Will FSU-Alabama be a better game than the Super Bowl?

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On Tuesday, the NFL announced the sites for all the Super Bowls through 2021. Not surprising, the city of Atlanta was awarded 2019 Super Bowl in large part because of their brand new stadium.

But that got me thinking, which will be a better game: Florida State-Alabama, who open in Atlanta in 2017, or the Super Bowl?

To be fair, the Super Bowl is a spectacle that is unmatched in the world of sports, but Florida State-Alabama might feature one of the best collections of college talent on the field at one time. It is certainly the best matchup of the 2017 opening weekend and might be an even better game than the national championship that year.

In many ways, Florida State and Alabama in 2017 could mirror Alabama and LSU in 2011. That year, Alabama and LSU met in Tuscaloosa for a game that ended in a 9-6 Tiger victory. They later faced off in the national championship where Alabama won 21-0.

From those individual rosters in 2011, 45 players went on to get drafted and 14 of them were first round picks. In the past decade, that is only second to Ohio State-Miami in 2003 in terms of total drafted players.

Could Florida State and Alabama in 2017 produce a similar result? Well, the recruiting efforts from both teams certainly show that there is a plethora of talent on both rosters. Alabama has claimed the top recruiting class per the 247Sports Composite every year since 2013 (the final year of eligibility for kids from the 2013 class will be 2017) and Florida State has posted recruiting rankings of third, eleventh, fourth, third and second since 2013 as well.

Florida State and Alabama are each stockpiled for national championship runs in 2016 and 2017. Despite only having two players drafted this year, Florida State returns every starter on offense and a majority on defense. Similarly, Alabama had seven players drafted this year but has shown an unparalleled ability to reload year after year.

An early look at the projected depth charts for the 2017 matchup reveals that an unparalleled amount of blue-chip talent could be on the field at one time. Here is how a projected depth chart might look.

PositionFSU PlayerRecruiting RankingAlabama PlayerRecruiting Ranking
QBDeondre Francois4*Blake Barnett5*
RBJacques Patrick4*Bo Scarbrough5*
WRTravis Rudolph4*Calvin Ridley5*
WRAuden Tate3*ArDarius Stewart4*
WRGeorge Campbell5*Robert Foster5*
TERyan Izzo3*Hale Hentges4*
OLRick Leonard3*Jonah Williams5*
OLCole Minshew3*Lester Cotton4*
OLBaveon Johnson4*Ross Pierschbacher4*
OLLandon Dickerson4*Dallas Warmack4*
OLAbdul Bello4*Bradley Bozeman3*
DLJosh Sweat5*Da'Shawn Hand5*
DLDerrick Nnadi4*Daron Payne5*
DLDemarcus Christmas4*Josh Frazier4*
DLWalvenski Aime4*Christian Miller4*
LBMatthew Thomas5*Rashaan Evans5*
LBJosh Brown4*Ben Davis5*
DBTarvarus McFadden5*Marlon Humphrey5*
DBMarcus Lewis4*Kendall Sheffield5*
DBLevonta Taylor5*Minkah Fitzpatrick5*
DBTrey Marshall4*Ronnie Harrison4*
DBDerwin James5*Deionte Thompson4*

Out of the 44 players listed above, only four of them are not blue-chip players. The two teams also combined for an incredible 18 five-star players. Obviously, there are more five-star players on each of those rosters, but these are the projected starters for that game more than a year away.

Baring some unforeseen circumstances, Florida State and Alabama should both enter 2017 as top ten teams. The relationship and history between Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban should only fuel the hype for that game when the 2016 season ends. The collection of blue-chip talent on the field during that game will be second to none and it will be an interesting storyline to watch if that game draws parallels to the famous Alabama-LSU matchup in 2011

Dakota Moyer
Florida State student and writer for NoleGameday.

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