In accordance with the fall sports requirements of the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force, a number of guidelines were revised on Monday: “Asymptomatic individuals with a positive COVID-19 RT-PCR test will be isolated immediately.” This happened on Wednesday against Noon, when 68-year-old Saban found out about his positive test and immediately went home. The coach, who has five national championships and two runners-up in his 14 seasons in Alabama, video-called reporters from home that evening to tell reporters that he had been feeling fine the entire time and that he was amazed by the result.

He then tested negative on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning, making another paragraph of the guidelines relevant: “If the second PCR test is negative, the person should receive two (2) additional PCR tests 24 hours apart, which to be administered by PAE. If the individual has three (3) consecutive negative PCR tests and remains asymptomatic, they can be released from isolation and medically released to return to exercise only. ”

While Alabama and Georgia don’t play annually because they are in separate sections of the conference, they have played five times in the past 12 seasons, with Alabama winning all five, including two SEC championship games (December 2012 and December 2018) and one College Football Playoff National Championship Game (January 2018). Saban’s extensive tribe of former assistants, including Georgia coach Kirby Smart, lost 21-21 to their former boss, all with Saban on the opposing sidelines.