Alabama Football: COVID-19 gives Tide another competitive advantage

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

If Alabama football players can stay healthy, they have another advantage.

Alabama football always has a competitive advantage. The Crimson Tide benefit from superior coaching, better facilities, strong recruiting, and resources that assist them every step of the way. With the COVID-19 pandemic, they might have another competitive advantage for the 2020 season.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 is going to have an unprecedented impact on college football. With some conferences not playing, many limiting their schedules, and a few playing conference-only, it already has changed the landscape for the 2020 season. That change will continue to happen as more games are played. Guidelines to keep students safe will include quarantines for athletes who either test positive or are in close proximity to someone who tested positive. Because of that, plenty of athletes will not be allowed to play in games.

Any team that has starters out due to quarantines will be at a disadvantage, and it gives programs another reason to enforce safety protocols. This potential impact gives Alabama football a competitive advantage over a few teams in the SEC.

There are two things that a college football program needs to battle playing football in a pandemic. They need a dedication to the cause and an abundance of resources. Alabama football certainly has both of these set in stone. Alabama has been creating educational videos since the beginning of the summer in hopes of getting people to stay socially distanced and wearing masks. When it comes to resources, they have what it takes to properly educate Crimson Tide players on how to stay safe during COVID-19. They also have what it takes to give daily COVID-19 tests to athletes, and they just started with these measures. In Nick Saban’s comments about Alabama football giving daily tests, he commented that the Crimson Tide had the resources to make this happen.

All of this will clearly help Alabama athletes live healthier lives during this pandemic, but it also gives the Crimson Tide a competitive advantage. At the end of the day, anything you can do to show discipline will help you through these trying times.

Let’s compare to Missouri, Alabama’s first opponent. The Tigers are already down 12 players due to quarantining guidelines. With the game still over a week away, that number could rise for both teams. However, Alabama has not announced that anyone will be out for this game. That’s where the ultimate advantage comes in for them. Whoever does the best job at keeping players from being exposed will have the best chance to be successful on the field. If Alabama can keep this up into the football season, they will be in a position to achieve all of their goals.

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Some Alabama football players have already contracted COVID-19, but that is true for almost every college football team in the country. With plenty of student cases at UA, it remains vital that Nick Saban and his staff continue to do what they’re doing to keep athletes safe.