It was just a year ago that LSU was being hailed as the greatest college football team of all time.
The Bayou Bengals had roared through the season destroying everything in their path and clobbered Clemson in the national championship game. Joe Burrow threw for a gazillion yards and LSU seemingly had pros at every position.
But their claim to college football supreme commander was short-lived. The Tigers have been usurped by SEC rival Alabama, which now has won 7 of the last 12 championships.
Alabama made an emphatic case of being the best of all time on Monday with a 52-24 destruction of Ohio State, which in the first half looked like little more than a sacrificial lamb. The Crimson Tide shredded the proud Buckeye defense for five touchdowns and made it look easy.
Much is made of Alabama’s galaxy of skill players. Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith had 12 catches for 215 yards and 3 TDs in just the first half and missed the second half with an injury. Can you imagine the numbers he would have put up in another quarter or quarter-and-a-half of play?
Quarterback Mac Jones was 36 of 45 for 464 yards and 5 scores, including 25 of 30 in the first half. He’s big and strong, with an arm that can fire it 70 yards with no sweat. Running back Najee Harris was slippery and picked up some important first downs when the outcome was still in doubt. Alabama’s complementary weapons would be All-Americans for other teams.
But where Alabama is head and shoulders above everybody else is in the trenches. You look at their offensive and defensive linemen and you have to believe that nearly all of them will be in the NFL when their time comes to move on. They are massive, overpowering and, to be honest, almost at times look bored because they dominate so easily.
As long as Nick Saban is the coach at Alabama, it is going to be considered the favorite to win it all every year. This year’s team had three of the top five vote-getters for the Heisman Trophy. It’s a team that averaged 50 points a game and its defensive starters didn’t have to be on the field much due to the offense trampling the opposition.
Saban doesn’t keep many of his staff around for long because they’re leading candidates for every job opening there is. And you never hear of any NCAA violation talk because the program sells itself. The Tide has yet another star-spangled recruiting class coming in, including some of the highest-rated offensive linemen in the country. If there’s a player they really want, they find a way to get him.
Wait till this year’s NFL draft. Don’t be surprised if there are 8 to 10 Alabama players who go in the first round, its talent differential is just that impressive.
Remember all the talk that the college football playoffs need to be expanded? Why? It’s Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and then everybody else. Notre Dame can’t hang when it gets deep and Oklahoma never has the defense to really make a challenge for supremacy. There are some nice, other teams, but Alabama has graduated into its own stratosphere.