Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss Alabama’s matchup with Texas A&M on Saturday, and debate if Alabama should risk the health of star QB Bryce Young against the disappointing Aggies.
DAN WETZEL: Saturday night in Tuscaloosa-- so this is funny. We've talked about the television, the way they the draft, that networks have on how they pick television games. And one of the contracts has CBS' SEC deal is they are allowed to pick a game and put it in primetime every year. And they can pick any-- CBS can pick any SEC game, put it in primetime. And what did they pick this year? Texas A&M visits Alabama.
That's because last year on May 19, I believe on the internet, I think the night before or maybe that day, Nick Saban had gone to speaking deal in Birmingham. He's sitting up on stage, and he kind of forgot he was getting filmed. And he said, Texas A&M bought every player on the team, which sparked a furious reaction in College Station. Jimbo Fisher called Nick Saban a narcissist. He said he should have been slapped or beaten as a child.
He's told everyone to ask how he got to be this football god. He implied-- not it wasn't an implication. He accused-- no, he stated as fact that Saban had been cheating or violating some unknown rules for years.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: He went after the king. And so everyone thinks it's going to be the biggest game. A&M's got the number one recruiting class. They beat Alabama last year. They beat 'em on national signing day. Jimbo is frothing at the mouth. Saban has to slink it back.
But you know, oh no, it's right there in the back of his head. Here we go. So CBS uses one of its primetime broadcasts on this game. And what do we get? Alabama is a 24 and 1/2 point favorite. The A&M fans are in a shell, just hoping they don't get trucked.
Bryce Young may or may not play. One of the reasons-- he has a sprained shoulder. One of the reasons he may not play is because Saban's probably better off saving them for next week's game at Tennessee, which is a bigger game now.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Pat, what the hell happened?
PAT FORDE: College football happened! That's what happened. A&M-- hey, we know somebody in the top 10 is going to flop every year. And this year we might have more than one. But A&M right now is one of the leading contenders to be that flop.
I didn't really love that team coming into this season to begin with. I thought they were too young at too many positions. And boy, but I did not expect their offense to be the absolute flaming catastrophe that it has been so far.
They got no good quarterback play. Their best receiver is injured. People are just killing Jimbo for A, still calling the plays. They say, delegation. He should have a more modernized offense with a younger coordinator. Everything now. Like, Jimbo can't do anything that's going to meet the approval of the fans unless he beats Alabama again.
So that place has just become an absolute dumpster fire of repercussions there. And yeah, I mean, it's funny. I'm still going to the game, because I want to see if Alabama's does try to step on their throat, and I want to see who's the quarterback for Alabama, whether they do play Bryce Young or not.
That injury-- we'll see. You know what, throwing shoulder, you don't like to see a throwing shoulder injury. If it's the other shoulder you can do some things there. But I don't know. That could be an issue going forward.
It is wild though, between that game and Red River, we're talking about TCU and Kansas. Like, what the hell happened? College football.
DAN WETZEL: Mm hm.
ROSS DELLENGER: Do they need Bryce Young to beat Texas A&M?
PAT FORDE: They might not.
ROSS DELLENGER: Probably not.
DAN WETZEL: Amazing.
ROSS DELLENGER: They probably don't. A&M can't move the ball at all. So it's not like you need to score that many points, I don't think. So, yeah, I'm sure they don't want to necessarily take that chance and let him sit. But if for whatever reason he can't go, I'm sure the spread on the game would drop a little bit, would change. But I would think they would not-- to win the game, I would think they would not need him. And that's how far that the Aggies have fallen.
Yeah, it's probably been the biggest, right, disappointment of the year of any team, probably, the Aggies. So I'm actually-- as it would turn out, I'm in Tuscaloosa right now, passing through. And I think a lot of people here are excited to see 50-14. I don't think that old Nick has forgotten, and I don't think he's going to be calling off the dogs necessarily.