For the sixth time under head coach Nick Saban, the senior Alabama Crimson Tide are national champions, beating Ohio State No. 3 with a 52-24 crowd of 14,926 on Monday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Saban now has seven national titles, more than any other coach in history, beating the late legendary Crimson Tide coach Paul “Bear” Bryant who had six.
“I’m just glad we won tonight,” said Saban. “I really haven’t thought about it because you’re always looking forward to it. I just love this team so much and what they could. I can’t even put it into words.”
In addition to his six championships with Alabama, Saban won the national title while at the helm of LSU. The Tigers won the 2003 BCS title game.
With Saban, Alabama has won six national titles in the past 12 seasons, and it is the 11th time in the past 15 seasons that a Southeastern Conference team has won a national football title.
However, speaking to reporters, 69-year-old Saban said he didn’t think anyone could be compared to Bryant.
“His legacy lasted a long, long time,” said Saban. “We all have to adjust to the times. Obviously things are a little different now. The challenges are a little different with proliferation, the things that I think make it harder to play a good defense these days.”
“I think Coach Bryant is in a class of his own, what he’s achieved, what’s his record, what longevity he’s had and what tradition he’s built. If it wasn’t for Coach Bryant, it would be us.” I mean, he made Alabama and the tradition in Alabama a place that a lot of gamers wanted to come to. We were able to build on this with great support. “
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones was asked if Saban is the greatest college football coach of all time.
“Come on, man. Of course it is,” Jones said. “How could he not be? He’s doing it right. He’s a good recruiter, but more importantly, he develops great players and young men. I’m just so blessed that he gave me the chance to come here with all of my team-mates I wouldn’t trade it for anything. He’s the greatest who ever did it. He will be the greatest for a long time. “
Saban: ‘This team has achieved more than any other team’
Alabama ended a dominant season as the nation’s only undefeated team 13-0. The Crimson Tide also avenged their loss to the Buckeyes in the first semifinals of the College Football Playoffs of the 2014 season.
Despite hobbling with a bruise in the second half, Jones set or linked multiple records in the CFP title game: his 36 degrees (out of 45 attempts) tied Clemson’s Deshaun Watson together. Jones’ 464 yards surpassed LSU’s Joe Burrow by a yard, and his five touchdown passes tied Burrow for the record.
DeVonta Smith, the Heisman Trophy winner that season and named offensive MVP on Monday night, set the CFP title game record with 12 receptions (for 215 yards – a record for most receiving yards in one half of the national championship game) and three Touchdowns. Najee Harris rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns and caught seven passes for 79 yards and one touchdown.
As we headed into fall, the initial outlook for these two teams was very different. As in the US, the pandemic has not been treated the same way across the college football landscape.
The SEC didn’t hesitate and settled on a conference schedule for the 2020 season. Although Covid-19 was temporarily affected – including Saban who missed his team’s game against Auburn after a positive test – Alabama only had one game against LSU postponed to be played later in the season.
“For me, this team has achieved more than any other team,” said Saban. “No disrespect to other teams that we had or championship teams. But this team won 11 SEC games. No other team did that. They won the SEC, they went undefeated in the SEC and then they got two great teams in beaten the playoffs. ” without a break in between.
“This is our fifth game in a row, from LSU to Arkansas to Florida to Notre Dame. We played 13 games here and with all the glitches we’ve had this season, we’ve been unbeaten. I think there are a few to write when it comes to it. ” comes to the legacy of the team. “
111 college football games canceled in 2020
For the state of Ohio (7-1) it wasn’t that easy to become the first team to win a national championship with just an 8-0 record since Minnesota in 1941. In fact, it initially looked like the Buckeyes wouldn’t be able to play at all.
On Aug. 11, the Big Ten conference announced that fall sports, including soccer, would be halted due to health and safety concerns related to the pandemic. A little over a month later, on September 16, the conference reversed course, saying the football season would resume in late October, which would include a specification that a team must play at least six games in order to qualify for the Qualify conference championship game.
But Covid-19 wreaked havoc, with the state of Ohio canceled its game against Illinois, while two other schools (Maryland and Michigan) canceled because of their own concerns about Covid-19 against the Buckeyes. This left the Buckeyes 5-0 out and looked for the Big Ten title game.
On December 9, Big Ten officials voted to change their policy, extending the Ohio state season. The Buckeyes returned in the Big Ten title game against Northwestern, defeating Clemson in the semi-finals of the Sugar Bowl College Football Playoffs.
According to statistics from the College Football Playoffs, the state of Ohio was one of 15 schools that canceled and / or postponed three games without inventing them. According to the CFP, a total of 111 games were canceled throughout the season due to the pandemic.
The Buckeyes were without some of their key players in defense and special teams that came into play on Monday. Quarterback Justin Fields, battered after the Sugar Bowl semi-final win over Clemson, wasn’t 100%. Trey Sermon left the game after injuring his upper body. ESPN reported he was hospitalized.
After the game, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said that defeat would motivate his players to return next season and praised his team.
“I thought that the culture of our program, running our program, the way our kids fought for a season and then came back dealt with all the adversity on the path of game cancellations, guys that were out It was an incredible achievement to work through all of this continuously and get to this moment right here, “said Day.
“We wanted to win the game. The goal was not to come here. The goal was to win the game. Still, I couldn’t be more proud of our culture, what our children are made of and where the program is run.”