Alabama to meet West Virginia

Updated: May 17, 2012, 6:59 PM ET
By Bryan Mullen | TideNation

Alabama and West Virginia will meet for the first time when the two storied football programs open the 2014 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, bowl officials announced on Thursday.

The Crimson Tide are the defending national champions, while WVU is expected to be a top-10 team.

"The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is an outstanding event and we look forward to opening the 2014 season in Atlanta," Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a statement. "The exposure for our football players and our program is tremendous and it is a great experience for our fans. This will be the sixth time we have played a nonconference game at a neutral site, and the fourth time at Atlanta."

Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said the event is a great way to showcase his program.

"Alabama is one of the top teams in college football history, and it will be a tough challenge for us," Holgorsen said in the statement.

The Crimson Tide are 10-8-1 all-time against teams from the Big 12. Their most recent victory came in the 2009 BCS national championship game against Texas. WVU is 24-22-2 all-time against SEC teams and defeated Georgia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl. That game was played in the Georgia Dome, site of the 2014 game against Alabama.

The Crimson Tide will play Virginia Tech in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.