FSU's Derwin James back from injury, determined to make impact vs. Alabama

Still, it's something of a rivalry game, and Tulsa can hold its own, so expect this one to be closer than you might think.

"You know they're competitors", McFadden said. They will travel to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators. No. 4 Penn State in 1983 and No. 1 Pittsburgh vs.

Last year, Talking Points' top bet to make the playoffs, Clemson at plus-155, not only cashed but went on to win the championship. Now, here are three things to watch for during Alabama vs Florida State this Saturday.

College football lovers understand that No. 21 Virginia Tech vs.

Player A threw for 31 touchdowns to nine interceptions at 8.4 yards per attempt last year on a team that hasn't won a conference championship in 12 years.

Deondre Francois had an appropriate answer when he assessed his performance last season - bumpy.

As for Michigan, Harbaugh hasn't named a starter at quarterback but Wilton Speight is the frontrunner for the position. Georgia finished 8-5 and landed outside the Top 25. Yes, all eyes will be on this matchup between preseason #1 and preseason #3 which most people agree is the biggest season opener of all the times.

The 13-member selection committee selects and seeds the four playoff teams. The Blazers shuttered their football program after the 2015 season only to have it brought back on a wave of new-found fan - and corporate - support. "We're up for a challenge", Hurts said.

The Tide always seem to hop to the front of the line, whether undefeated or with one loss and getting through the SEC unscathed is a mortal lock for the Playoff whether they win or lose this game.

Alabama had a heartbreaking loss in the National Championship game previous year against Clemson, while Florida State looks to develop on an Orange Bowl victory from last season.

ESPN College Gameday contributor David Pollack's picks weren't included in the ESPN lineup today, but he projected Clemson with a group of Ohio State, Stanford and Alabama earlier this month.

-RB Jacques Patrick has only 50 carries for 269 yards under his belt in three seasons as he assumes a leadership role in 2017. It might be an unranked matchup, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a game that has more importance for both teams.

Bad Times: Florida State's first ever meeting with Alabama on October 23, 1965 didn't only result in a loss, it resulted in a 21-0 shutout.

This big game played in the bright lights on the national stage should be a very interesting one, but more importantly, one coach will leave downtown Atlanta with a season opener loss. Ohio State's Big Ten East division could prove the best in the nation this year, while it would take a surprise for Oklahoma's Big 12 not to be the worst power-five conference.

This replaces the heavily criticized BCS postseason system, which ran from the 1998-2013 seasons and was often accused of unfairness relating to team selections.

"If your goal is going to be the best that you can be individually, personally, or as a team, or as a unit, then why is the guy you're playing against determine the level that you play?"

Offensively, Alabama's most explosive player doesn't come out of its strong backfield, but rather in its receiving corps.

This year's matchup marks the first time the two have played each other in 30 years.

Eric Single picks Georgia Tech: The late-breaking suspension of starting left tackle Drew Richmond does the retooling Vols offense no favors. Tennessee will make its second appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, while Georgia Tech will make its first appearance.

One of three SEC-ACC matchups this weekend. N.C. This is the first big event in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta - it also hosts this year's national title game.

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