USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken reveals the preseason poll, which includes four Big Ten teams in the top 10.
USA TODAY Sports
Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden believes the heavily-anticipated matchup between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Florida State — kicking off Sept. 2 in Atlanta — hinges on quarterback play. Whichever QB plays better between the Tide’s Jalen Hurts and the Seminoles’ Deondre Francois will come out on top, in Bowden’s mind.
“Its going to come down to quarterbacks,” Bowden said on WNSP Sports Radio. “Both of them are redshirt sophomores. Both started last year and played throughout the year. I think it will come down to — in critical situations — when the ball’s in their hands who performs the best and makes the least amount of mistakes.
“(Alabama’s) Jalen Hurts is not a good a passer as (Florida State’s) Deondre Francois. But, if they can run it without putting the burden on his shoulders, the advantage goes to Alabama.
“Alabama struggled with Ole Miss, Arkansas and Clemson (last year). They gave up 400 yards a game passing,” Bowden continued. “If Deondre Francois can pass the ball and efficiently move it, I think advantage goes to Florida State.”
Bowden’s father, legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden said of the season-opening clash: “I think ‘Bama will be favored, but it wouldn’t surprise me for Florida State to eke it out somehow.”