- Brian Fremeau, ESPN Insider
Alabama heads into the South Carolina game this weekend firing on all cylinders. A thrilling win at Arkansas was followed up with an absolute demolition of the Florida Gators in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide aren't just in the driver's seat for a BCS national championship game. They appear to have lapped the field.
Perhaps the only thing standing in their way is a factor beyond their control. Much has been made in the offseason about the scheduling quirk that will pit Alabama against opponents coming off of a bye weekend six times this season. Coach Nick Saban even addessed the peculiarity in his press conference on Monday, claiming Alabama researched the win/loss records of SEC teams after bye weekends. According to Saban, those teams went 29-29 in the last five years. Is there no advantage to having an extra week to prepare? Is there a possible disadvantage to having the extra time off?
Football Outsiders examines the effect of bye weeks in college football, finding that teams coming off bye weeks don't have an advantage.