The battle in Jerry’s World is just a few hours away and already the anticipation is building. So much over analyzing has taken place this week on whether Michigan has what it takes to roll the Tide. We’ll see who is right and who is wrong at 8 p.m. ET tonight on ABC when Brent Musburger and Herbie make the call from Cowboys Stadium.
Michigan will try and knock off the defending national champ Alabama and prove that they are back among the elite in college football. The Wolverines will be without Fitzgerald Toussaint in the backfield as head coach Brady Hoke has decided to suspend him for the opener. The Tide replaces several key starters on the defense but Nick Saban always finds a way to reload with superior talent.
No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 2 Alabama (8 p.m. ET ABC)
Why you should tune in: It’s the biggest game of the weekend and College GameDay doesn’t travel to any slouch matchup. The defending national champ Alabama will look to show Michigan why the SEC is still the best conference in the country. Michigan is looking to repair the leagues image with a huge victory, as the Big Ten has struggled to win big non-conference games.
Players to watch: Michigan QB Denard Robinson and Alabama RB Eddie Lacy. Robinson is the key for the Wolverines success and will be squaring off against the best defense he’s ever faced. The Tide will make Robinson win the game with his arm and try and shut down his big play ability outside the pocket. Lacy could be a dark horse in the Heisman race this year as he will be running behind one of the best offensive lines in the country. Lacy could have a big day against Michigan’s inexperienced defensive front.
Hoke vs. Saban: Can Brady Hoke put together a game plan that will outsmart the mastermind Nick Saban? Hoke won a lot of respect from people around the country when he suspended Toussaint and defensive linemen Frank Clark. Saban is the ultimate game planner and designs a defense that is almost as complex as some NFL schemes.
Key matchup: Alabama offensive line vs. Michigan defensive line. The Tide returns four starters to an already solid offensive front that features one of the best in the game in Barrett Jones. UM will have three new starters upfront and could have trouble against Alabama’s size and strength.
Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.