James Jones Column: One week away from college football opening

Published 5:00 am Saturday, August 26, 2023

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Labor Day weekend usually means the start of college football. At this time next week, we’ll be gearing up for college football.

The Selma Times-Journal will have seats at both Alabama and Auburn home openers.

Fourth-ranked Alabama entertains Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The game will be televised by the SEC Network.

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Auburn, which received votes in the AP and Coaches Poll, entertains UMASS at 2:30 p.m.  at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN.

When it comes to sports, football is my favorite conference.

In the state of Alabama and the SEC, football is considered a religion. Dallas County a mix of mostly Alabama and Auburn fanatics.

We love the tailgate parties at Auburn, the Loveliest Village on the Plains, and at the Capstone in Tuscaloosa.

We hear from Auburn fans in Dallas County about its tailgate parties, as fans dish out margarita machines, body paint, barbecue and Jell-O shots.

In all of my years attending Alabama football games, I had to stop at one, if not all of the barbecue spots: Dreamland’s, Archibalds and Full Moon. From chips to catfish sandwiches and everything in between, tailgates at Alabama have it all

A cool game day experience filled with a world-class band and the singing of “Sweet Home Alabama,” often at the Quad, completes the process.

Bryant-Denny Stadium exceeds 100,000 in capacity and currently holds the longest home winning streak in the country, making it one of the two or three most difficult places to play. All we can say is Alabama and Auburn each have one of the toughest road environments in the country.

With that in mind, we see both schools having great seasons.

We see Auburn winning eight games and a chance to knockoff Alabama on Thanksgiving weekend at the Iron Bowl. As for Alabama, the team that was two plays away from being unbeaten?

The Crimson Tide will be in the race until the end, should their quarterback play and survive a Sept. 9 game against Texas.

Whenever Alabama is not playing in the SEC championship game or earning a college playoff berth, the Crimson Tide has a wasted season. It would be foolish to count out the Crimson Tide with coach Nick Saban at the helm. We see a 11-win campaign for the Crimson Tide in 2023.