Offseason trash talk has officially hit new heights, and not a moment too soon.
As you may know, the first weekend of the 2016 college football season has a chance to be all-time great. We mean that; no hyperbole here. The obvious headliner is Alabama-USC on Saturday, Sept. 3rd, from Arlington, Texas. However, Alabama has a history under head coach Nick Saban of making those Week 1 games one-sided affairs.
Former Tide offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, now with the San Diego Chargers, predicted more of the same against the Trojans.
"Hey, man, let me tell you something: Alabama's going to steamroll USC," Fluker told reporters (via the Chargers' official website). "West Coast boys do not want none of that Down South football. We're hard-nosed. Just believe that."
Print it. Bulletin board material. Etc., etc.
Of course, what's Fluker supposed to say? "I don't think my Tide stands a chance."
"USC is a great program and we're lucky to play them." Of course not. Now's the time to get your jabs in because it's all in good fun.
Still, Fluker has every reason to be confident. Since Saban took over in 2007, Alabama has played in six neutral-site season openers, winning all by double digits. For that matter, Alabama has never lost a season-opening game under Saban.
On top of all that, the Tide have legitimate plans to repeat as national champs. Meanwhile, USC is trying to show it can reach the heights obtained by Pete Carroll under first-year coach Clay Helton.
The average college football fan is more likely to want a good game between Alabama and USC, something that comes down to the wire or to overtime. However, history says Fluker's prediction has a high probability of coming to fruition.