The Alabama Crimson Tide are set to take on the Georgia State Panthers at 12:21 p.m. ET, and the home crowd is going to be bigger than anticipated. According to renowned college football guru Phil Steele, Georgia State returned 2,014 of the 3,000 tickets they were given by Alabama, which means that there are only set to be 986 Georgia State fans on the road in a state that is right next to them. Alabama will thus get 2,014 more seats to fill with their own fans, which is a nice boost for the Tide.
Georgia State is a small school, so it’s not like we expected them to be able to sell all 3,000 tickets. However, Tuscaloosa isn’t that far from Atlanta, and traffic shouldn’t be that much of a deterrent for Panthers fans to watch their team play. Are they just afraid or unwilling to watch their team get blown out by Alabama? That’s the most logical explanation that I can come up with, because Georgia State should, theoretically, be able to sell more than just 986 tickets.
Anyway, this is all great news for Alabama fans, because some fans who didn’t initially get tickets now have a chance at obtaining them. Beyond that, the crowd is also going to be a lot more raucous, thus bringing down the chances of an extremely improbable upset for Georgia State. I mean, Nick Saban and the Tide would be highly unlikely to go into this game unprepared enough to lose, especially with veteran players like A.J. McCarron who know better.
AL.com’s Andrew Gribble gives us a really nice away sales comparison to look at, as he states that Colorado State (you know, only a few states over from Alabama) sold 1,500 tickets to its fans when they played the Tide. When you look at it from that scope, 986 looks like an even lower total.
Here’s Nick Saban on the importance of Alabama fans keeping a lively atmosphere despite this game likely set to be a blowout, “It doesn’t matter who the competition is or what the score is and I think we need to do the same thing to continue to build momentum as a team, which includes our fans and everybody that’s involved with our team.”
While Saban probably won’t be getting his wish of Alabama fans presenting similar atmosphere to the big Ole Miss matchup, but the extra 2,000 or so tickets will help.