Sport How Tua Tagovailoa's ankle injury affects Alabama, LSU and the college football landscape

20:00  22 october  2019
20:00  22 october  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa leaves game with ankle injury

  Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa leaves game with ankle injury Tua Tagovailoa got his ankle twisted up by Tennesee's Greg Emerson on a sack.

After an impressive 42-28 win over No. 7 Florida in Week 7, LSU moved up to the No. 2 spot in CFB rankings.

Alabama WR/QB Slade Bolden talks Alabama response to Tua Tagovailoa , his first Alabama TD Следующее. Nick Saban Press Conference after Tennessee, Tua Tagovailoa has high ankle Nick Saban gives update on Tua Tagovailoa ' s injury vs. Tennessee | College Football on ESPN

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had surgery on his right ankle on Sunday, and the recovery timetable of last year's Heisman Trophy runner-up will be the dominant storyline of the second half of the season.

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Tagovailoa, who has 2,166 yards, 27 passing touchdowns and two interceptions this season, is 21-1 as a starter and has led the Crimson Tide back to the top of the AP Top 25, Coaches Poll and Sporting News top 25. That injury, however, has potential ripple effects that will affect not only this week's game against Arkansas, but also the SEC West picture, the SEC championship game, the Heisman Trophy race and, of course, the College Football Playoff picture.

WATCH: Tua Tagovailoa leaves Bryant-Denny in an ambulance

  WATCH: Tua Tagovailoa leaves Bryant-Denny in an ambulance Heisman front-runner suffered an apparent ankle injury in first half of Tennessee game.

Tuanigamanuolepola " Tua " Tagovailoa (TUNG-oh-VAI-loa; born March 2, 1998) is a Samoan-American football quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He was born and raised in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

— University of Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out of the game in the Alabama hosts Arkansas next week and then has a bye before its showdown with visiting LSU . It wasn't immediately apparent what kind of injury was suffered, but Nick Saban told ESPN on his way

MORE: Tagovailoa proves his value in absence vs. Tennessee

When will Tagovailoa be back? Alabama coach Nick Saban said on Monday he has no timetable for his star quarterback's return. The junior reportedly told teammates he'd be back for the Crimson Tide's potential "Game of the Century" against No. 2 LSU, but there's really no guarantee he'll be 100 percent by then.

Other than that, no big deal. Let's look at those potential impacts his ankle could have on the college football landscape, one by one:

Alabama could drop from No. 1

Mac Jones will get the start for Alabama against Arkansas in Week 9. Jones has played in 12 games the last two seasons, mostly in mop-up duty, and was 6 of 11 for 72 yards on Saturday against Tennessee. Jones should be better after a full week of practice in the No. 1 spot, but for argument's sake let's say he struggles against Arkansas and the Crimson Tide are underwhelming in victory.

Tua Tagovailoa proves his value to Alabama in absence against Tennessee

  Tua Tagovailoa proves his value to Alabama in absence against Tennessee The Crimson Tide's offense wasn't the same after the junior quarterback left with a high ankle sprain. It's clear that as Tua goes, so, too, could Alabama. Related slideshow: Best photos of college football season (provided by imagn)

SportsPulse: Paul Myerberg gives us his opinion on which players over the course of college football ' s history may have been snubbed for the Heisman Trophy. USA TODAY.

Tua Tagovailoa ' s ankle injury could be a problem for Alabama if it lingers as the Crimson Tide have LSU on the horizon in early November. Football Four: Will Tua Tagovailoa injury impact College Football Playoff race?

That, combined with a convincing LSU victory against No. 9 Auburn (which would be the Tigers' third victory against a top-10 team), could drop Alabama to No. 2 in the polls. If not LSU, then Ohio State could jump into the top spot with a blowout against Wisconsin.

Regardless, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Crimson Tide at No. 3 or No. 4 in the initial Playoff rankings when they're unveiled on Nov. 5, given the committee factors injuries into its top 25.

Will Tagovailoa play against LSU?

It's feasible Tagovailoa will not be ready for the LSU game, and that would put a damper on a potential regular-season "Game of the Century." LSU's Joe Burrow is among the Heisman front runners, and he could lead the Tigers to their first win against the Crimson Tide since 2011 (coincidentally, also a meeting between college football's top two teams).

That would leave Alabama in position to finish 11-1, and perhaps Tagovailoa could return afterward to scorch Mississippi State, Western Carolina and Auburn. That might not wow the committee enough, but a one-loss Alabama team would still be considered one of the best teams in the country.

Saban: Tagovailoa may miss 1-2 weeks with high ankle sprain

  Saban: Tagovailoa may miss 1-2 weeks with high ankle sprain Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa could be out for one-to-two weeks after leaving Saturday's win over Tennessee with a high ankle sprain.While that rough timeline would keep the star pivot out of next week's contest against Arkansas, he would return for the highly anticipated showdown with No. 2 LSU on Nov. 9.

