Well, now that you mention it, maybe that whole everybody’s-got-a-bye-week-before-they-play-’Bama thing was a little overblown, right, Nick Saban?
“I know somebody is going to ask about bye weeks, so let’s clear this up for the year,” he said. “Everybody out there assumes that having a bye week is an advantage. And I’ve always answered the question saying I don’t know if it is an advantage or a disadvantage.”
To back up his point, Saban cited research done within the program concerning teams coming off an open date. Looking at the past five seasons, the other 11 SEC schools have a combined record of 29-29 coming off bye weeks, Saban said.
“I’m not saying I’m right and you’re wrong, but the statistics kind of prove it is not an advantage or a disadvantage,” Saban said. “It probably depends a lot on the circumstances.”
I think that’s right. You could give Vanderbilt a month off before playing the Tide and it wouldn’t make any difference. The most obvious way a bye week can help is if it gives a team the opportunity to get an injured player or players back for a key game.
By the way, does it surprise anybody that Saban actually took the time to research the subject? Not me. I’m just curious if he did it before the scheduling snafu was brought to the SEC’s attention or after it became clear that nothing much was going to be done about it for this season.