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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3. 2011 (12-1) BCS National Championship

Somehow, Saban only had two undefeated championship teams, so the 2011 team, one that didn’t even win the SEC Championship, checks in at No. 3. 

The lone loss came to LSU on November 5, 2011, in Death Valley, 6-9. The 2011 team ranked 31st in total offense behind Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy in the backfield, but the defense may of have been the best ever. 

Dont’a Hightower, Mark Barron, Courtney Upshaw, C.J. Mosley, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dee Milliner, and even Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as a freshman, dominated opponents all season long. The 2011 Crimson Tide allowed 8.2 points and 183.6 yards of total offense per game and just 3.3 yards per play. Keep in mind this was Robert Griffin III’s Heisman year when the spread offense was taking off and six teams averaged over 500 yards of total offense, including Houston which averaged 599.1. 

Meanwhile, Alabama was gave up more than 14 points just once, to Georgia Southern and shutout LSU 21-0 in the rematch for the BCS National Championship.