive linemen. And even with the loss of Dalvin Cook to the NFL, the 'Noles have plenty of potential at running back. The question is whether all of these new faces can come together with QB Deondre Francois to have a sharp offensive performance in an opener against a Nick Saban-coached Alabama squad.
FSU's defense will give the 'Noles a chance here, but the question is whether the offense can give them enough support to pull off the win. If these two teams meet in the playoff, the story could be different. But right now, we'll give the edge to Alabama -- 27-24.
Recap: Alabama vs. Florida State Preview
Alabama vs. Florida State
Saturday, September 2, 7 PM
The Line: -5 1/2 Alabama