The Alabama Football program has obviously made a decision to say as little as possible about Michigan's apparent proclivity to break NCAA rules. That is the correct decision. Nothing is to be gained in the leadup to a CFB Playoff game by calling the opposition cheaters.
What Michigan has done in the past could become a distraction to the Crimson Tide. In that context, it is another of many 'external factors' Nick Saban wants his team to ignore.
At the same time, Saban, the Alabama football staff and players must be more than mindful of what Michigan has done and could do. On Thursday it was learned that Alabama made a change to safeguard practice footage being hacked by anyone outside the program.
As reported by Tony Tsoukalas of Tide Illustrated one particular precaution was taken by the Crimson Tide staff.
"During a Thursday media availability, several Crimson Tide players confirmed that they were only able to access their practice footage from computers inside of the Mal Moore Athletic Facility. Previously players were able to access footage from anywhere on their own computers.- Tony Tsoukalas
Sources told TideIllustrated earlier this month that the decision to switch to in-house viewing of practice footage occurred when Alabama began preparations for the Rose Bowl game against Michigan."
Months ago it was learned the FBI was investigating former Michigan coach, Matt Weiss. Weiss was terminated for cause last February for,
"alleged crimes were inappropriately accessing computer accounts, and when he didn’t defend himself, it was treated as an implicit admission of guilt."- Isaiah Hole
For the record, Weiss has never been charged with a crime. Even so, when a team's quarterbacks coach and Co-Offensive Coordinator loses his job in such a manner, it raises a fair question about what Weiss was doing and why.
Alabama Football forced to allocate valuable time
At the very least, the Alabama Football program has been harmed by the potential of Michigan continuing to break rules to gain an unfair advantage. Time that would be better spent on standard game preparation has been allocated to risk prevention.
The best case scenario for Alabama Football and college football in general would be the Rose Bowl's outcome not being affected by any degree of cheating. It would be best for the Michigan program as well. Sadly, the situation is not so simple.