Somewhere the late Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant must have been smiling late Saturday night. His Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the LSU Tigers 21-17 with a game winning touchdown drive that went 72 yards, took all of five plays and lasted 43 seconds. In less than a minute Alabama went from almost going down by six points to winning by four.
There were a lot of things that the Bear would have smiled at Saturday. The Tide got it done by coming from behind in a hostile environment. Despite losing the time of possession battle, which Bryant’s teams never seemed to, Alabama score three touchdowns. The Tide defeated a ranked Southeastern Conference opponent in the Tigers.
The Bear would have been proud to see Tide head coach Nick Saban keep his hopes of winning a third national championship with Alabama alive. Saban won it all in 2009 and 2011. If he wins another Saban will be three behind Bryant. The Bear finished with six.
What Bryant would be most proud of is that this Crimson Tide team does everything well. They run the ball behind maybe the best offensive line in college football. They can pass the ball with quarterback A.J. McCarron. The Tide can play defense with anyone as this is Saban’s strong suit. The special teams are solid as well.
Alabama does not make mistakes on either side of the ball. McCarron has 19 touchdown passes and no interceptions. The Tide averages less than one fumble per game. When T.J. Yeldon laid the ball on the ground against LSU it almost came as a shock.
On defense, Alabama is leading the nation in average points per game at nine. They have yet to give up 20 points in any game. This is comparable to what Bryant’s 1979 team did. That season they gave up an average of 5.3 points a game.
It is too early to put this Alabama group with those that have won national championships. There is a lot of football to play. The Tide has three regular season battles and the SEC championship game. If they win out there is a January date with probably another undefeated conference champion in the BCS championship. It will probably be Kansas State or Oregon, two teams with high powered offenses.
Saban and Alabama have already done quite enough to make Bryant smile on high. They can really make him happy by running the table and bringing home the Crimson Tide’s 15th national championship.