As far as the coaching matchup is concerned, it is no contest as the Alabama Crimson Tide meets up with the USC Trojans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on Saturday night. Nick Saban, the head man in Tuscaloosa, has won four national championships, while Clay Helton is heading into his first season opener as the USC coach. This is a nice matchup between two traditional college football powers, and after the opening kickoff, BetAnySports patrons will have the chance to place their wagers on the action as it is happening, through the facilities provided by Live Betting Ultra.
Saban suffered a tough, turnover-plagued loss to Ole Miss last season, but Alabama won the rest of its games and made it to the college football playoff, where they shut out Michigan State and then got a big scare from Deshaun Watson and Clemson in the national title game. Derrick Henry, the Heisman Trophy winner, took off for the NFL, and the team lost starting quarterback Jake Coker. They are still undecided as to who to replace him with. The competition has been taking place between Cooper Bateman and freshman Blake Barnett.
The Trojans got great work out of Cody Kessler last season, as he threw 29 touchdowns with only seven interceptions, but he is now a member of the Cleveland Browns. So Max Browne, who sat for two years behind Kessler, is likely to get the start. He came to the USC campus with a big reputation, as the #1 QB recruit on a lot of boards, and now he gets the chance to show what he can do.
In the NCAA football odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Tide is favored:
Bateman is now in his fourth year in the program, as a redshirt junior. He was neck-and-neck in the battle with Coker for the starting job out of fall practice, and played some in the early schedule. After the loss to Ole Miss, where Chad Kelly more or less had his coming-out party, Coker took the lead and never relinquished it. Is Bateman the ultimate answer? We really don’t know, but Barnett is the top-rated recruit for Saban since he has been at Alabama. And that is saying a lot. So is the fact that Saban has won three national championships with first-year starters.
Helton really earned the respect of his players while performing his interim role, and Kessler was a big supporter. But this scenario is a tough one, with a new quarterback and a date with a pumped-up national champion that has one guy among his ranks with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
BetAnySports customers are somewhat familiar with the story of Lane Kiffin,. who can be a mercurial type, which led to controversial departures from the Oakland Raiders and the University of Tennessee. But nothing was more awkward than his firing as USC head coach in 2013. Tensions must have been high as it was, but after an embarrassing 62-41 defeat at the hands of Arizona State, athletic director Pat Haden was angry enough to meet the team’s flight at the airport, just so he could give Kiffin his pink slip. That was Kiffin’s “dream job,” as he left Tennessee for it, and he has been bitter about it ever since.
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