2021 has been good to the Crimson Tide. Alabama Football started the year with a National Championship win and ended the year with a College Football Playoff semifinal win over the Cincinnati Bearcats in Dallas.
Alabama Football with another National Championship game appearance in a rebuilding year.
Despite struggles throughout the season and more close games than any Tide fan would like, the team continued to find their identity and peak at the right time of the year. After losing the talent the Tide lost last year offensively, everyone expected a slower year. Yet Bryce Young had other plans, and now the team finds itself one win away from repeating as national champions. This success of this season may be Saban’s greatest feat yet.
This should be alarming for the rest of the college football world. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Bill O’Brien hasn’t always been a fan favorite, but admittedly, he had a brand new quarterback, a very young offensive line, as well as young running backs and receivers. Evan Neal and John Metchie III were the only two players who started last year.
By the end of the season, those inexperienced position groups were plagued with injuries and even more new faces had to step up. Plenty of true freshmen started multiple games late this year due to injury.
Yet, the team is still en route to Indianapolis for the National Championship. Everyone knew how much talent the Tide would lose after 2020. But the beauty of a young, talented team is that they won’t lose much talent in 2021.
It’s scary when you make it to the national championship in a rebuilding year because there is a very real possibility of a 3-peat national champion. Beating Georgia again won’t be an easy task, but if the Tide can manage that, next year should be even better.
In fact, it’s highly possible that the Tide could 3-peat on SEC Championships, Heisman winners, and National Championships.
The offensive side of the ball will lose Jameson Williams, Evan Neal, and Brian Robinson. Metchie may leave as well for the NFL. Defensively, the Tide will lose Phil Mathis and Josh Jobe as seniors. Jordan Battle, Christian Harris, and Henry To’o To’o are Juniors who may decide to leave early for the draft.
Most importantly, the two players who ended in the top 5 of Heisman voting will return. Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr will certainly be back on that stage to represent Alabama Football again next season.
In addition to the talent returning, the transfer portal has been good to the Tide since the end of the regular season. Both recent transfers- LSU’s defensive back Eli Ricks and Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs– should be immediate starters for Bama next season.
Regardless of how many Juniors stay or go, the Tide returns almost all of their talent in 2022 and will gain more from new freshmen and guys out of the transfer portal.
In what should have been the year that everyone got a break from Bama’s success, the young team grew up as the year progressed and looks to repeat as champs. Better yet, it looks to be the same story next year with a possible 3-peat.
The country just thinks they are tired of Bama now. Just wait.