Another Season, Another Championship

The madness Alabama’s record breaking 2020 season

Lee Cook

Last month, Nick Saban earned his 6th national championship ring with Alabama after a 52-24 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes. This brings his count to 7 total national championships (1 with LSU, 6 with Alabama), breaking his tie with the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant. Saban now holds the record for most national championships by any single head coach in the bowl era. So, what was the secret to success this year?

The season was off to a hot start, per usual, but things took a turn during the fifth game of the season. On the opening kickoff of the game, standout wide receiver and special teams’ man, Jaylen Waddle, fractured and sprained his ankle. The success of the season was not immediately put into question, but the firepower of the offense was. Before the season began this is what the high-flying offense shaped out to be:

QB: Mac Jones

RB: Najee Harris

WR: DeVonta Smith

WR: Jaylen Waddle

WR: John Metchie III

Now cross Jaylen Waddle off of that list. Again, the most hyped-up offense in the country was put under a microscope only 5 games into the season. Heading into the season, DeVonta Smith was expected to be the main wide receiver, but what was not expected, was the numbers he put up in Waddle’s absence. The very next game, against Mississippi State, Smith accounted for 203 receiving yards and 4 TDs on 11 receptions. If you think those numbers are crazy, 8 weeks later he threw down even better numbers.

January 11th, 2020 was the date of the 2021 CFB National Championship. IN THE FIRST HALF, DeVonta Smith recorded 215 receiving yards and 3 TDs on 12 receptions. Yes, you read that right. He did that in the first half, breaking the reception record and TD record for the BCS/CFB Championship.

Now this story could turn into a DeVonta Smith highlight reel, but that would overshadow Mac Jones & Najee Harris. Through this past year, Harris ran for 1,466 yards and 26 TDs on 251 carries and acquired the Doak Walker Award, which highlights the country’s best running back. For Mac Jones, he threw for a nation leading 4,500 yards, and coming in second in the nation for TDs, with 41. Along which that, he obtained the Davey O’Brien award, which awards the nation’s best QB.

On top of DeVonta Smith winning the Heisman Trophy, the Crimson Tide took home a record setting 7 individual player awards, and it slated out like this:

Biletnikoff Award (most outstanding WR): DeVonta Smith

Maxwell Award (college player of the year): DeVonta Smith

Walter Camp Award (national player of the year): DeVonta Smith

Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s best QB): Mac Jones

Outland Trophy (nations best interior lineman): Alex Leatherwood

Doak Walker Award (nations best running back): Najee Harris

Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center): Landon Dickerson

As a successful and record-breaking season as that was, it was a normal day office for Nick Saban and the Tide. For the upcoming season, Alabama currently leads the nation in recruiting for the class of 2021. With 27 total commits so far, including 7 5 stars and 16 4 stars, the future looks bright for the tide. Story by Lee Cook

Sources: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, 247sports