Alabama to begin campaign against lowly San Jose State

August 30, 2010

Alabama has opened the season the past two years against top 10 teams in the kickoff classic in Atlanta.

On Saturday, the Crimson Tide, which has been ranked No. 1 in almost all preseason polls, will be opening at home against a team closer to the predicted bottom 10.

San Jose State went 2-10 last year and is picked to finish last in the WAC this year.

In 2008, Alabama was barely ranked in the top 25, but upset ninth-ranked Clemson, 34-10, and went on to a 12-0 regular season, losing the SEC championship game to eventual national champion Florida, then faltering in the Sugar Bowl against Utah.

Last season Alabama was preseason No. 5 and opened against Virginia Tech, ranked seventh. Alabama prevailed 34-24 and went on to an undefeated national championship season.

Alabama has won the vast majority of its season-opening games. The last losses in such contests came in 2000 and 2001, both to UCLA, which precipitated poor seasons. Alabama may have lost the 1975 national championship because it lost the season opener to Missouri in an 11-1 season. In 1965, Alabama lost its season opener to Georgia, 18-17, but rebounded to beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl and win the national championship.

In 1966, Alabama was coming off back-to-back national championships and was preseason No. 1. ‘Bama opened the season against an almost unheard of opponent, Louisiana Tech. Although the Crimson Tide won the game, 34-0, and went on to be the nation