Stewart, as you know, the almighty dollar speaks loud and clear. For the second year in a row, Alabama will play a marquee, non-conference game at a neutral site with a huge payday (almost $2 million from the Clemson game in Atlanta). How could any athletic director ignore those kinds of numbers? Could these types of games become the next trend in college football?
- Ken, Birmingham, Ala.
I have to say, it definitely snuck up on me, but yes, I can see where such events might soon become more common. Not only are Alabama and Clemson playing in Atlanta, but the game now has an official name (the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic), and plans are already in the works for another one next year (Virginia Tech has signed on as one participant; Alabama may be the other). You can just see organizers in places like Jacksonville (which staged last year's Alabama-FSU game), San Antonio, etc., eventually staging similar, opening-weekend events. Basically, they're taking regular-season games and using them to create much the same buzz as the now-defunct Kickoff Classic/Pigskin Classic preseason events.