The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide face No. 8 Michigan in the primetime game of the first week of the college football season, with the colossal programs set to duel at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday night.
The Michigan Wolverines are aiming to continue building on a tremendous 11-win season in 2011 and a BCS bowl win against Virginia Tech. They'll have their work cut out for them immediately.
The Wolverines will once again boast a formidable offensive attack led by Denard Robinson, who will have to be his very best against the defending BCS champs. Robinson has stated this game is the biggest of his career, even if the showdown is coming in September instead of January.
No. 2 Alabama is the heavy favorite in the matchup and will be looking to improve upon a 67th-ranked passing offense in 2011. They'll be looking for more explosive plays from their receivers as quarterback A.J. McCarron's top four targets in 2011 are all being replaced heading into the 2012 season.
Despite the relative inexperience for the Tide this season, Bama is boasting one of the most talented teams in the country and will be expected to challenge for the BCS title once more. The Tide recently experienced a "down" season in 2010 after a BCS championship in 2009, and will look to learn from the mistakes of two years ago, starting with a big test against Michigan.
Among the best opening weekend matchups college football has seen in a while, the clash of college football powerhouses in Arlington Saturday night will surely capture many an eyeball.
Game time, TV channel: 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Point spread: Alabama (-13 1/2)
For news, discussion and more: For more on Tide football, visit Alabama blog Roll Bama Roll, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills. For more on Wolverines football, visit Michigan blog Maize 'n' Brew, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire and SB Nation Detroit.
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