Mr. College Football asks that question in his blog today. These types of games add interest for fans, and apparently coaches. Barnhart quotes Saban talking about the benefits of these early season contests; he also explains Vince Dooley’s philosophy on playing good teams early.
Vince Dooley once told me that the benefit to playing a good team early is that when the game is over, you donâ€™t any illusions about your team. Three weeks later Alabama opens the SEC schedule at Arkansas. The Clemson game helps Alabama get ready for the trip to Fayetteville.