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
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
13 of 17
Next

5. 2012 (13-1) BCS National Championship

In 2012, Alabama was unique among its championship teams. That 2012 unit didn’t feature a dynamic quarterback, a historically great running back, or an incredible receiving corps. 

A.J. McCarron was more than serviceable, throwing for 2,933 yards with 30 touchdowns to three interceptions, and Eddie Lacy took over in the backfield for Trent Richardson. Amari Cooper was excellent on the outside, but no other receiver caught more than 30 passes, so McCarron didn’t have a WR2. 

The Tide did have another incredible defense under Saban. Despite the relative lack of star power on offense, Bama won the SEC and national title with just one loss to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M.

The defense ranked first in opponent scoring allowing 10.9 points a game, and was first in average opponent total yards, only giving up 250.0. 

On the way to the title, Alabama beat No. 8 Michigan in the season opener, No. 13 Mississippi State and Dak Prescott, No. 5 LSU, No. 3 Georgia in the SEC title game, and dominated No. 1 Notre Dame for the national championship, 42-14.