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Alabama Crimson Tide And Virginia Tech Hokies Face Off In the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Fans will get their first look at the national champs when the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Virginia Tech Hokies face off in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game at 4:30 CT Saturday, August 31 on ESPN. Once again they will meet in Atlanta under the Georgia Dome where Bama beat Virginia Tech 34-24 back in 2009.

Virginia Tech wants to win this game bad for three reasons. First, who doesn’t want to beat Alabama? If the Hokies can pull off a win it would give them momentum going into the season and some nice bragging rights. Next, after ending their season 11-3 and winning all their away games, they went 0-2 last when playing at a neutral site. That tells me they can win on the road, but they need to stay mentally focused. Finally, because Alabama is in the SEC and Virginia Tech is in the ACC they don’t meet often which should heighten their performances.

On the other hand, Alabama also has three reasons to win in Atlanta. As the reigning champ, Nick Saban definitely wants to showcase his team’s dominance in college football to a national audience. Alabama is always scouting and what better recruiting tool is there than 10 million television sets?  Lastly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Saban gives some of his new recruits a chance at action to see how they’ve developed over the summer.

I like neutral site games because neither team has the advantage, although you know the stands will be painted in Crimson since Tuscaloosa is only three hours away. Both teams had solid seasons last year so it should be a close game, but I think Bama will still secure the win.

You can follow me @derantsports

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