Alabama Football News

Alabama football: Numbers don’t lie

Photo by: Cedric Mason/TDAL Magazine

Numbers. Inches. Outcomes. All three aspects play an important role in college football; however, numbers is strategically for Alabama. The Crimson Tide looks to avoid a third straight year without a national title under head coach Nick Saban for the first time in program history.

The Southeastern Conference has been in a two-year drought, despite winning seven national titles from 2006-12. Alabama was a part of the conversation in the last two seasons, but mishaps on special teams and a heart-breaking loss to Ohio State in the 2015 Sugar Bowl, negated it.

Coach Saban and his staff have taking on a new form of intensity, as fall practice started last week for Alabama. “Hungry” was the term most players used this offseason, yet junior defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson took it a step further.

“Starving” was his word to describe this season.

Sixty to seventy percent of this year’s team was signed in Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class or later. These are the individuals who haven’t won a bowl game in an Crimson Tide jersey.

It looks impressive on defense, but uncertainty at the quarterback position is one of few trouble factors for Alabama. Substantial depth at running back is another gray area.

Saban won his first national championship with Alabama in 2009, which was his third season. All roads point to Athens, Ga., as the Crimson Tide’s matchup with the Bulldogs will be pivotal.

Listed below is a breakdown of Alabama’s postseason success under Saban since 2007.

 

2007

  • Coach Saban’s first season at Alabama
  • No. 10-ranked recruiting class
  • 7-6 regular season
  • Defeated Colorado 30-24 in the Independence Bowl

 

2008

  • Saban’s second year in Tuscaloosa
  • No. 1-ranked recruiting class
  • 12-0 regular season
  • 0-2 postseason (losses to Florida and Utah)

 

2009

  • Year three for Saban at Alabama
  • No.1-ranked recruiting class
  • 12-0 regular season
  • Defeated Florida 32-13 in the SEC title game
  • Defeated Texas 37-21 in the 2010 BCS national title game

 

2010

  • Coach Saban’s fourth season
  • No.3-ranked recruiting class
  • 9-3 regular season
  • Defeated Michigan State 49-7 in the 2011 Capital One Bowl

 

2011

  • Saban’s fifth year with the Crimson Tide
  • No.1-ranked recruiting class
  • 11-1 regular season
  • Defeated LSU 21-0 in the 2012 BCS national title game

 

2012

  • Coach Saban’s sixth season (projected to win first national title here)
  • No. 1-ranked recruiting class
  • 11-1 regular season
  • Defeated Georgia 32-28 in the SEC title game
  • Defeated Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS national title game

 

2013

  • Saban’s seventh year at the helm
  • No.1-ranked recruiting class
  • 11-1 regular season (lost to Auburn 34-28 “Kick Six”)
  • Lost to Oklahoma 45-31 in the 2014 Sugar Bowl

 

2014

  • Eighth year at Alabama for Saban
  • No.1-ranked recruiting class
  • 11-1 regular season (lost to Ole Miss 23-17)
  • Defeated Missouri 42-13 in the SEC title game
  • Lost to Ohio State 42-35 in the 2015 Sugar Bowl (College Football Playoff)

 

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, Pick Six Previews and SB Nation. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

 

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