Alabama football may or may not have Nick Saban on the sideline Saturday night.
Saturday night’s clash between Alabama football and the Georgia Bulldogs may not be a ‘Game of the Century.’ It is the biggest game so far in the 2020 college football season. Only a small stretch of the facts is required to claim the game features the nation’s top offense versus the nation’s top defense.
In addition to that, there is a massive amount of pride at stake. Kirby Smart needs to get his ascent to the mountaintop of college football out of neutral. The Crimson Tide wants to prove it is again the class of the SEC. Plus, Alabama football fans, REALLY don’t want the Crimson Tide to lose to Smart, the apostate.
The drama described above suddenly faded into the background on Wednesday when it was learned Nick Saban had tested positive for COVID. Buzz about Nick dominates all conversation. Going along with the buzz are a few knowns and too many unknowns.
The knowns are basically, Saban tested positive and is coaching from home. As of Thursday night, he is still asymptomatic. He sounds fine when following through on media obligations. In his place, Steve Sarkisian has assumed organizational control. Whatever happens with Nick, Sark will still call plays Saturday night. What to expect with Sark leading the Tide.
What we think we know cannot yet be confirmed. It is believed the first Saban result could have been a false positive. Reportedly, three successive negative test results would allow him into Bryant-Denny Saturday night. No results of additional tests are known as of Friday morning.
Another known is a key point. NCAA rules will not allow Saban to coach remotely during the game. He cannot even be at Bryant-Denny in a sealed area of isolation, from 90 minutes before the game starts, until past its conclusion. He can’t coach from a home ‘Situation Room.’
Some Crimson Tide fans are frantic with doubt. One fan suggestion is Miss Terry can be on a cell phone relaying information from Nick to members of the Alabama football staff. Georgia fans and other Saban-haters are claiming the NCAA will give Nick special dispensation to do whatever he wants. Maybe the GOAT deserves such special treatment, but it will not happen. First, Kirby would blow a gasket. Second, Nick Saban is not a rule-breaker by nature. He would never bend a rule and put anyone at risk in the process.
There will be a game Saturday night, with or without Nick. It should be a great one.
More information is expected sometime Friday. Even then, a final plan for Saturday may not be publicly known until close to the kickoff.