BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Paul Myerburg of USA Network has rated all six of coach Nick Saban’s national championship teams.
Coming in at number three is the 2012 team. Three National Championships out of four in as many years. Notre Dame (1946-49) and Nebraska (1994-97) are the other teams to accomplish this feat.
The 2011 team won the National Championship. Alabama is going for a repeat. That rarely happens.
Alabama had three starters who declared early, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick and running back Trent Richardson.
On offense, graduating were wing rights Darius Hank and Marquis Maze, tight end Brad Smelley.
On defense, graduating were safety Mark Barron, nose guard Josh Chapman, linebackers Jerrell Harris and Courtney Upshaw, and cornerback DeQuan Menzie.
Offense had four starters on the offensive line along with quarterback AJ McCarron.
Six starters returned on the number one defense. Alabama was pre-ranked number two.
They opened the season on Sept. 1 at Jerry’s World, beating Michigan 41-14. They moved up to number one and stayed there for nine weeks.
Newcomer, Texas A&M, beat Alabama 29-24 on Nov. 10. Alabama dropped to number four then moved to number two entering the Auburn game.
Alabama won 49-0. They then beat Georgia 32-28 in the SEC Championship Game and then took on nemesis Notre Dame, winning big 42-14. It was Alabama’s 15th National Championship.
The Tide had five first team All-America’s. They were: Barrett Jones, center; Dee Milliner, defensive back, CJ Mosley, linebacker, and Chance Womack, guard.
Add running back Eddie Lacy, making first Team All-SEC, along with the All-America’s. Twenty eight players were drafted off this team.
Nationally on offense, Alabama was #12 scoring, #16 rushing, #76 passing, #31 total.
Nationally on defense, Alabama was #1 scoring, #1 rushing, #7 passing, and # 1 total.
This team was better on offense than the 2011 team. The 2011 team was ranked #1 in all four categories. Next week number four.