Alabama Football: Another ‘Game of the Century’ or not?

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: University of Alabama coach Nick Saban chats with coach Bobby Bowden of Florida State University September 29, 2007 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: University of Alabama coach Nick Saban chats with coach Bobby Bowden of Florida State University September 29, 2007 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images) /
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Will Alabama football and FSU be another Game of the Century? Let’s look at past games most agree deserve the distinction.

Alabama football fans are ripe for a new ‘Game of the Century.’ If for no other reason, because the last one in 2011 did not go the Tide’s way. Two months later, the rematch win was sweet redemption, carrying with it another national championship.

Still, we Alabama football fans can be a tad greedy. The Tide lost the last ‘Game of the Century’ and a win in the next one would totally erase the sting of that cool, November night in Tuscaloosa.

The truth is ‘Games of the Century’ are media concoctions, embraced by fan fervor. We talk about them as though they actually exist. They don’t. At best, they are ‘Games of the Decade.’

If we look back the last quarter of a century, the Tide-FSU contest could be the fifth ‘Game of the Century.’

Most close followers of college football history (not Clemson fans) agree what four games deserve the distinction. Florida State has been in two of them, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, LSU and Alabama have played in one each. Clemson fans will strongly disagree, contending their 2016 national championship win was also a ‘Game of the Century.’

The previous four were No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchups. Here’s a brief look at each one.

  • 1991; Miami at Florida State. Miami won 17-16 because a late 34-yard game-winning FSU  field goal was ‘wide right.’ Those last two words still elicit facial tics from some Noles fans. The Big East Champion Hurricanes went 12-0 and won the national championship.
  • 1993; Florida State at Notre Dame. Notre Dame won 31-24 but by season’s end, Florida State was No. 1 and the Irish, No. 2. FSU was awarded a Bowl Coalition Championship berth against Nebraska and won 18-16.
  • 2006; Michigan at Ohio State. The two teams met in mid-November with the winner almost assured a spot in the BCS Championship game. The Buckeyes prevailed but lost to Florida in the national championship contest.
  • 2011; LSU at Alabama. It was an old school, southern football slugfest. Many fans who witnessed the game in Bryant-Denny claimed it was the most physical contest they had ever seen. Each side had 14 defensive players who would be drafted by the NFL. Of those 28 players, 10 were NFL First Round selections. Adding the drafted offensive players, an astounding 42 players who competed in the game were drafted by the NFL. LSU won 9-6 in overtime.

There will be a bunch of future NFL talent on the field inside new Mercedes Stadium on September 2, 2017. Will the amount of NFL talent surpass the 2011 game? That answer is a few NFL Drafts away.

Will it be another ‘Game of the Century’? Ohio State might muck up that prospect in advance. The Buckeyes could easily be ranked No. 1 or No. 2, in the final preseason poll.

Next: Five Greatest Threats to a 2017 Championship

Hype-driven media will probably ignore any preseason poll dissonance. Who cares that it makes no sense to call a season-opener a ‘Game of the Century’? Most definitely, it will be the biggest game of the opening weekend of the 2017 season.