One of the top flight matchups to kickoff the 2018 college football season will take place in none other than Orlando come September 1st. The defending national champion University of Alabama will take on the University of Louisville in the Camping World Kickoff Classic, which will take place at Camping World Stadium.

The game is slated to kickoff at 8 p.m. and will be nationally televised on ABC. The Crimson Tide are currently 25.5 point favorites over the Cardinals, whom enter their first season in the last three years without the services of quarterback Lamar Jackson, whom was drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.

Alabama defeated Georgia 26-23 in overtime back on January 8th at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and was led by freshman phenom Tua Tagovialoa, who threw the game-winning touchdown to defeat the Bulldogs. Things have been tense all throughout Alabama camp recently, as Tagovialoa and quarterback Jalen Hurts are both vying for the starting position.

Hurts has publicly voiced his displeasure about being unseated from his starting position, which all derived from when he was replaced by Tagovialoa in the national championship game. Alabama head coach Nick Saban hasn’t ruled out the possibility of both seeing snaps throughout a game.

The Crimson Tide will be under the direction offensively by newly installed offensive coordinator Michael Locksley, whom becomes the stand-alone play-caller for Saban. Locksley joined Alabama in 2016 as an analyst and then in 2017 was promoted to an offensive assistant.

On the Louisville side of things, the Cardinals will be figuring out life without Jackson and settling their quarterback situation. Replacing a former Heisman Trophy winner is no easy task and Louisville coach Bobby Petrino knows it. The incumbent looks to be sophomore Jawon Pass, whom has backed up Jackson the last two seasons.

Alabama is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in the preseason top 25 Coaches’ Poll and received 61 votes. Louisville was not ranked amongst the 25 programs.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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