Tua Tagovailoa ' s ankle will determine Alabama 's season, Jeremy Pruitt has to be better, Hot Seat Watch and more. Everything you saw Saturday night after Tua Tagovailoa left the game with an injury should give you nightmares. Alabama goes as Tagovailoa does, and the Crimson Tide

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a surgical procedure to repair his injured ankle on Sunday morning. In 2014, left tackle Cam Robinson had a similar injury and was able to return to face LSU at Tiger Stadium. Tagovailoa ' s previous procedure

We've seen this before.

What about the SEC championship?

Before we jump into Playoff considerations, let's first look at the SEC championship game. If LSU represents the West and either Florida or Georgia represents the East, then who would the Crimson Tide root for while sitting at home?

— If LSU is undefeated, then root for the Tigers and play the "We didn't have Tua" card while lobbying for a Playoff spot.

— If LSU has one loss, then root for Georgia or Florida. It would be a double bonus if Auburn beat Georgia and the Bulldogs had two losses coming into the game.

Remember, the committee has never selected a two-loss team to make the College Football Playoff. This would be Alabama's chance to work the system again, and no team has done that better in the Playoff era.

MORE: Week 9 Playoff picture

Alabama vs. one-loss conference champion

Alabama took a Playoff spot in 2017, despite not making the SEC championship game — and they made good on the opportunity by winning the national championship. Would that carry weight against the other top-five teams, should they suffer an inexplicable loss along the way? Let's try it out:

Alabama expects ‘full, speedy recovery’ for Tua Tagovailoa following ankle surgery

  Alabama expects ‘full, speedy recovery’ for Tua Tagovailoa following ankle surgery The QB already ruled out for Arkansas in Week 9; availability for LSU in Week 11 unknown.Late in the first half of Alabama’s win over rival Tennessee, starting quarterback and Heisman front-runner Tua Tagovailoa went down with an apparent ankle injury. After spending time in the sideline medical tent, Tagovailoa went into the locker room for further observation.

Alabama is not a lock to reach the College Football Playoff. LSU , in fact, may be the favorite in the SEC LSU and its potent offense that averages 50.1 points per game could be favored if Jones, who was 2. Alabama (7-0) (2) Nothing but Tua Tagovailoa ’ s right ankle matters right now for Alabama .

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa left Saturday night' s game against Tennessee in the first half with an ankle injury and won't return. Double play: How two Big Ten teams can reach the playoff. Senior college football writer. Six-time FWAA award winner. Graduate of Stanford University . Tagovailoa didn't come out immediately. On the next play, the Alabama junior threw a screen pass to

Alabama won that argument with Ohio State in 2017. What if the Buckeyes lose to Michigan but still win the Big Ten championship? That would be an interesting face-off.

Would you take 11-1 Alabama over Clemson if the Tigers lost to any of the remaining teams on their schedule (Boston College, Wofford, N.C. State, Wake Forest, South Carolina)?

Let's play the same game with Oklahoma, who could lose to any of Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, TCU or Oklahoma State.

The Buckeyes, Tigers and Sooners better win out just to be sure they aren't in that last-one-in argument with the Crimson Tide. That said, this isn't the only way in which Tagovailoa's injury affects Oklahoma.

Jalen Hurts wins the Heisman

Tagovailoa leads the FBS with a 95.6 total quarterback rating. Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts is second at 95.2. Hurts, of course, transferred from Alabama last season and is in the Heisman Trophy mix along with LSU's Joe Burrow and Ohio State's Justin Fields.

Hurts can win this award based on statistics alone, based on the fact the last two Heisman winners — Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray — played for Lincoln Riley in the defense-optional Big 12. Murray won the Heisman with a 95.4 quarterback rating last season.

Hurts ranks second in the FBS in total offense (397.0 ypg.) and is tied for second in points responsible for (180). He'll pad those stats the rest of the season, and it should be more than enough to win the award. Would that influence the Playoff pairings for an Oklahoma-Alabama matchup if the opportunity presents itself? That's one scenario, but we're looking for another one instead.

Clemson-Bama semifinal

Tagovailoa's injury could be the work-around to a Clemson-Alabama V matchup in the national championship game.

When Alabama made the Playoff in 2017, the Tide met Clemson in the semifinal in a 1-vs.-4 matchup. An Alabama loss would allow the committee some freedom with its seeding, and it's a good bet it would place the Crimson Tide in a matchup with the Tigers in order to create the possibility for a new championship game.

Tua Tagovailoa injury update: Alabama QB (ankle) a 'game-time decision' for LSU, Nick Saban says .
“We’ll just have to see what he can do,” Alabama coach Nick Saban told reporters Monday.Speaking to reporters, Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed the quarterback will return to practice Wednesday from a high ankle sprain he suffered Oct. 19 against Tennessee.

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