It’s the question that everybody has been asking since Nick Saban announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday: Will the Alabama-Georgia game on Saturday count towards the coach’s win-loss record against his former assistants, even if he isn’t on the sidelines?
The answer to that question is complicated, or at least it was initially. We’ve now been given clarity on the matter.
According to Michael Casagrande of AL.com, a university officially made it known that the game will count towards Saban’s record against former assistants. That means that the 21-0 record is at stake against Kirby Smart and No. 3 Georgia on Saturday.
The decision, according to the NCAA, fell on the shoulders of Alabama. The policy in place says that a program is to decide how the results of that game will be credited whenever a coach misses a game due to illness or other extenuating circumstance.
The catch? It has to be done prior to kickoff.
“If the head coach is not present at a contest due to illness or other unexpected circumstances, or otherwise is unable to complete the sport season, it is the responsibility of the institution to determine, preferably prior to the contest, whether the win, loss or tie for that contest shall be credited to the head coach or to an interim or assistant coach,” the NCAA says in its policy, according to AL.com.
If Alabama determined that it should not count, it probably wouldn’t go over well. For one, that would mean that a win wouldn’t count towards his record either. Secondly, it would admit that they had serious concerns about facing Georgia.
The decision makes sense, but it will be one that could result in an undefeated record falling.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.