Big chance vs. big boys for Bama

It’s a measure of the soft opening weekend of the college football season that the prime-time game on ABC Saturday night will feature two teams that combined to lose 10 games last season.
It’s a testament to the power of name recognition that ESPN’s GameDay will set up shop before a meeting between two tradition-rich programs that have yet to win a BCS bowl game.
In other words, Alabama-Clemson is not Ohio State-USC.
But in the states of Alabama and South Carolina, in the footprints of the SEC and ACC, this version of Tide vs. Tigers is big enough to start the season with a bang.
Around here, it’s more must-see TV than must-win.
Alabama’s season won’t grind to a halt with a loss any more than a win will give the engravers a head start on championship rings.
Each time Nick Saban’s first Alabama team gave people a reason to get carried away, first by shocking Arkansas and later by smacking Tennessee, an uplifting victory was followed by a letdown.