I will start by saying this game is not all around bad. We will re-visit that in a moment though. Later this year, in November, The Georgia State Panthers will bring their inaugural football team to Bryant-Denney Stadium, to compete against the Crimson Tide in, let's face it, the sport Alabama is best at!
The biggest guy on the Panthers' roster who will actually see a snap is Grant Sheldon, a nose guard with no prior experience. Grant stands 5'9" 285lbs. His assignment is Alabama center Willam Vlachos, a two year Letterman, standing 6'1" 289lbs. While the size difference is not much, the experience level is overwhelming.
In this case, size does not matter. It would only take one mistake on the Tide's part to ruin their entire season. Case and point: Alabama vs Florida October 1, 2005. The Tide are up 31-3 late in the fourth quarter; instead of playing the second string, Head Coach Mike Shula calls for a pass to the end-zone. Tyrone Prothro was the receiver, and that one call ended his football career with a nasty leg break.
The Georgia State roster is loaded with Freshmen and athletes who quite honestly just can't size up with what Alabama is bringing to the field. While Nick Saban is not stupid enough to play his starters with a huge lead, where will he draw the line in this mis- match?
We have all seen Coach Saban's version of compassion when he has every opportunity to run the score up, he doesn't. Even when his team is well within field goal range, he simply calls for a kneel down, and delivers the ball back to the opponent. I believe we will see an expanded version of that in this game.
The defending national champs don't want to risk injury to any key players before the Iron Bowl, and Nick Saban doen't want his finely tuned athletic machines to inflict any injuries to their opponent, whoever they might be.
Here is how I see this one playing out: The game starts with the number two men, who have not seen much playing time thus far in the season. Midway through the third quarter the score is lop sided to 'Bama's favor. Coach Saban understands that fans payed to see a football game, not a massacre, so he activates his third string for the remainder of the game. This gives Alabama's prized possessions, (the starters) a much needed rest before one of their most important games. It's like having an extra bye week, it's perfect, and I guarantee you Nick Saban is all over it!
So about this game not being all bad, it will put Georgia State on the map, and a lot of money in the University's pocket. While getting embarrassed in what could possibly be the largest margin of defeat in history is not how you want to get noticed, you still get noticed.
I will predict Alabama by 85 points. If Georgia State scores, it will be late in the fourth quarter against the bench warmers.
Signing off and Roll Tide,