NCAA

Will Tracking Alabama Students Boost Morale? Saban Thinks So

Alabama Crimson Tide football could be on the verge of something innovative. The team is looking at an incentive program to keep students from leaving games early. Alabama has been at or near the top of the college football world since Nick Saban arrived, but will this have an impact on home-field advantage?

Here we look at the proposed incentive and discuss its possibility of improving student morale.

Alabama students leaving early from games

The early portion of Alabama’s season has been full of easy wins. It started with a dominant 42-3 victory over Duke. The other two home games against New Mexico State and Southern Miss had a combined score of 111-17.

The one against New Mexico State was especially demoralizing, as the student section emptied by the second quarter. After all, why would students stay if it’s incredibly hot and the game is well in hand?

Nick Saban’s disappointment

When speaking to reporters about the early departures, Saban said, “If I asked that whole student section, ‘Do you want to be No. 1?’ Nobody would hold their hand up and say, ‘I want to be No. 4.’ They would all say No. 1 … But are they willing to do everything to be No. 1? That’s another question.” He added, “I want the stadium to be full.”

We have to agree with Saban. Sitting in the stands during a blowout in 90-degree temperatures isn’t comfortable. But showing your team support could be the difference between winning and losing a close football game.

Will Alabama’s new phone app motivate students?

The incentive is actually promising. A phone app will give students 100 Crimson Tide loyalty points for attending a home game and 250 extra points if they stay all four quarters. Then, the points can be used to get priority access to football tickets for future games.

Alabama should be in the discussion for top football programs for the entirety of Saban’s regime. This could be a great way to keep fans invested in the games.

Does it really matter?

Will the app actually have an effect on the outcome of the games? Alabama’s talented roster is arguably the deepest in the country. With last year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up Tua Tagovailoa leading the way at quarterback, points should come in bunches. You may see a portion of the student section remain during blowouts. Either way, we expect Alabama to take care of business at home.

Important remaining home games

Alabama has six home games left on their schedule, with the most important against top-five-ranked LSU. The Tigers and Crimson Tide put up classic matches during the regular season, but the real question will be if LSU quarterback Joe Burrows can handle the spotlight of a game full of College Football Playoff implications.

We see two home games that students can utilize to earn Tide Loyalty points: Arkansas and West Carolina. The Razorbacks are improving under Chad Mullen, but there’s still huge disparity between the teams. Expect some fans to rack up the points by the end of these two games.

How do you feel about Alabama’s app?

Do you think the Alabama Crimson Tide student sections will use the app consistently? We think it’s a great way to not only boost support from the student section but morale during blowout home games as well.