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Georgia Football

What is known and unknown about the Georgia-Alabama game?

October 15, 2020
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2020 struck again on Wednesday when the news broke that Alabama head coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19.

As of now, Georgia will still travel to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama on Saturday, but it is still just Thursday, and this year and virus has shown us how quickly things can change.

Here is an information dump of everything that can be clung onto for now. Clinging on may not be the best idea.

What We Know

The game is still scheduled to kickoff at 8 p.m. Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“We’re still moving forward. We have testing Thursday, and result Friday. I describe that as the ‘hold your breath’ moments. We’ll continue forward,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said.

The results that come back from both Georgia and Alabama over the next day will help determine if the game will be played or not. As of right now, the only person that has tested positive within the Alabama football program is Saban. He left the facility on Wednesday as soon as he was informed of his diagnosis. 

Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is taking on an increased role while Saban quarantines at home. Saban is still watching and helping coach through a live feed during practice, but Sarkisian will act as the head coach on the field, in the case that Saban does not have much access to make decisions. 

Sarkisian will also remain the play caller on offense.

"He can call the offense. He's done a really good job of that. We're not going to make those kinds of changes. We've got a very capable staff. Those guys make good game day decisions. I just kind of monitor what they do and make sure we're staying on the rails. I think we can get that done even if I'm not available,” Saban said.

The betting odds for the game have changed. Alabama was favored by 6 or 6.5 points before the announcement. After Wednesday's announcement, the spread dropped to -4 or -4.5.

That has no effect on the game, but it is interesting to see the different ways in which the news of Saban’s positive test affected the college football world immediately. 

What We Don’t Know

There is still uncertainty as to what type of role Saban will play on Saturday. 

There has been speculation that he could possibly be isolated in a press box and coach the game from up there. He may very well have to watch the game live from home and be on some sort of call with his coaching staff to communicate. 

He may not be able to coach in any capacity.

This much is up in the air. 

If the game does end up being cancelled, a likely reschedule date is Dec. 12, but that is not a guarantee. Florida-LSU was moved to that date, so it makes sense, but there is no telling if this game will be moved to then.

The current outlook is that Alabama and Georgia will meet on Dec. 19 in Atlanta for the SEC Championship game, and there will be a lot of backlash if the two teams have to play each other in back-to-back weeks. 

Per usual, there is a lot of unknown. Saban’s positive test has thrown another curveball into the fluid situation that is college football. 


 

 
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