"Alabama is the best team we've ever played here".
Those were Viriginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer's comments during Tuesday's weekly news conference. That's high praise coming from a coach with 27 years in the business.
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Regardless, Saturday's season-opener against the Crimson Tide will be a barometer for both team's seasons.
"I think it's time for everybody to get excited about playing a game," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "This is an important game. You cant have a good season if you don't get off to a good start."
A good start is what Alabama has done the last 11 seasons. The Crimson Tide's most recent loss in an opening game was against UCLA in 2001.
For Alabama, this will be it's third time playing in the seven-year history of the Chick-fil-a Kickoff Classic. (2008: 34-10 win over Clemson; 2009: 34-24 win over Va. Tech.)
"These games, playing in a neutral site, have a history of giving our team momentum and a great start and great exposure," Saban added.
"There's a couple ways to look at it," Beamer said. "I've been down both roads. You can open with a team like Alabama, the best team in the country for the last several years.
"It's no secret, they recruit well, they coach them up. They're legit in every way. Or you can open up with a couple teams you hope you can beat and develop your team that way."
Beamer might have all the praise in the world for Alabama, but his players have a different stance. Offensive lineman Andrew Miller said that they will never take a backseat to anybody
Alabama and Virginia Tech will kickoff at 4:30 pm CST.
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