Tim Tebow understands Nick Saban. He knows what it’s like to overcome and beat the greatest college football coach of all time. And he knows what it’s like to have that same coach adjust and get the best of him the following season.
Because he understands the situation all too well, Tim Tebow is now rethinking his initial prediction on the upcoming Alabama-Georgia game. The former quarterback turned college football analyst believes Saban’s potential absence on Saturday could be the difference-maker that helps the Bulldogs finally get over the top.
Tebow appeared on ESPN’s First Take on Friday and shared his concerns about the Crimson Tide playing without their leader.
“Listen, I think it’s bigger than people are making it out to be,” Tebow said. “I think it’s critical for this game. “Before I heard he had tested positive, I was picking Alabama in this game. Now I’m viewing everything because it’s that big of a deal. Listen, Saban isn’t just a great recruiter and a great game-planner. He’s one of the best mid-game adjusters that we’ve ever seen in college football history. I got to feel and face it first hand in back-to-back SEC Championship Games.
“No one does it as good as him. He knows when to press the pedal. He knows when to encourage guys. He knows when to make changes, like he did a few years ago in the national championship game against Georgia and Kirby Smart [when Tua Tagovailoa was inserted into the starting lineup for Jalen Hurts]. The only reason they won that game is because Saban felt the team, he knew he needed a change. He made the change. They won the national championship.”
Tebow goes on to wonder who will step up and make that sort of bold decision in the game if Saban isn’t there. Will offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who is expected to be the decision-maker if Saban isn’t available, be willing to make that sort of move? What if it doesn’t work?
The pressure to fill the shoes of the greatest college football coach of all time, especially when it’s filling those shoes for just one game, could prove to be too much to overcome.
It’s an interesting take and certainly something to monitor as the game in Tuscaloosa approaches.
To watch the full interview with Tim Tebow on First Take, check out the video below.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.