For US sports fans, Thanksgiving isn’t the only reason to celebrate the third week in November. It is also college football rivalry week.
These are the games that can and will make or break a team’s season. There have been plenty of examples over the years of well-ranked teams who could have been playing for a national championship had they just taken care of business when it came to playing a lower-ranked rival. And there exorbitant stories of complete underdogs conjuring miracles between the hashes for a chance at a bowl game or a winning season.
Of the rivalry games we’ll see this year, few have the history and the venom of The Iron Bowl – the annual meeting between Auburn and Alabama.
This year, the Crimson Tide is a heavy favorite, but they’ll be a man down on the sidelines.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 just days before the Iron Bowl.
Team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson and head trainer Jeff Allen said in a joint statement that the positive test came Wednesday morning.
“He has very mild symptoms, so this test will not be categorized as a potential false positive,” the statement said. “He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home.”
The Crimson Tide is set to face its biggest rival Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium without the 69-year-old, six-time national champion coach. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, a former head coach at USC and Washington, will oversee preparations within the football building and oversee the team on game day.
And while this may seem like a glimmer of hope for the unimpressive 2020 Auburn Tigers, Las Vegas oddsmakers still have Alabama as a heavy favorite.
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