TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Bill Curry has returned to Alabama. Let’s see if they’re any nicer to him now than when he left in 1989.
In a rare (and possibly first) match-up between a first-year program and a defending national champion, Georgia State faces Alabama tonight at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game is being broadcast on sorta-national TV (more on that in a minute).
This will conclude the Panthers’ inaugural season, and the hope is that
they get something out of the experience more than just a quick tour of Tuscaloosa and a $400,000 payoff. All of their limbs would be a good start.
Earlier in the week I spoke to somebody at the Caesars Palace Sportsbook who said the property was not going to offer wagering on the game. But, if it did, the point spread probably would have opened at 42½ points.
Turns out that may have been an understatement.
One online service, Sportsbook.com, is offering 57½ points. Honestly, I’m can’t remember seeing a line that high before, although I’m sure they’ve existed. So basically, even if the Panthers get shut out tonight, you’re wagering that they can hold Alabama to eight touchdowns.
Tempted? Why not? The Tide played just four days ago. More importantly, they face rival and undefeated Auburn next week in this same stadium. It doesn’t figure coach Nick Saban will want to keep his starters in this game
for too long, nor is he out to humiliate Curry or the Panthers. He’d rather take his anger out for this season’s two losses on Auburn.
OK, about watching this game. If you have ESPNU, you’re set. I know Comcast offers the channel with its digital package, as does DirecTV. But that’s it. You can find the game elsewhere — I’m sure several sports bars will carry it, and I’m told they’ll be showing it at the student center at Georgia State. Otherwise, your best option is to listen to it on the Georgia
State radio network (WMLB-AM 1690 and WRAS-FM 88.5).
I will be blogging throughout the game here. So feel free to check in for updates, post comments and ask any questions that you like.
For what it’s worth, I circled the stadium twice when I first got here and I couldn’t find any Georgia State fans. But I’ve been told there probably will be a few thousand here. (I’m sure it would’ve been more if this game was being held on a Saturday.)
For what it’s worth, Curry is 2-4 lifetime against the school he once coached. He brought Georgia Tech to Alabama was 30 years ago. The Jackets lost 26-3. The following season, in 1981, Tech stunned Alabama to open its season 24-21. It turned out to be the Jackets’ only win that season — that went over real in Tuscaloosa.
The last time Curry faced Alabama was in 1996, his final season with Kentucky, when the Tide won 35-7.
I’m pretty sure Georgia State would accept anything close. A win, of course, would lead to campus-wide hyperventilation. But that’s not the way to bet.
Unless, of course, if you’re getting 57½.
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