Last night, we witnessed what arguably could have been Nick Saban’s best team at Alabama during his tenure. It very well may have been his best team ever. Hell, you can say it was THE best team in college football ever, especially on the offensive side. So many weapons on that offense that it really wasn’t a fair match up for any defensive coordinator. But what made this team more special than the others? Let’s take a look shall we.
#1 The Heart of the Team
The heart of this team was none other than “Country” boy Landon Dickerson. He transferred over from Florida State back in 2018, played some Guard and ultimately took over at Center. Once that change happened, that already dominate O-line became even more dominate. How much did Landon mean to this team? When he went down with a torn ACL in the Florida game, everyone came over to him on the cart and hugged him or fist bumped him. Last night, not only did he warm up with the team in full pads, he begged Saban to let him get in during the victory formation. Saban allowed it, and all the offensive players hugged him before he snapped it twice to Bryce Young to seal the win. Dickerson was loved by all, and will definitely be missed next year.
#2 The Face of the Team
Devonta Smith. What more can be said about this outstanding young man? Smitty will go down as the best WR in college football, and it’s not close in my opinion. His season ended on a rough note, getting injured in the early series of the 3rd quarter, but with a Heisman in hand and several other awards in the other, he absolutely was the face of the team this year.
#3 The Soul of the Team
The soul of the team was Mac Jones. This kid was arrested as a freshman, paid his dues, sit behind 2 really great QB’s in Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, and was finally given the reigns to the team this year. Mac could’ve easily transferred somewhere where he could play last year, but waited for his opportunity, and when he finally got a chance to sign, boy did he ever. Mac endured the talk all year of him being a “game manager” type QB, well he just managed himself into a 1st round or early 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, if he decides to go. Always smiling, he was the soul of the team.
#4 The Body of the Team
This goes to several players. Najee Harris was in beast mode all year, running through huge holes left by that offensive line and hurdling any player who dared to go low on him. John Metchie stepped up his game once Waddle went down with injury, and he now becomes the guy at WR next year. Slade Bolden stepped right in once Waddle was injured, and while he wasn’t a top target for Mac, when he did get the ball, he made the most of his opportunities. Jaylen Waddle, man was a story this man has. Had surgery to repair his broken ankle just 11 weeks ago, he rehabbed and last night, he played, albeit very sparingly, but he was out there with his teammates and that’s what he wanted to do most. Pat Surtain Jr was a lockdown defender this year, and he was the anchor on that defense. So many players can be put into the body of the team.
#5 The Future of the Team
The future is still bright for Bama. Yes, we are losing some great and legendary players, but next men up will be hungry to cement their legacy in that Crimson flame. The offense will be anchored by Bryce Young, John Metchie, Even Neal and Emil Ekiyor on the O-line. Defensively, we return freshman standout Malachi Moore, Brian Branch, Will Anderson, Christian Harris, Tim Smith, and many other great players. The future is still bright, and we are on the road to #19!
Jake Thomas is the Co-Founder and VPO of TideTalkSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @jakethomastide.
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