College football's top-ranked team won't have its head coach on the sidelines when it hosts its biggest rival Saturday.
Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 and will not coach Alabama in the Iron Bowl versus Auburn, the school announced.
It's the second positive test in six weeks for the 69-year-old Saban. Alabama has ruled out a false positive this time around because Saban has "very mild symptoms."
"I was informed this morning that I had tested positive," Saban told reporters. "It was a PCR test, which was different than the false positive I had before. I don't really have any cardinal signs of the virus right now. No fever, no loss of taste or smell, no muscle aches."
Saban said offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian "will kind of oversee things in the building in my absence." Sark has previously served as a head coach at USC and the University of Washington, posting a 46-35 mark over six-plus seasons (2009-15). He was in line to lead Alabama against Georgia in mid-October when Saban first tested positive, only to see his boss cleared in time for the SEC showdown.
The Crimson Tide (7-0) earned the top spot in Monday's initial College Football Playoffs rankings. Alabama has lost two of its past three meetings with Auburn but hasn't lost to its in-state nemesis at home since 2010.