The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide are coming off their third national championship since 2009. They’ll open up their season in the marquee game of the week, playing against the No. 20 USC Trojans. USC have claimed 11 national football titles, with the last one coming in 2004. The two begin their 2016-17 campaigns on Saturday at AT&T Stadium – home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
The Trojans were 8-6 straight up last season and 6-8 against the spread. They’ve got 16 starters returning, including 10 on offense, but they’ll have to make a key replacement at quarterback. Cody Kessler, who finished his career with 10,339 passing yards, 88 touchdowns and 19 interceptions has graduated.
The Crimson Tide went 14-1 last season (8-7 ATS). They bring back 11 starters, including six on offense. Most importantly, the Crimson Tide have head coach Nick Saban. During his tenure, the Crimson Tide are an incredible 95-11 over the last eight seasons. There are a lot of holes to fill this year – even on defense – but Saban will have the next group ready to defend the crown.
Alabama is 5-2 against USC, who lost the last meeting 3-24 in the 1985 Aloha Bowl. The Crimson Tide are 12-point favourites for Saturday’s neutral-site game.