Alabama football: Ranking every team of the Nick Saban era

Almost every team that Nick Saban coached at Alabama was great, but which of his 17-year run in Tuscaloosa was his best?

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and running back Derrick Henry
Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and running back Derrick Henry / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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6. 2015 (14-1) CFP National Championship

There were a lot of great players who had a lot of great seasons under Nick Saban, but Derrick Henry’s 2015 Heisman campaign may have been the best. Henry finished with 2,219 rushing yards on 395 carries with 28 touchdowns. 

The Bama defense was No. 2 in the country with a superstar secondary featuring Eddie Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Geno Smith. Up front, the Tide featured Jonathan Allen and A’Shawn Robinson with Reggie Ragland and Reuben Foster at linebacker. 

It may be heen Saban’s most loaded defense, but didn’t quite play to the standard of his earlier units. However, the defense, along with Derrick Henry, was good enough carry Jake Coker to a national championship over Deshaun Watson who threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 73 yards in a 45-40 Alabama win. 

This was the last time that Saban won with the running game and defense because, during the next championship game that the Crimson Tide won, Tua Tagovailoa ushered in the new era.