On this day in sports history
BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Paul Myerburg with USA Today picked the 2009 University of Alabama football team fifth best out of six National Championship teams under Nick Saban.
This was the first National Championship under Nick Saban, and the first one since 1992.
Alabama finished the 2008 season with a 12-2 record. They were 12-0 entering the SEC Championship game and ranked #1 vs #2 Florida.
The Gators won 31-20. The Tide then lost to Utah in the Sugar Bowl 31-17. Alabama had four starters returning on offense: WR Julio Jones; WR Mike McCoy; WR Drew Davis; and OT Mike Johnson.
Defense had eight starters returning: DL Brandon Deadrick; DL Terrence Cody; OLB Cory Reamer; OLB Rolondo McClain; LB Dont’a Hightower; CB Javier Arenas; CB Kareem Jackson, S Justin Woodall; STP J. Fitzgerald; PK Leigh Tiffin, ST Javier Arenaslist; and LS Brian Selman.
The 2009 recruiting class was ranked number one by Rivals.com. Sagarin Computer rated the 2009 Alabama schedule the most difficult in college football.
Alabama’s record was 14-0. The teams Alabama beat ranked in the final Top 25 included: #2 Texas 37-21; #3 Florida 32-13; #10 Virginia Tech 34-24; #17 LSU 24-15; and #20 Ole Miss 22-3.
South Carolina was ranked #22 on game day. The final score was 20-6.
This was the game that started Mark Ingram to win the Heisman Trophy. He was the first player at Alabama to win it.
The team ranked nationally in these categories: Scoring Offense #21 32.1; Rushing Offense #12 215; Passing Offense #92 187.9; Total Offense #43 403.0; Scoring Defense #2 11.7; Rushing Defense #2 79; Pass Defense #10 166.0.; and Total Defense #2 245.4.
Next Week I will rank all six teams.