13. Best college football teams of all-time: 2011 Alabama
Now, we have come full circle on the 2011 National Championship.
Continuing on our stroll down Crimson Tide memory lane, we head back to the modern (well, relatively) day to see one of the best defenses that college football has ever seen and a team that is a no-brainer for a spot on our top 50 list.
The 2011 Crimson Tide team, in true Saban fashion, out-schemed almost all opposition en route to a 21-0 shutout in the National Championship, crushing the dreams of Tiger hopefuls. This 2011 team was the first defense in 26 years to lead the nation in total, passing, rushing and scoring defense and only let in multiple touchdowns in three games.
If you’ve ever heard the joke that “an Alabama starting lineup could take on [insert worst NFL team here]” this is likely where that joke started. This defense could easily have been mistaken for a starting line in the big league. The team would eventually send a massive nine players to the NFL Scouting Combine and have a school-record-tying four players selected in the first round as part of one of the most talented teams ever.
Well-known running back Trent Richardson may not have had the most successful NFL career after departing the Crimson Tide, but he was named as a Heisman finalist in the season. Courtney Upshaw, Barrett Jones, Mark Barron and many others were finalists for national awards. The team featured several All-American teams, with several players being named to the various All-American teams after the season.
This was a dominant National Championship team, finishing with just one hiccup in a loss to a favored LSU Tigers that they would later shutout to win the national championship.