Remarkable Alabama. Remarkable Nick Saban. Almost no one would have expected the Crimson Tide to reach the national championship game, particularly after suffering a loss in the third game of the season. And many times Monday night in taking on andefeated and No. 1 ranked Clemson in the College Football Playoff title contest in Glendale, Ariz., there was a suspicion Bama wouldn’t get it done.
But Alabama finished the job with a 45-40 win over Clemson.
It is the Crimson Tide’s 16th national championship, and it’s first in the College Football Playoff, which is now in its second year.
It is Nick Saban’s fifth national championship and his fourth in the last seven years at Alabama. Bama won Bowl Championship Series national titles in 2009, 2011, and 2012. He also coached LSU to a national title in 2003. He now trails only legendary Alabama Coach Paul Bryant in coaching teams to national championships. Bryant had six champions, all during his 25-year career at Alabama.
Alabama finished with a 14-1 record and won Southeastern Conference and Cotton Bowl championships along the way to the national championship. Clemson also finished 14-1.
Monday night’s game matched the top two seeds in the CFP rankings.
Clemson has one national championship, won by the Tigers in 1981 under Coach Danny Ford, like current Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney a former Alabama player and assistant coach. Although Bama and Clemson play only occasionally, the Tide has now won 13 consecutive times against the Tigers since the last Alabama loss in 1905 and Bama has a 13-3 advantage in the series.
Saban’s previous national championship Alabama teams won their crowns by defeating Texas in the Rose Bowl in 2010, LSU in the Sugar Bowl in 2012, and Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl in 2013.
In the last eight years of his nine-year career at Alabama, the Tide has won at least 10 games each year. In fact, there was only one year in the last eight when Bama won as few as 10 games. This was the second 14-win season, and the Tide has also had one 13-win season, three 12-win seasons, and an 11-win season.
Saban’s coaching record at Alabama is now 105-18. Alabama has the most wins in the nation since 2008 with 98.
This year’s senior class has a record in the last four years of 50-6, the 50 wins matching the national record for four-year success.
Since 2007, his first year at Bama, the Tide is 40-13 against top 25 teams, and is 22-7 against the nation’s top 10.
It didn’t come easy this year. The Alabama schedule was considered the nation’s most difficult in the pre-season, and it turned out to include 13 bowl teams. This season Bama faced nine teams in the preseason Associated Press poll, the most of any team in the nation, and the Tide was 8-1 in those games.
96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Alabama’s national championships, either earned on the field or awarded by polls or systems, came in 1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1971, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, and, now, 2015.