Expect Nick Saban to use Georgia’s defeat to move the Alabama dynasty forward next season

INDIANAPOLIS – No. 1 Alabama lost a quarter less in its bid for the seventh national championship led by coach Nick Saban.

Georgia No. 3 scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for a 33:18 victory in Monday’s College Football Playoff 2022 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Saban, who led Crimson Tide to six championship appearances over eight seasons, used this as an opportunity to get over his own arguments.

Saban, who will be 71 next season, is already laying the groundwork for the next run of the national championship in 2022. In other words, the show is not over, although the fall is what everyone expects.

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Two of today’s most popular television series are “Succession” and “Yellowstone”, and both describe in detail the wealthy family’s struggle to protect their wealth. It’s seductive television because it forces the viewer to empathize with what he “has” despite their mistakes. In the landscape of college football is Alabama WayStar RoyCo on Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. In this regard, Saban can play the role of either Logan Roy or John Dutton.

The difference is that Saban is a real-life success story, and it became a Monday sports party. Alabama (13-2) did not achieve the title back-to-back championships and Saban took this opportunity to praise his team despite the loss.

“It’s a really great bunch of winners,” Saban said. “They won outside this year. They came from behind and won close matches to have the opportunity to play in this match. I just have a really bad feeling that we didn’t finish the match better than in the fourth quarter.”

Saban also congratulated his protégé. Former Alabama assistant Kirby Smart, who completed four of these national championship races with Saban as defensive coordinator in 2008-15, led No. 3 Georgia (14-1) to her first national championship since 1980.

“I love Kirby,” Saban said. “I think Kirby has a lot of respect for us. He’s done a great job for us for a long time. If we were to lose the national championship, I’d rather lose one with one of the former assistants who definitely did a great job.” work for us. “

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Saban also made no excuses for the loss of star receiver Jameson Williams, who left the match with a knee injury after a 40-yard reception in the second quarter. Alabama has already lost John Metchie III, its next 1,000-yard receiver, due to a torn ACL in the SEC on December 4. Saban did not use Williams to support the victory mentality at all costs.

“She has a knee injury,” Saban said. “We won’t know the extent of the knee injury until we get an MRI. He actually wanted to play in the second half and the medical staff didn’t let him, which I think was smart because he has a football future.” player.”

Then Saban, accompanied by Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young and All-American linebacker Will Anderson, drew the final sequence for his returning stars to hear. Alabama lost 26-18 in the last two minutes with a chance to draw before Kelee Ringo started the 79-yard celebration in Georgia with 54 seconds left.

“It happened,” Saban said. “I assume you watched the game, but it actually happened. That’s how it was. That’s how it was for Will, and that’s what it’s like for Bryce, who feels really bad that they couldn’t have done better so it wouldn’t happen.”

Saban made sure to select these team leaders before leaving the podium and say, “They are not defined by one game.” Young hit 35 of 57 passes for 369 yards and a touchdown, but two interceptions in the second half were part of the story of Georgia’s return. Anderson had four utensils. These two became a kind of clones of the Sabans.

“We didn’t execute,” Young said. “In the end, it’s up to me. For us, we don’t finish rides the way we want them to, it’s just not execution.”

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“No one lowered their heads,” Anderson added. “It was the same with Auburn and they’ve all been so positive all year,” Anderson said. “It took us a while to get to the Alabama standard.”

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This standard will not change in 2022, not even in a landscape that will call into question Saban’s ability to constantly adapt.

The transfer portal also helped Alabama. This season he brought Williams from Ohio and defender Henry To’o To’o from Tennessee. Williams was a consensual All-American and To’o To’o led Crimson Tide in tackles. LSU cornerback Eli Ricks, an All-American rookie in 2020, and Jahmyr Gibbs of Georgia Tech, who had 1,216 yards from scrimmage this year, are on their way to 2022.

At Sunday’s CFP Championship press conference, Saban spoke most strongly on Name Image and Likeness.

“I think it’s a little disturbing how it’s used to get players to decide where to go to school, because I don’t think that was the intention,” Saban said. “I don’t think that’s the intention of the NCAA.”

Saban doesn’t say something like that unless it’s basic. After all, Alabama has had the top recruitment class nine times since 2010, according to 247Sports.com. The lowest Crimson Tide class in this section is No. 5.

“I think we probably need some kind of national legislation to control it to some degree, because I think there will be an imbalance in relation to who can dominate college football if it is not regulated in some form or way,” he said.

It could be interpreted as sour grapes or Saban protecting the blue oil pipeline to Tuscaloosa, but there’s more to it than that. Saban does not say that another school will replace Alabama. He says Alabama will keep its place in the pecking order.

Monday was a reminder that Crimson Tide can do it all and still run into a better team. Alabama lost 42-35 to Ohio State in the 2014 College Football Playoff semifinals. Crimson Tide lost the 2016 and 2018 CFP Championship Games to Clemson. Alabama was back on top within two years of each of these losses, but Georgia is a good enemy for years to come given their recruiting success under Smart. After Monday’s CFP meetings, there is no threat of an expansion of the playoffs and Saban’s contract will last until 2028-29.

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“Yellowstone” and “Succession” may not be on the television you have to see until then, but Alabama will be hunting for the national championship as long as Saban is on the sidelines. After all, the Saban era began in 2007 when “The Sopranos” was in its final season. We still don’t really know what happened to Tony Soprano, but Saban is real life again.

We know what we can expect now. The “process” begins again.

“I congratulate Georgia on the work they have done, but no one can take this team’s SEC, the Cotton Bowl,” Saban said. “I am extremely proud of everything this team had to overcome to get into this position to have the opportunity to win the national championship. We just did not finish as we needed to.”


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