Alabama head coach Nick Saban can still hold his own against anything, even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
After testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, Saban had his third consecutive negative test. The initial test is now considered a false positive, and Saban will coach the Alabama Crimson Tide against Georgia on Saturday, October 17.
Nick Saban is back for the Alabama Crimson Tide
Nick Saban’s positive COVID-19 test on Wednesday, October 14, stopped the college football world on its axis.
That positive test didn’t definitively spell danger for Saban, however. In accordance with SEC policies, Saban continued his daily testing.
Saban worked remotely and ceded temporary control of the Crimson Tide to offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
Alabama doctors cleared Saban, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, to coach against Georgia on Saturday, October 17.
Saban had three consecutive negative tests, which means the initial test is now considered a false positive.
“Coach Saban is medically cleared to safely return to activity effective immediately,” Dr. Jimmy Robinson, Alabama’s official team physician, said in a statement.
Sarkisian would have coached Alabama on Saturday night if Saban was unable to go.
Nick Saban has had an incredible coaching career
Nick Saban, who turns 69 on October 31, is still going strong in his 25th season as a college head coach.
Alabama, currently ranked No. 2 in the AP Top 25, opened the 2020 season with three consecutive wins.
Saban is 246-65-1 in 25 seasons, the last 14 of which he has spent at Alabama. Saban is an incredible 160-23 in Tuscaloosa and hasn’t lost more than two games since the Crimson Tide went 10-3 in 2010.
Six of those losses came in 2007.
Before he arrived at Alabama in 2007, Saban was the head coach at Toledo in 1990 and Michigan State from 1995-99. Upon taking over LSU in 2000, Saban emerged as one of the sport’s best rising coaches.
LSU went 48-16 in Saban’s five seasons at the helm and won the national championship after the 2003 season.
Saban also went 15-17 in two seasons as the Miami Dolphins’ coach from 2005-06. Saban has won six national titles, all since 2003.
The coronavirus pandemic is greatly affecting college football
Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, put kindly, are getting off lightly in a troubling year for college football.
Numerous games have been postponed or outright canceled because of COVID-19 and the dreaded contact tracing. Some conferences, including the SEC, have reworked their conference schedule to accommodate rescheduled games.
Other conferences, specifically Conference USA, are struggling mightily with even playing games. Of the 13 C-USA teams playing this fall (Old Dominion opted out of the season), only two haven’t had a postponement or cancelation yet.
Florida Atlantic intended to begin its 10-game season on September 19. FAU has played only one game, a 21-17 victory over Charlotte on October 3, because of COVID-19 issues in their program — and in one case, issues at another school.
The NCAA has not announced if bowl games and the College Football Playoff will be moved later into 2021 — or even outright canceled.
Two bowl games, the Bahamas Bowl and Hawaii Bowl, canceled their 2020 editions for travel reasons.