LAS VEGAS – When it comes to the best teams Brent Musburger saw in the SEC, there’s a distinct Alabama flavor to his choices.
Last Thursday, the legendary announcer spoke to SEC Country about a variety of topics after doing his show, My Guys in the Desert, as part of the Vegas Stats & Information Network. When asked to name the best SEC teams he witnessed during his storied broadcasting career, Musburger said the 2009 and 2011 Crimson Tide squads stand above all.
“It’s very difficult to compare eras, but the Alabama team that dismantled Texas in the Rose Bowl, by knocking out [Longhorns quarterback] Colt McCoy first and then later getting to [backup quarterback Garrett] Gilbert was as good a college football team as I was around,” Musburger said. “Then right there with them would be the Alabama team that lost in the regular season, [the] field-goal game to LSU, then buried them in the national championship game.
“I would choose those two Alabama teams.”
The 2009 Alabama team was Nick Saban’s first Crimson Tide squad to win a national championship, beating Texas 37-21 in the BCS national championship game. In the first quarter of the Crimson Tide’s victory over the Longhorns, McCoy sustained a pinched nerve in his right shoulder that knocked him out of the game. With the win, Alabama closed with a 14-0 record, marking the first time the Crimson Tide finished a season undefeated since coach Gene Stallings guided Alabama to a 13-0 mark during the 1992 campaign.
In 2011, Alabama avenged a 9-6 regular-season loss to LSU by beating the top-ranked Tigers 21-0 in the BCS national championship game. The Crimson Tide held LSU to just 92 total yards and 5 first downs in a dominant defensive effort. Alabama finished the season with a 12-1 record.
Alabama has had two more national championship teams since 2011 — the 2012 and 2015 teams. In January, Clemson beat the Crimson Tide to deny Saban a chance to win his fifth national title as Alabama’s coach.
Musburger worked for ABC and ESPN from 1990 until moving on in January. He also worked for CBS Sports from 1973-90. Late in his career with ESPN, he called college football and college basketball for the SEC Network from 2014-17.
To Musburger, the 2009 and 2011 Alabama teams were memorable. But when asked to name the SEC’s best fan base, the announcer said the selection is too difficult to make.
“I can’t go there,” he said. “Whoever is winning in the SEC is awesome.”