The week everyone's anticipated has finally arrived. When the clock strikes 2:30 p.m. central time Saturday, the college football world will turn its attention – if it hadn't already — to College Station. There, the reigning national champs will be seeking payback —- though they've deflected the word "revenge" —- against the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
In front of a sellout crowd at Kyle Field, No. 1 Alabama (1-0) meets sixth-ranked Texas A&M (2-0) in the year's most hyped matchup. In last season's clash, en route to their second straight national title and third in four years, the Crimson Tide suffered a 29-24 setback against Johnny Football and the Aggies —- Alabama's lone blemish of 2012.
Las Vegas, among others, expects the Crimson Tide to roll into Aggieland and take care of business, evidenced by the visitors being considered seven-point favorites in the opening line. And given coach Nick Saban's track record in "revenge" games, the odds are on Alabama's side, no matter the opponent or venue.
As reported by the Associated Press on Tuesday, Saban is "15-2 in avenging losses the following seasons or later in the same season." And as the story points out, since taking over at Alabama, Saban is 7-1 in such situations and has beaten opponents by an average of 21 points.
No doubt, the most memorable rematch during that time occurred in the national championship game two seasons ago, when the Crimson Tide beat unbeaten LSU 21-0 after falling 9-6 to the Tigers a few months earlier.
Last spring, Bleacher Report released a list of this fall's most anticipated college games. The internet's king of lists wrote about 25 different showdowns, ranging from last week's farewell between Michigan vs. Notre Dame to the upcoming Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas.
No matter the contest, none matched Alabama at A&M. The site declared: "the most highly anticipated game of the season is this by far." And besides a frontrunner's seat to the final BCS national championship game, a 1-0 record in the SEC will be given to the winner.
The week's other top matchups: Tennessee at No. 2 Oregon (2-0); No. 16 UCLA (1-0) at No. 23 Nebraska (2-0); No. 7 Louisville (2-0) at Kentucky (1-1); No. 4 Ohio State (2-0) at Cal (1-1); Vanderbilt (1-1) at No. 13 South Carolina (2-0); Ole Miss (2-0) at Texas (1-1); and No. 24 TCU (1-1) at Texas Tech (2-0).