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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9. 2023 (12-2) Lost in CFP semifinal at Rose Bowl

I have a particular affinity for this year’s edition of the Crimson Tide because of the resilience of the team. Jalen Milroe went from being benched against USF to entering into the Heisman conversation. Even a fourth-and-31 with the season on the line at Jordan-Hare Stadium didn’t kill Milroe and the Crimson Tide. 

The 2023 team was Saban’s weakest at the offensive skill positions, maybe ever, but Saban, along with offensive coordinator Tommy Rees built an ingenious offense around Milroe’s strengths and paired that with a monstrous offensive line and a physical defense to end Georgia’s historic win-streak in the SEC Championship game. 

Even Michigan, a team physically and mentally mature well beyond their years and loaded with many fifth and sixth-year seniors needed overtime at the Rose Bowl to take down Saban. Though his final season in Tuscaloosa didn’t end with a championship, it should be remembered fondly by all.