Season Report Card: Alabama Crimson Tide
With a trip to the BCS National Championship game on the line, a simple missed field against in-state nemesis Auburn changed everything for the Crimson Tide. But, since the majority of the people reading this are likely Alabama fans, we won't relive that horror once again.
Instead, we're here to take a snapshot of the season as a whole, and as expected, Saban's team was considered the best in the country all season long. However, losing two straight games to end the campaign was unexpected, to say the least.
With that in mind, let's grade Saban and company on yet another successful season:
Considering all of the offensive weapons on this team, it's not a surprise that Alabama had no trouble scoring points. It averaged 38.2 points per game (good for 17th in the nation), and was extremely effective in both the passing and running game. AJ McCarron was phenomenal in his final season as quarterback of the Tide, and wide receiver Amari Cooper made the big catches when this team needed to extend drives. On the ground, Alabama had three ridiculous talents in T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, and Derrick Henry that all provided major production in the run game.
In the final two games of the season (Auburn and Oklahoma) Alabama allowed a combined 79 points. If you take out the Texas A&M game in week three (42 points allowed), Alabama only allowed a combined 60 points in all the other games they played this season. That is absolutely remarkable. Linebacker C.J. Mosley (108 total tackles) anchored a dominant defensive unit that was fantastic from the very beginning.
Say what you want about Saban's decision to kick a field goal on the final play against Auburn, but this is still the best coach in college football. Alabama looked flawless for a majority of the season and was up for every challenge that it faced. So, even though everyone will look back on one play that altered the Tide's season, there should never be any doubt about Saban's genius. He's the best in the game and don't expect that to change anytime soon.
Sure, the gut-wrenching loss to Auburn and the bowl loss to Oklahoma will leave a bad taste in the mouths of Bama fans. It certainly wasn't the ending to the season that anyone wanted. However, as a whole, this season was yet another example of Saban's dominance in the world of college football. With perhaps his best recruiting class to date in Tuscaloosa on the way in, things are only going to get better for this program.
What are your thoughts on the state of Alabama football? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!