How scary is an Alabama team that has had three weeks to prepare?
The University of Alabama football team has not played a single game in November yet. Their last game was on Halloween night when they shutout Mississippi State 41-0.
A bye week, and too many positive COVID-19 cases for LSU last week, are the two things that led to this point. That is a lot of time off for the undefeated Crimson Tide.
Now, Alabama head coach Nick Saban has had three weeks to prepare his team for a struggling Kentucky team (3-4). If that doesn’t terrify the Kentucky Wildcats, it should. We all know what Saban and Alabama are capable of with a long break.
National championships and playoff game wins speak for themselves. Especially going up 35-0 against Notre Dame in the third quarter in the 2012 National Championship game.
However, there has not been a regular season scenario like this for Alabama since Saban has been the leader of the program. The Wildcats are already in Tuscaloosa and are preparing to play Alabama this afternoon.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was asked about the matchup earlier in the week by the press, and had this to say about the Tide: “What more can you say about Alabama and Coach Saban? Year in and year out they’re one of the top teams in college football, if not the top, and they certainly look that way this year.”
Stoops also said, “They do a great job, they’ll be a great challenge. Our team is just trying to improve.”
That quote doesn’t sound like the most confident thing a coach could say on a game week. While Kentucky has been improving under Stoops for the last few years, they were expecting a big breakout year this year, even if no one else was. With a crazy season like this, they have done fairly average.
For the Cats, all of their wins have come at home this year except an impressive 34-7 win at Tennessee back in mid-October. Most recently, Kentucky squeaked by Vanderbilt, winning by a field goal.
Alabama, on the other hand, has looked like the best team in the nation. The Tide is 6-0 so far and looks to improve to 7-0 before the Iron Bowl next week. As much as Saban’s teams are known for never over-looking an opponent, there is no doubt that with three weeks to prepare Bama likely did a little bit of preparation for Auburn, as well.
Even with the Iron Bowl coming up quick, most of the planning and practices were geared towards Kentucky, and if you are a Wildcat fan that should scare you a little bit.
Kentucky will come out on a little bit of a slump after almost falling to Vanderbilt last week. While Alabama will come out excited to play with a lot of fresh legs after two “bye” weeks.
This showdown will take place at 3:00 p.m CT. It could get ugly early, but expect Stoops to have a few tricks up his sleeve for the start of the game.
Hayden Crigler is a contributing college football writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him through email: email@example.com or on Twitter: @hayden_crigler.