If Alabama closes the deal tonight against Ohio State they might be the greatest team in college football history. Hear me out. What other team has gone undefeated playing an all-conference schedule against arguably the best competition in the middle of a pandemic?
Consider the circumstances here. Alabama is 13-0, playing all their games in the SEC and beating opponents by nearly 30 points per contest (29.2). In the last 15 seasons, Clemson in 2018, Florida State in 2013, and Texas in 2005 are the only undefeated championship teams to have a higher average scoring differential, and they got to boost their numbers by scheduling FCS teams throughout their schedule.
The Crimson Tide will have beaten six ranked opponents this season if they win tonight, five of those opponents were ranked in the top 15 at the time Bama played them. LSU beat seven ranked opponents last season but once again had the luxury of having cupcakes strategically sprinkled into their schedule, and also had the luxury of not playing with the threat of a deadly virus looming.
Led by their high-powered offense, Bama has a 19.4 point margin against ranked opponents so far this season. Bama also leads all power five schools in scoring this season, nearly five points ahead of second place.
The school in Tuscaloosa currently boasts a Heisman Trophy winner as well as Fred Biletnikoff and Maxwell award winner DeVonta Smith. Their quarterback, Mac Jones, won the Davey O’Brien trophy, running back Najee Harris took home the Doak Walker award, while offensive linemen Alex Leatherwood and Landon Dickerson brought back the Outland Trophy and Rimington Trophy respectively.
While the defense this season hasn’t been as stout as it has in the past, they still have pros that will be playing on Sundays, like cornerback Patrick Surtain II and linebacker Dylan Moses. Also, let’s be real. Playing defense in college football against good offenses has become nearly impossible. The team accomplished all these feats in a season that probably shouldn’t have been played and had endless distractions before some of the Tide’s biggest games. Head coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 at two different points in the season. Once in October before playing Georgia which turned out to be a false positive, and again before the Iron Bowl against Auburn in November.
Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has already agreed to become the new head coach of the Texas Longhorns, which resulted in a media circus around the program. This gave the players another distraction they have to deal with before the culmination of the season on Monday night. The fact of the matter is that if Alabama pulls out a win against Ohio State on Monday they will have a legitimate argument as one of the best teams of all time.
In a season as unpredictable as this one, their greatness would be the one constant of the college football world.