On Monday morning, we debated whether Florida State fans should be pulling for Clemson or Alabama to claim the 2015 national championship. The Tide prevailed, of course, erasing the ACC's quest for two titles in the last three years. However, Alabama's win did add some luster to the Seminoles' 2016 opener.
That game will take place on Labor Day evening in Orlando and will pit the ‘Noles against the Ole Miss Rebels in a nationally televised primetime matchup. It was always going to be a big game, as a matchup of two Power-Five teams meeting in a major city. FSU will certainly be well represented, playing in its home state, and the Ole Miss faithful figure to travel well, too.
But that contest is no longer just an opportunity for the Seminoles to build their national brand against the relentlessly hyped SEC. After all, the Rebels were the only team to hang a loss on Alabama in the 2015 season.
No, it's not beating the champs—but beating the only guys who did wouldn't look bad, especially to open a new season and set a new narrative. And a victory over the Rebs could certainly provide an early storyline for 2017, when the ‘Noles and ‘Bama meet up in Atlanta to begin the regular season.