Nick Saban has created a dynasty at Alabama, winning five national championships since 2009.
How does this year’s Crimson Tide squad match up with the other four Saban teams to capture the title? Well, according to Sports Illustrated, not quite as well.
SI ranked all five of Saban’s Alabama national championship teams, putting this year’s team fifth on the list. It put the undefeated 2009 team at the top of the list.
Here’s how SI ranked the five teams:
- 2009 (14-0)
- 2011 (12-1)
- 2015 (14-1)
- 2012 (13-1)
- 2017 (13-1)
It’s easy to see why the 2009 team ranks atop the list. It was the only undefeated year among the five, as the Tide was powered by elite running backs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson that season.
The 2009 Tide bested Tim Tebow’s Florida squad in the SEC Championship Game, then took down Colt McCoy’s Texas team to win the national championship.
Why did this year’s team rank fifth on the list? Perhaps because Alabama was not quite as dominant this season, nearly missing out on the College Football Playoff after not playing in the SEC Championship Game.
Although, as SI’s Daniel Rapaport writes, “Being the lowest-ranked national championship team is like being the poorest member of the Forbes 400 — just being on the list is what’s important, and no disrespect is intended.”