Expansion of the Southeastern Conference resulted in a split into divisions, first six-team West and East and now seven-team. That also meant the end of some traditional rivalries with Alabama losing its longtime matchup with Vanderbilt.
The 2017 Crimson Tide schedule has been released and a trip to Nashville and meeting with Vanderbilt returns to the Bama slate.
Otherwise, the schedule is as expected, beginning with the previously announced season-opener against Florida State on Sept. 2, the first regular season college football game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
There will be seven games in Bryant-Denny Stadium, including the four SEC opponents that are this year’s conference road opponents – Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU. In addition to the Vanderbilt road trip, Bama will go to Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Auburn next season.
The three non-conference home games are better than usual -- Fresno State (Sept. 9), Colorado State (Sept. 16), and Mercer (Nov. 18).
Alabama opens league play at Vanderbilt on Sept. 23 and then opens the SEC home slate on Sept. 30 against Ole Miss, which begins a run of four straight games against SEC competition before an open date on October 28. Alabama will play at Texas A&M (Oct. 7), and host Arkansas (Oct. 14) and Tennessee (Oct. 21) before the bye week. The Tide travels to LSU on Nov. 4 and Mississippi State (Nov. 11) before hosting Mercer. The 2017 regular season closes out with a trip to Auburn on Nov. 25.
The much-anticipated Alabama-FSU game will mark mark the fifth consecutive year the Tide1 has opened the season with a neutral-site game and the fifth time in the Nick Saban era that the Tide has opened the season in Atlanta. In the Saban Era, the Tide has played neutral site games in eight of the 10 seasons (including this year’s 52-6 win over Southern Cal in Arlington, Texas) with a 7-1 record. The one loss was in Saban’s first year, 2007, and was the only one of the scheduled neutral site games that was not a season-opener. Alabama lost a 21-14 decision to Florida State in Jacksonville, Fla.
The 2017 SEC Championship Game is slated for Saturday, Dec. 2, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The 2017 Alabama football schedule:
Sept. 2 FSU in Atlanta
Sept. 9 Fresno State
Sept. 16 Colorado State
Sept. 23 @ Vanderbilt
Sept. 30 Ole Miss
Oct. 7 @ Texas A&M
Oct. 14 Arkansas
Oct. 21 Tennessee
Oct. 28 Open
Nov. 4 LSU
Nov. 11 @ Mississippi State
Nov. 18 Mercer
Nov. 25 @ Auburn