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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1. 2020 (13-0) CFP National Championship

There were plenty of people worried about how Mac Jones would do at quarterback with Tua Tagovailoa off in the NFL, but when you have a receiving corps of DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and John Metchie, with Najee Harris out of the backfield, it makes life a lot easier. 

Jones was excellent at facilitating the second-highest-scoring offense in the country, which averaged 48.5 points a game, but Smith was the star of the show. He caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns on his way to the Heisman Trophy and he hauled in 12 passes for 215 yards and three scores in a 52-24 blowout of Ohio State in the National Championship. 

The 2020 team was Nick Saban’s best offense, but the defense wasn’t bad either, ranking 13th in the country allowing just 19.4 points. In the 2021 NFL Draft, Waddle, Patrick Surtain II, Smith, Jones, Alex Leatherwood, and Harris were all first-round picks. 

There weren’t many who would have predicted that the 2020 team would be Saban’s last championship.

The five worst choices Alabama could make replacing Nick Saban. The five worst choices Alabama could make replacing Nick Saban. dark. Next