Two predictions for Alabama Football vs. Georgia; one with Saban on the sideline and another with Nick absent.
Are Alabama football fans making too much about Nick Saban on the sideline tonight? Mostly the answer is no, if for no other reason than Nick is the GOAT. On the other hand, the game plan overseen by Saban is installed. It already includes prepared options for most game situations. If it is humanly possible, Nick Saban has specified adjustments for every contingency. The bottom line being, Nick will make a large impact on the game even if he is watching from home.
As of Friday night, there was considerable hope Saban would be cleared to be on the sideline. Check out the Friday statement from Head Trainer Jeff Allen below.
Since the positive test(s) on Wednesday by the supplementary lab, follow-up tests are being done by an SEC appointed lab. It appears two of those tests have come back negative. The SEC protocol is isolation is not required by an asymptomatic person who has three negative test results, over a 72 hour period. It is not known exactly when the results of a third test will be available. The presumption is at least a few hours before tonight’s kickoff.
Betting markets still have the Crimson Tide a 4.5 point favorite. That is only 2.5 points less than the spread when it opened. The small adjustment clearly being the possibility of Saban’s absence.
The slight adjustment for no Nick Saban makes sense. Alabama football games are not driven by many exceptions to the game plan. Take away calls for a fake punt, a fake field goal or an onside kick, not having Nick as the decider, may not be an issue. Certainly with Steve Sarkisian, not having Saban on the sideline will alter little. It will not be the same for defensive play-calling. Will the Crimson Tide, be the same, be bolder, or more cautious? With no intervention by Nick of Pete Golding’s calls, defensive performance might suffer, but also might improve.
Alabama Football vs. Georgia Game Predictions
Both predictions assume what I believe to be the most pivotal variable in the game. It is the physical battle between Crimson Tide blockers and the Georgia front seven. Protect Mac Jones and make holes for Najee and Brian Robinson and the Crimson Tide wins – with or without Nick Saban.
With Nick Saban in Bryant-Denny
- Alabama Crimson Tide 34 – Georgia Bulldogs 24
Without Nick Saban in Bryant-Denny
- Alabama Crimson Tide 31 – Georgia Bulldogs 27
Saturday night’s loser is not likely to have CFB Playoff chances badly damaged. The two teams have a good chance to play again in December.