Storylines Aplenty for 'Bama-FSU

The River City Showdown is looking to be a glamorous event featuring two of the most storied football programs, in Florida State and Alabama. While this game might not have the same silver lining it would have had, if Georgia hadn't won last weekend, it still has a lot of punch to it.

Alabama boasts a very potent offense, but that offense can only live up to its potential if John Parker Wilson can play consistent football. On the other side, you have a Florida State team lead by Drew Weatherford which has had a knack for putting up a good fight against any opponent.

However, players aside, this game boasts a fair share of coaching history between the two teams. With newly inducted Hall of Famer Bobby Bowden leading a Seminole team that has been rocked by coaching departures in the last year, against an Alabama football team led by Nick Saban and a slew of new coaches.

A big storyline accompanying the River City Showdown is the coaching match-up with the two former Louisiana State University counterparts, Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher.

Coach Saban served as LSU's head coach from December 1999 onwards to the end of the 2004 campaign, winning two SEC Championships and one National Championship.

Jimbo Fisher had stints at Samford, Auburn, and Cincinnati before taking the Offensive Coordinator position at LSU with Coach Saban in 2000. Consequently, those two stints at Samford and Auburn were under Bobby Bowden's son Terry Bowden. These two men led one of the fiercest teams in the SEC with the Tigers in the early part of this decade.

While Coach Saban left LSU in 2004 to pursue a career in the NFL, Coach Fisher stayed behind to work with talents Marcus Randle and last year's top draft pick JaMarcus Russell.

After Saban took the Alabama job, it was widely rumored that Jimbo Fisher would leave LSU to join Coach Saban's staff again. Instead, after Jeff Bowden's resignation last year Fisher joined the Seminoles. It should be a treat to see Saban's 3-4 defense match-up against a Jimbo Fisher.

Jimbo Fisher isn't the only coach at FSU who served under Coach Saban. Lawrence Dawsey who served as a graduate assistant under Coach Saban for the 2003 National Championship, is now the new receivers coach for the Seminoles after leaving South Florida last year. Lastly, Rick Trickett who is currently the Seminole offensive line coach, had a stint as line coach under Saban in 2000 at LSU.

However, none of those might be able to match the history behind Alabama's new Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele and Florida State. He served as linebacker coach under Coach Bowden from the 2003 season all the way up to the 2006 season. In 2005, he was named Executive Head Coach for the Seminoles and was in line as the next head coach at Florida State.

However, this game should ultimately become a defensive affair, with Alabama facing a FSU defense that has only given up a total of 13 second half points this season.

John Parker Wilson better be more accurate on Saturday or he will get eaten up by a very athletic defensive side that includes 2006's top ranked recruit in the nation with Myron Rolle covering passes.

However Florida State's offense has been slow to start the season, and is the main reason they suffered that opening week loss to Clemson. Expect Fisher to have quarterbacks Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee to take snaps in this game, as they look to put some points up on the board against a young and quick Crimson Tide defense.

Weatherford had tough games against Clemson and Colorado, yet managed to pass for more than 300 yards against University of Alabama at Birmingham in week two. It should be a great atmosphere also, given the fact it is in Jacksonville.

The storylines for this game are in place to make this a great contest. The question remains if the FSU offense is ready to go. Alabama will have a tough time against a FSU defense that has historically always been one of the better ones.

The outcome of this game will be decided on Florida's offensive drives. Alabama can't let FSU grind it out on the ground like they did against Georgia and Arkansas, or the chances of them winning the contest will grow slim.

It should be a great game Saturday, and many Crimson Tide fans will make the long 500 mile trek down to Jacksonville, and maybe in the end, Jacksonville will be coated Crimson Red.

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