Alabama is one of the four teams preparing to compete for a national championship in the College Football Playoff, beginning this Friday. In the context of this year, that also means the Crimson Tide are trying to avoid a late-season, COVID-19 outbreak.
2021 CFP teams that are unable to field a full team due to the virus may be forced to forfeit their games over the next few weeks, so Alabama is taking every caution necessary. That includes posting up in the team hotel in Dallas and not leaving, except for practice or other team-related activities.
Head coach Nick Saban confirmed that his players voted to not leave the team-sanctioned hotel in Dallas ahead of this Friday's Cotton Bowl Classic. When reiterating that the student-athletes made the decision, Saban doled out some of usual wisdom to fire up the Alabama faithful.
"You're not gonna remember what you did on Tuesday night in Dallas three months from now, three weeks from now or three years from now. But you'll remember for the rest of your life what happens in the game," Saban said, per
Nick Saban reiterates the players voted to not leave the team hotel.
"You're not gonna remember what you did on Tuesday night in Dallas three months from now, three weeks from now or three years from now. But you'll remember for the rest of your life what happens in the game."
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) December 30, 2021
">Charlie Potter of 247Sports.
In all seriousness, the players' decision to stay put at the hotel shows an impressive amount of maturity. Of course, the Crimson Tide will hope the move pays dividends in a few days time.
No. 1 Alabama will square off against a talented No. 4 Cincinnati squad that went undefeated through the regular season. The Bearcats may be 13-point underdogs, but they're not to be overlooked.
Saban is surely reminding his team of that fact with the game less than 48 hours away. If Alabama wants to repeat as national champs, they'll want to make a statement in this year's CFP opener.
The Cotton Bowl Classic between the Crimson Tide and the Bearcats kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET on New Year's Eve.