2. Nick Saban changed, and now he has seven
The Miami Dolphins under Don Shula were always known for their amazing defenses and great running games, and then this Dan Marino guy came along and the franchise changed. All of a sudden, the stodgy and dependable Dolphins had the greatest passing attack the NFL had ever seen – at least at the time.
Bad example – Miami didn’t win any Super Bowls after 1972 – but the adaptability was part of the reason why Shula went on to become the winningest head coach in NFL history. He changed, and his career kept on rolling because of it.
Nick Saban’s defenses at Alabama were among the best that college football had ever seen. The 2011 version only allowed more than 14 points once on the way to the national title.
— ESPN (@espn) January 12, 2021
There were years – like 2016 and 2011 – when the run defense didn’t allow 1,000 rushing yards in a full campaign. But the sport was changing, the SEC was changing, and Saban quickly figured out he needed a team that could keep up offensively if needed.
Between Johnny Manziel, some of the Hugh Freeze offenses at Ole Miss, and Deshaun and Trevor at Clemson, some tweaking had to be done.
Alabama went from being No. 1 on a regular basis in the defensive categories that mattered, to No. 1 now on the offensive side.
Yeah, it’s okay to win games 52-24, especially if they’re for the national championship. It also helped that …