Alabama and Florida State to open 2017 season in Atlanta, per report

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Alabama and Florida State do not cross paths too often, but it is being reported the Crimson Tide and Seminoles will open the season on opposite sides of the field in Atlanta to open the 2017 college football season. The game will be played in the new football stadium to serve as home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. The Palm Beach Post was first to report on the game being agreed to by both schools.

No official announcement has been made, but Alabama and Florida State have been rumored to be top candidates for a season-opening game in Atlanta, but Florida State athletics director Stan Wilcox reportedly informed boosters at a Board of Directors meeting in South Carolina the game has been set. All that needs to happen before an official announcement may be made is for the contract to be signed. The negotiations between the schools was reported back in November, and Florida State was also reported to be seeking neutral site games with Alabama and Auburn back in March.

The Palm Beach Post also reports Alabama and Florida State are expected to receive between $4 and $5 million for the game, which falls in line with other payouts each school had been receiving for neutral site games lately. If this game and the rumored game between Georgia Tech and Tennessee are both on the schedule, it would look like one game would be played on the opening Thursday night and the other played on Saturday. Georgia Tech athletics director Mike Bobinski recently said he was optimistic about Georgia Tech participating in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in 2017. What should be noted is there has been no mention of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in any of the reports concerning the Alabama-Florida State match-up.

Alabama and Florida State have met just four previous times, with the most recent game being played in 2007. That game was played on a neutral field in Jacksonville on September 29. Florida State edged Alabama by a score of 21-14. Alabama won meetings with Florida State in 1965 and in 1974. A game in 1967 ended in a tie in Birmingham. All four meetings have been played in the regular season.

Alabama will open the 2015 and 2016 seasons in Arlington, Texas and is locked into playing a game in Arlington again in either 2019 or 2020. Alabama has also made a routine of playing games in Atlanta as well. Alabama has made four appearances in the Chik-fil-A Kickoff Game, and has won all four times. Florida State has yet to play in the Chik-fil-A Kickoff Game despite the game’s preference to include teams from the ACC and SEC. Florida State played in the 2014 Cowboys Classic, defeating Oklahoma State.

Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game History and Future Match-Ups