How Alabama football is affected by rescheduling of LSU and Arkansas games

Brett Hudson
Tide Sports

The Southeastern Conference has changed the schedule for its final two regular-season weeks, the most significant change being the reinsertion of the Alabama-LSU game. Alabama will make the trip to Baton Rouge on Dec. 5, when it was previously scheduled to play Arkansas, a game that will now be played on Dec. 12.

The move has several impacts on Alabama's end of the regular season.

Nick Saban may not coach in Baton Rouge 

Saban will already miss the Iron Bowl after his positive COVID-19 test earlier this week, and now he will be on the verge of missing the LSU game.

SEC protocol requires Saban to isolate for 10 days and experience symptom recession or removal at least within 24 hours of the end the isolation period. If Saban's symptoms — which he said are minor — recede before the end of the isolation period, he can take all of the tests required to return to the sidelines just in time for the LSU game. If those do not improve or worsen, he cannot take t

Three games away from home in three weeks

Alabama's regular season will now end with trips to Baton Rouge and Fayetteville, before a likely trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game against likely SEC East champion Florida.

Under normal circumstances, a layoff of nearly a month would follow the SEC Championship Game and a bowl game. But the SEC Championship Game is moved back to Dec. 19 and the College Football Playoff semifinal games — the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl — have not budged from their Jan. 1 dates. A layoff of at least four weeks is now down to fewer than two weeks.

A break for the offense

Previously, Alabama was going to end its regular season with home games against Kentucky and Auburn before a trip to Arkansas — teams that feature three of the top four defenses in the SEC by yards per play allowed. The insertion of LSU brings with it the worst defense in the SEC by yards per play allowed.

Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or bhudson@tuscaloosanews.com or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson