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Sweet Home Atlanta

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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As records clearly show, the Crimson Tide are quite comfortable in the spotlight of the Empire City of the South

Over the last 13 months, the Crimson Tide have played twice in the ATL; they have allowed only 14 points.

In pursuit of another College Football Playoff national championship, Alabama will head into Georgia's backyard for a showdown in Atlanta's new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. After traveling across the country, the Bulldogs are back in the Peach State and will now play roughly 70 miles from their home campus on Monday night. Though Georgia may have something close to a traditional homefield advantage, head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide will have history on their side.

Alabama has quite often been at its best in Atlanta, using I-20 East as a veritable pathway to prominence.

The Crimson Tide, under Saban, are 11-1 in Georgia's state capital, opening this season with a  convincing victory over Florida State. Including his stint at LSU, Saban is 14-1 in 15 career contests played in Atlanta; it took, perhaps, the greatest player in the history of the game, Tim Tebow on Florida's 2008 championship team, to beat him. Of those 14 total wins, all but one of them were by double figures. 

Making such success even more impressive is the fact that most of Alabama's Atlanta pairings have come against highly-ranked competition. Under Saban, the Crimson Tide have defeated nine top 18 opponents, most specifically six top foes ranked in the top nine. In all, Saban's teams, with Alabama and LSU, have beaten a staggering six top five challengers in the Georgia Dome and now Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Saban's Stats in Atlanta
With Alabama
September 2, 2017 -- W, #3 Florida State 24-7
December 31, 2016 -- W, #4 Washington 24-7
December 3, 2016 -- W, #15 Florida 54-16
December 5, 2015 -- W, #18 Florida 29-15
December 6, 2014 -- W, #16 Missouri 42-13
August 30, 2014 -- W, West Virginia 33-23
August 31, 2013 -- W, Virginia Tech 35-10
December 1, 2012 -- W, #3 Georgia 32-28
December 5, 2009 -- W, #1 Florida 32-13
September 5, 2009 -- W, #7 Virginia Tech 34-24
December 6, 2008 -- L, #4 Florida 31-20
August 30, 2008 -- W, #9 Clemson 34-10
With LSU
December 6, 2003 -- W, #5 Georgia 34-13
December 8, 2001 -- W, #2 Tennessee 31-20
January 1, 2000 -- W, #15 Georgia Tech 28-14
 

As records clearly show, the Crimson Tide are quite comfortable in the spotlight of the Empire City of the South. In last year's College Football Playoff, Alabama topped Washington 24-7 in an Atlanta semifinal. Five times with the Crimson Tide and twice with the Tigers, Saban claimed won SEC Championships in Atlanta. Alabama, with perhaps some football foreshadowing, won the first-ever game in the venue set to host Monday's national title bout.    

Over the last 13 months, the Crimson Tide have played twice in the ATL; they have allowed only 14 points.

With the College Football Hall of Fame featured right downtown, Atlanta has become the sport's de facto hub. Fittingly, it has also become Saban and Alabama's second home.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports