The betting line is out for this weekend’s matchup between Alabama and The Citadel, and the No. 1 team in the country is more than a seven-touchdown favorite over its FCS opponent.
The Crimson Tide is considered a 51.5-point favorite over the Bulldogs, per VegasInsider.com.
The Bulldogs of the Football Championship Subdivision have a 3-5 (3-4 Southern) record. The Citadel won its most recent game by defeating the Samford Bulldogs, 42-27. Its five losses came at the hands of Wofford, Chattanooga, Towson, East Tennessee State and Furman. Wofford, Chattanooga and Towson were all ranked in the FCS at the time of their matchups.
Alabama and the Citadel will meet for the first time in their programs’ histories this week. The game, which will be played inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, will mark The Citadel’s first against an SEC opponent since its 23-22 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks on Nov. 21, 2015.
The Crimson Tide has never lost to an FCS team since the NCAA split Division I football into subdivisions in 1978.
“These kinds of games have always been a selling point for us,” Citadel head coach Brent Thompson said at the time of the game’s scheduling. “Our South Carolina kids like going to play at Clemson and at South Carolina, and they know they are always going to have the opportunity to play somebody like that — a school that might not have recruited you, but you get to play a game there.
“Now, we have a shot at playing in a stadium that everybody knows, and we can go out and recruit and tell the kids, we’re going to play at Alabama. You get a little bit of a different reaction when you are playing one of the best programs in the country.”
On Monday, Nick Saban said: “Coach Thompson’s done a really good job with his team. They’ve won three out of their last four games. The last couple of games they’ve outscored their opponents dramatically in the second half, and I think that they really know their offense and they know what to do based on what you’re doing. If they get a bead on what you’re doing and start running those plays, that’s what happened last week in Samford. They’re way ahead in the game, the last two games, 24-10, 24-7, I think, and came back and won both of those games.
“This is a challenge for us and our players and we certainly look forward to it. We respect every team we play it and certainly technically have to look at what they do and make sure we’re sound against it. I think it will be a team effort, whether it’s special teams, offense, defense. We’re focused on great execution.”
The Citadel will earn a guarantee of $500,000 for its game at UA, according to The Post and Courier.
No. 1-ranked Alabama’s Week 12 home game against The Citadel on Saturday, Nov. 17, will kick off at 11 a.m. CT and air on the SEC Network, it was announced Sunday afternoon.
Contact Charlie Potter by 247Sports’ personal messaging or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).
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