Skip to main content

Alabama-Georgia game in jeopardy after Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19

Vincent Frank
Alabama's Nick Saban coaching against Michigan State.
Nov 16, 2019; Starkville, MS, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban walks onto the field as a play is reviewed during the first quarter against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest games of the truncated 2020 college football season is slated to kick off Saturday evening in Tuscaloosa. Nick Saban and the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the No. 3-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in a huge SEC tilt.

Then again, this game may no longer happen as scheduled. There’s some big news coming out of Alabama on Wednesday, and it’s not great for either of these two programs and the 2020 college football season as a whole.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Saban said in a statement, via ESPN. “I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.”

Football takes on lesser importance once we realize that Nick Saban, 68, is in the at-risk category due to his age. However, Saban did note that he’s not feeling any symptoms. That’s definitely great news.

As for the football world, this could change the dynamics of the 2020 season on a dime.

Georgia-Alabama game now in question

Nick Saban’s positive test could be huge news around the college football world, creating a trickle-down effect unlike anything we’ve seen during the early stages of the 2020 season. We’re talking about two top-end title contenders set to go up against one another in that of Alabama and Georgia. The winner will have a great shot of earning a trip to the College Football Playoff.

Related: Florida Gators COVID-19 outbreak

Alabama plans to test everyone within its football program on Thursday after Nick Saban’s announcement. That should tell us everything we need to know about whether Saturday’s game will even be played. What we do know is that the university has seen multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 since the pandemic started last winter.

In an interesting plot twist, Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne also announced he has COVID-19. He had in the past called out the student body for their reckless behavior during the pandemic. Byrne had this to say in an announcement on Wednesday.

“Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive,” Byrne said. “Upon hearing the news, I immediately entered self-isolation and will remain at home and follow all guidelines. We’ve been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you.”

We’ll obviously have more information on this breaking story as soon as it becomes available. For now, we wish Nick Saban the best