By Harold Hughes
A new partnership between the ticket-buying platform BANDWAGON and the travel planning power of Utrip, helps sports fans stay focused on game day, even on the road. Don’t know where to stay or what to do while on your trip? Let us help you find the best hotels, restaurants and entertainment vetted by local travel experts.
During the 2017-2018 season, the planner will offer itineraries for college football away games or neutral-site games played in major cities and right now, we are focusing on several early-season games we feel will be great match-ups.
Week 1: Florida State vs. Alabama, Saturday, September 2, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta
Overview: The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic has been mainly an SEC vs. ACC contest since its inception in 2008. This is Alabama’s fifth appearance in the series with a 4-0 record and the Tide have scored at least 33 points in each of its prior appearances. While it is Florida State’s first appearance, the last time Alabama played an ACC team, the Tide lost. That was last year’s national title game against Clemson. If the preseason rankings are any indication, this is a potential super match. Alabama is ranked No. 1 in most polls, while Florida State also has at least one top spot in the polls. Both teams are primed heading into this year.
Why we love this game: New stadium to explore. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the new home of the Atlanta Falcons. The estimated $1.6 billion stadium offers panoramic views of practically the entire city skyline and can seat 71,000 people. You can watch the construction here. After spending almost the last decade at the Georgia Dome, this game will provide many fans their first opportunity to explore the new facility. College sports fans may want to get used to this stadium, as Mercedes-Benz will also be hosting the national title game in January.
Series History: This is the rubber game in a series that is tied at 2-2-1. The last game was in 2007, when Florida State won 21-14 in Tallahassee.
Big Number to Impress Your Friends: 96. That is the combined all-time number of first-round draft picks from the two schools: 53 from Alabama; 43 from Florida State. So chances are pretty good that someone on the field in this game will go high in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Big Number to Really Impress Your Friends: 100. That is yards, but we are not talking about the length of the football field. That is the length of the bar on one of the concourses. That is one big bar.
Cheering: Two of the most-distinctive war cries in all of college football will be on display this weekend. “Roll Tide” has become a de facto phrase to describe the entire state of Alabama. Remember this ESPN commercial? Meanwhile, over the years the “Tomahawk Chop” has taken on a life of its own. While it might seem as though various fan bases introduced The Chop, Florida State popularized it.
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