MIAMI GARDENS, Florida – At the end of a long, busy, weird, and uncomfortable season for college football, we finally got a little bit of normalcy when the final seconds of Monday night at Hard Rock Stadium: Alabama, while lifting, passed another national Championship title after winning in a dominant, historical way.
There were only a few spectators left to see the celebration. A small part of the approximately 14,000 fans were allowed to enter the facility, taking into account all applicable restrictions. Every other year, the field is bullied with friends, family, media, photographers and event staff in a grand celebration that runs 10 deep down the makeshift stage. On Monday evening, a single player made snow angels in the fallen confetti when teammates only hugged team staff.
Alabama, winning everything, of course, felt like the inevitable end as the sport’s most dominant coach put together the most dominant team with the most dominant players. For those who are currently in the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T against the state of Ohio on Monday could Just watch one competitive game, you will see exhibit # 13, which shows why the Buckeyes just didn’t stand a chance.
There was Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, who owned the state of Ohio so completely that he would have set multiple title records before halftime and would have broken more if he hadn’t sprained a finger on his right hand. Najee Harris ran back and sped through the horse chestnuts with such force that her collective will inevitably broke. At the top stood quarterback Mac Jones, who staged another almost flawless offensive performance and set his own championship records.
The Crimson Tide could not be stopped during the season. They couldn’t be stopped in a 52-24 championship performance that no one will soon forget.
“For me, this team has achieved more than any other team,” said Alabama’s coach Nick Saban, who won a seventh record title with the national team. “We have played 13 games and were unbeaten for all the disruptions we have had this season. I think there is a lot to write about when it comes to the team’s legacy.”
This Alabama team will rightly have its special place in history. What this team has achieved goes beyond the points and the offbeat stats and the Heisman. Players across the sport have sacrificed more than ever before; they endured more than ever; You have been challenged both physically and mentally in ways that are difficult to grasp.
They played soccer during a pandemic.
It might not take long to see how remarkable this season really was until much later, perhaps years later, in time, to ponder the extraordinary circumstances under which it all came about.
“It’s been an unprecedented year with a lot of adversity,” said Alex Leatherwood, Alabama offensive player. “But we just kept the course. We tried to stay focused and every day took everything and really got everyone to get involved with what we wanted to achieve – and we emerged victorious.”
The state of Ohio also pushed for the opportunity, believing there was also a championship-caliber team led by Justin Fields. Though the Buckeyes started their season later than Alabama, they grappled with myriad coronavirus issues to get to that point – and even debated whether to postpone this championship game because they had more COVID-19 issues over the past week .
All of this speaks for the uncertainty that filled this season. Nobody really knew if college football would make it to the finish line as the coaches basically said to anyone who would listen, “You are only as good as your last test.” The season was precarious every day. Coaches, players and coaches held their breath and waited for the results of the coronavirus tests.
This only increased the burden on the players as they did their best to follow all safety protocols and keep playing. With teams across the SEC dealing with outbreaks and Saban dealing with coronavirus himself, only one team felt really safe: Alabama, thanks to Smith, Harris, Jones and everyone else. Yes there were a couple of close calls on the way. But this is a team that missed 40 or more points only twice, with three players finishing in the top five for the Heisman – and you could make a very real case today that they should have finished 1-2-3.
Of course, that doesn’t happen by chance. Saban recruits the best players and then develops the best players. But that kind of offensive performance wasn’t predetermined either. Seeing the changing landscape in college football to wide-open crime at will, Saban shifted himself with it – reinventing the Crimson Tide as an unstoppable offensive force. Look at the first two times he won a national championship with Alabama: The Tide totaled 58 points – just six more than Monday night.
Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian once again called a masterful game. Knowing full well that Smith would play a key role in every game, he put Smith in new and different formations to get him the ball. But most of the time Smith was just standing behind and overtaking the Ohio State defenders. By the first half, Smith had 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns, broke three SEC career records, set a BCS / CFP championship game record, tied another, and set a school bowl record.
“He does a really good job when it comes to calling a game,” Saban said of Sarkisian. “He knows what the other team is doing, knows how to attack, knows where the players have to be used to play these games against what the other team is doing. He just did a fantastic job.” Year.”
Jones, meanwhile, threw 464 yards – breaking Joe Burrow’s BCS / CFP championship record and connecting Burrow’s touchdown record with five.
A year after college football pundits declared Burrow’s LSU squad the greatest offense of all time, Alabama made its own claim to that crown. None of this should come as a shock. Alabama missed the playoffs a year ago, watching rival Tigers roll through everyone in a similar fashion. Did anyone think Saban would just be fine with that?
Jones, who hobbled on an injured leg for a good portion of the second half on Monday and still delivered one perfectly placed pass after another, went one step further than declaring Alabama the biggest offense.
“I think we are the best team that has ever played,” said Jones. “There’s no team that will ever play an SEC schedule like this again. At the same time, we’re just so happy to win this game and put the icing on the cake. There wasn’t a lot of pressure, we just wanted to go out and that To play the game we’ve all played since we were 5 years old. “
Despite all the unknowns about how this season would play out, the Crimson Tide have committed to each other.
“We had a mission,” said Smith. “Everyone wanted to end things right. We came to work every day and just worked. We got the result we wanted.”
And ultimately the result that we could all see.