Alabama Crimson Tide roll against Ohio State, complete historic undefeated season
The University of Alabama has won the college football national championship for the 18th time in school history.
The Crimson Tide on Monday night added to their legacy of being the best college football program ever by winning the College Football Playoff.
Head coach Nick Saban also solidified himself as perhaps the greatest college football coach of all time, adding a seventh title for his personal record. Six of those came at Alabama, with the other one coming at LSU.
Dynasty is the word used to describe the Tide football program, and that has never been more evident than after their 52-24 demolition of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Bama has now won six championships in the last 11 years.
Saban keeps saying this team is special, though, and we can see why after the season has come to an end. The players on this team were all top recruits, but it wasn’t the same as the other championship seasons.
Saban said after the game, “To go undefeated, win 11 SEC games, and win the National Championship… I can’t tell you how proud I am of that.” He continued to praise his team, saying, “I really can’t say enough, and I can’t really put it into words in terms of how proud I am of this group, this team. They are the ultimate team.”
Quarterback Mac Jones was considered not good enough by naysayers coming into the season, and receiver DeVonta Smith was likewise considered not big or strong enough for the SEC earlier in his career. On defense, the beginning of the season was rough, and analysts everywhere said that the Tide didn’t have a good enough unit to go all the way.
This year, Alabama was counted out for the first time in a while, but the Tide proved everybody wrong.
Jones was a Heisman finalist and finished his season with exactly 4,500 passing yards after putting up 464 in the title game. He also tossed five touchdowns in the championship game.
Three of those touchdown passes were to Heisman Trophy winner Smith. The receiver proved everybody wrong about his size by finishing the season with 23 receiving touchdowns as well as getting the offensive MVP in the title game.
Saban had some high praise for the receiver when joining ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt on Sports Center after the game, remarking, “He is the ultimate team guy. He sets a great example for his teammates he cares about his teammates, and he sets a great example for them every day. He is hard to beat, and I just love that guy.”
On the change in Bama’s offensive style the past few years, Saban added, “We have gradually changed throughout the years to be more spread oriented, but still sort of drop-back concepts with our passes and legitimate play-action passes. It is sort of that blend.” Saban continued, “We knew we would have to throw the ball to win, and we did it effectively.”
As for the defense being counted out this season for the Tide, that may have been the most upside-down prediction of the year. This defense has grown each and every week of this season. With names emerging such as Patrick Surtain, Elijah Moore and Christian Barmore, the boys in Crimson shut down the Buckeyes, who went into the game perceived to be an offensive juggernaut.
Barmore, who won the defensive MVP on the night, emerged a little late in the year. He basically had his coming out party in the championship game — and what a time to shine.
On the Tide defense, Barmore had this to say: “We are all brothers. We all fight together, practice hard together, and just do everything together. Nobody has as strong a relationship as we do as a whole team.”
The defense as a whole held Buckeye quarterback Justin Fields to just 194 yards in the air, and only one touchdown.
To begin closing out his post-game interview, Saban said, “To me, this team accomplished more than almost any team… this team won 11 SEC games. They won the SEC, and then went undefeated in the SEC. Then they beat two great teams in the playoffs with no real break in the schedule.”
It was truly a special year for the Crimson Tide players, coaches and fans. The Tide overcame so many obstacles this year to get to the point they are at now. With COVID concerns threatening the season even happening, as well as players and coaches missing games, it is amazing to see the Crimson Tide finishing dominantly on top.
As Saban would say, it’s time to get back to work. Roll Tide.
Hayden Crigler is a contributing college football writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @hayden_crigler.