Defending national champion Alabama will face a league-high six opponents that are coming off a bye week, and it seems to be a virtual certainty that they will not receive any relief from the SEC on what some perceive to be an inequitable scheduling situation.
The Tide will, however, be getting a modicum of relief from a non-conference opponent.
According to Gentry Estes of the Mobile Press-Register, Alabama’s Nov. 20 game against Georgia State has been moved to Thursday night, Nov. 18. The move will give Alabama eight days before their annual Iron Bowl showdown with Auburn as opposed to six. The Tigers, of course, will head into the in-state rivalry coming off a bye.
“We have a number of scheduling challenges this year in football and this was the best way for us to deal with one of those,” UA athletics director Mal Moore said in a statement. “We explored all options available to us, with our players’ health and safety in mind. This was our best remedy. We deeply appreciate everyone’s cooperation, particularly (UA president) Dr. (Robert) Witt and Georgia State.”
“This whole Alabama opportunity has been a huge boost for our program from the very beginning,” former Tide and current Georgia State head coach Bill Curry said. “We are fortunate to be able to play a game in Tuscaloosa, and we believe that moving from Saturday to Thursday can give it added appeal for our players and our fans because Thursday night games have become so special in college football.
“We’ll make the necessary adjustments and go play the game.”
This will be Div. 1-AA Georgia State’s first year of college football — ever — so this game has been viewed as nothing more than a glorified scrimmage for the Tide. Still, it gives Alabama an extra two days to recover from whatever bumps or bruises — or paper cuts or stomach pains caused by fits of laughter — incurred during the game before their backyard brawl the day after Thanksgiving.