Alabama Back On Top of Coaches Poll Following Arkansas Blowout

Alabama is once again No. 1 in the AP Top 25

Getty Alabama is back as the No. 1 team in the AP Poll following a 49-26 victory over Arkansas and a less-than-convincing win for Georgia over Missouri (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The Alabama Crimson Tide overcame the first-half loss of Bryce Young on Saturday, October 1 to defeat the No. 19 Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville. With the win, Alabama reclaims its No. 1 ranking for the first time since Week 2 of the 2022 season before Texas took the Tide to the limit in Austin on September 10.

At the start of the second quarter against the Hogs, Young injured the AC joint in his shoulder and was seen throwing his helmet in frustration while entering the medical tent. In his absence, backup quarterback Jalen Milroe went 4/9 through the air for 65 passing yards and a touchdown and ran for 91 yards and a rushing touchdown on 6 carries. Jahmyr Gibbs carried the offense with 206 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.

Georgia’s inability to dominate Missouri, as many predicted they would considering the 29-point spread, was a large reason for Alabama regaining the top spot in the Coaches Poll. They still had 23 first-place votes after a 26-22 Week 5 victory.

Nick Saban’s Bryce Young Injury Update

From the sound of it, Bryce Young’s injury won’t keep him out of the lineup long. Nick Saban downplayed the shoulder issue being anything that will alter the Crimson Tide’s long-term plans during the October 1 post-game presser.

”Bryce has a little AC sprain in his shoulder. We’ll have to take it day-to-day. I think he’s OK,” said Saban. “He doesn’t have a serious injury. We didn’t think he could go back in the game because I don’t think he had much steam on throwing the ball. He’s had these before and in a few days, he starts to respond pretty well. We’ll have to see how it goes.”

When pressed about whether or not Jalen Milroe will get the start on October 8 against the Texas A&M Aggies, Saban got snarky with the poor reporter who asked that question. “I don’t know,” Saban said before getting into some trolling. “I was going to call Jimbo afterward and tell him exactly what we wanted to do. So, if he can hear it in a press conference, I don’t have to call him.”

Alabama’s Long-term Plan For Jalen Milroe

Once Bryce Young inevitably gets taken in the first or second round of the 2023 NFL draft — his slight frame and stature, and the injuries that will undoubtedly follow because of it, set up a  potential draft-night slide — Jalen Milroe will be handed the keys to the offense. Nick Saban confirmed as much during the post-game press conference after Alabama’s spread-covering win over Arkansas, while also praising Young in the process.

“There’s only one Bryce Young in this country,” Saban said. “He’s a great player.”  Jalen can do what Jalen does well and we have confidence in him. We have confidence in the development of Ty Simpson as his backup.”

“Hopefully Bryce will be OK,” Saban calmly stated. “I think the offense did a really good job of continuing to score points in a different way than when Bryce plays. You got to have that kind of diversity on your team.”

From the looks of it, Alabama will be in good hands no matter what. While Bleacher Report’s Morgan Moriarty believes Young’s presence is essential for the Crimson Tide to win the SEC West, Milroe just helped lead Alabama past its toughest competition in the division. Beating Texas A&M on October 8 at home would put to rest any doubts about the Tide’s stranglehold on the SEC West.

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