The Iron Bowl will be without its biggest star.
No. 1 Alabama's iconic coach, Nick Saban, tested positive for COVID-19 just before the game with No. 22 Auburn. Since he was experiencing mild symptoms, it appears there won't be a false positive reprieve for Saban like there was last month before another huge game against Georgia.
Team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson and head trainer Jeff Allen said in a joint statement that the positive test came Wednesday.
"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 lead the team on game day.
Saban said he has had a runny nose, but no major symptoms. When he tested positive ahead of the game with Georgia, he didn't have any symptoms. Saban ended up being cleared to coach in that game after subsequent tests leading up to the game came back negative.
This time appears different.
"It was a PCR test which was different than the false positive that I had before," Saban said on the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference. "I don't really have any cardinal signs of the virus right now. I don't have a fever, no loss of taste or smell, no fatigue, no muscle aches.
"I informed the team this morning at 10 on a Zoom call. I'm the only person in the whole organization who tested positive this round."
Saban will still run meetings and monitor practice via zoom at home like he did ahead of the Georgia game. Sarkisian will still call offensive plays during the game, but Saban said other details were still to be ironed out.
Colorado State game with Air Force canceled
The Mountain West Conference is calling off the Colorado State-Air Force game that was set for noon Thursday at the Air Force Academy because of "an upward trend of COVID-19 cases within the Colorado State football program." The game has been declared a no-contest and there are no plans to reschedule it.
Texas State player dies
Texas State defensive back Khambrail Winters was fatally shot in San Marcos, Texas, and two men have been arrested and charged in the killing. Police officers responded to calls of shots fired at the Lodge Apartments in San Marcos on Tuesday evening after what witnesses described as a drug deal gone wrong.
The officers found Winters with a gunshot wound to the chest. San Marcos police, Hay County EMS and San Marcos Fire Department personnel began lifesaving efforts but were unsuccessful, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.