Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post first reported in November 2014, according to sources, a possible 2017 neutral site game in Atlanta between Alabama and Florida State. Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban favors opening the season against a marquee opponent in regions of the country suited to enhance the recruiting base. In his inaugural season of 2007, the Tide was on the short end of the score losing to the Seminoles 21-14 in Jacksonville. Subsequent contracts were signed to play Clemson (2008), Virginia Tech (2009 and 2013) and West Virginia (2014) in the Georgia Dome. Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, was the choice in 2012 against Michigan, as will be the case this season against Wisconsin.
FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for five seasons (2000-04) under Saban at LSU. He chose to be the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Florida State in 2007 rather than accept an invitation to join the Alabama staff. At FSU he was also “head coach in-waiting” and succeeded Bobby Bowden.
The Alabama-FSU matchup would be a natural since the two teams live in parallel universes. Perennial top recruiting classes have provided the programs with rosters loaded with NFL prospects. Contending for the national championship is the standard the fan bases expect. Proximity and prowess of the ACC neighbor Florida State has led to the Seminoles being Alabama’s fiercest non-conference rival for talent in the Southeast.
’BAMA Magazine/BamaMag.com spoke to an impeccable source on the pending contest during the Florida State Pro Day on Tuesday in Tallahassee. The source? Jimbo Fischer.
Asked if the two teams might line up for the 2017 opener in Atlanta and scheduling other SEC opponents, he said, “We are definitely playing Ole Miss (2016 Orlando). There is probably a good chance with Alabama. The Auburn one, we have Notre Dame that year (2018) so I don’t know if that will be the deal but we may do it another year some other time.”
He added, “It (Alabama vs. Florida State) has a chance. We are in debate talking with them (Alabama) right now.” Stay tuned. Two years in the scheduling business of a college football game is the equivalent of the two-minute drill.
Alabama vs. Florida State football history
10-23-65 @Tuscaloosa Alabama 21 Florida State 0
9-23-67 @Birmingham Alabama 37 Florida State 37
10-12-74 @Tuscaloosa Alabama 8 Florida State 7
9-29-07 @Jacksonville Florida State 21 Alabama 14