Nick Saban now has seven national championships. Which were his best teams? How do all seven compare and rank?
Nick Saban National Championship Rankings
Nick Saban is pretty good at this whole college football coaching thing.
Argue all you want about eras, all-time wins, longevity, and anything else you’d like to use when comparing and contrasting coaches, but at the very least, Saban is in the discussion of the greatest of all-time, if not the best of the bunch.
The seventh national title with this great 2020 team confirms what we already know – Saban has the machine rolling, and Alabama continues to be a force.
Which of his seven national championship teams were the best?
Personally – being a fan of killer defenses – I’d argue his 2009 and 2011 teams were the best of the lot. The 2011 D was historically amazing, and the 2009 squad had two of the most impressive wins – Florida in the SEC Championship and Texas in the BCS Championship – of the bunch, but that’s an opinion.
We can split hairs on talent, optics, and other aspects of what makes a national champion, but which ones had the toughest paths, which ones accomplished the most, and which ones had the best seasons?
The CFN Season formula just cares about numbers, schedules, point totals, and the strength of them all. All of Saban’s seven national title teams were fantastic. Here’s how they all rank according to the CFN Historical Season Formula.
7. 2011 Alabama (12-1)
All-Time Season Score: 23.1431
Defense, defense, defense, defense, defense.
The Crimson Tide D allowed fewer than 1,000 rushing yards in the 13 game season, and 302 of the 938 given up came to an option-running Georgia Southern. In all 12 other games, the Tide D allowed an average of just 53 rushing yards per outing.
That Georgia Southern team – an FCS program at the time – lost 45-21. That was the only team to score more than 14 points against Bama, who allowed fewer than 14 in ten games and fewer than ten points in eight of the 13 games.
That includes a 9-6 loss to an LSU team that would’ve been ranked among the best team seasons of all-time according to our formula had it won the national title, and a 21-0 win over those Tigers in the BCS Championship. This team beat everyone but LSU in that first game by 16 or more.
However, but SEC standards the schedule was just okay. It destroyed a terrific Arkansas team, but that was the only Elite Win – a win over a team with two losses or fewer, or on the road against a team with three or fewer losses – until the national championship, and the team didn’t play for the SEC Championship.