What Did Sporting News' Bill Bender Learn From The National Championship [AUDIO]

Henrietta Strickland
January 13, 2018

Nick Saban saved his best for No. 6. They are so loaded they could bring in last year's No. 1 dual-threat quarterback off the bench with next to zero experience and he leads the team to the national championship.

This time, it was all about the coach.

The rest, as was quite apparent Monday, is college football history.

If you didn't think Nick Saban was the best college football coach of all time going into this season's national championship game against Georgia, think again. "That's the answer you want to hear", Frost said of swapping Hurts for Tagovailoa, according to ESPN's Sam Khan Jr.

"It's been like that all year with me and him", a joyous Hurts said immediately after the game.

Alabama trailed 20-13 with 7:10 left in the game when Tagovailoa marched the Tide all the way down to the Georgia 7-yard line.

It might go down as the greatest decision in a career filled with them. The freshman from Hawaii threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning 41-yard pass to DeVonta Smith in OT.

Tua faced off with Georgia true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm in the national title game. "No disrespect to Jalen".

"If this second half doesn't flip like this, and Alabama is moving the ball and doesn't change [quarterbacks], people that really know what's going on would tell you that Tua was leaving", Kiffin said.

The Tide actually could have won the game in regulation, but missed a very make-able 36 yard field goal attempt with just a few seconds to go and that set up the OT. Instead, he's been more focused on next season's team and who will or won't be declaring for the 2018 National Football League draft.

Enter Tagovailoa, and Alabaman's offense was ignited. He threw three touchdown passes including one in overtime. Calvin Ridley became the fifth Crimson Tide player to total more than 2,000 receiving yards. "I know that I can't do this forever, but as long as I enjoy it and feel like I can provide the right stuff for the people in the organization to have a chance to be successful on and off the field, I certainly enjoy having the opportunity to do it".

Saban now has more titles than all other active FBS coaches combined (five).

One of Bryant's titles comes with a huge asterisk.

The Wilks interview satisfied the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs.

Another feather in Saban's cap is the way he's won his championships. Alabama improved to 69-11 in 80 games as the No. 1-ranked team in the AP poll since 1936.

Saban said after Alabama's championship win that this was the "happiest he's ever been".

"This is not something that is just about me", he said. For most of Bryant's time in Tuscaloosa, 'Bama and its heavily-funded program could stash good players away from the competition. When the predictable happens, we often lose.

Winning sure makes it a lot more fun, though.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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