How Alabama compares to a best college football teams ever

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[More Dash: 8 games to confirm CFP | CFB’s disorderly reality | 5 disintegrating acts]



Before hurtling helter-skelter into a speed trap of chronological comparison, it is required to siphon a brakes for a moment. We are 9 games into a 2018 season, that means another one-third of a deteriorate stays for a dual teams advantageous adequate to play for a inhabitant pretension in January.

There is a prolonged approach to go. Stuff happens. Teams that demeanour good can falter, digest comparisons to a all-time greats foolish.

But The Dash has never been fearful to demeanour ridiculous before (keep your comments to yourself), so because start now. After examination Alabama (11) palm LSU (12) a misfortune detriment for an AP top-five group on a home domain in a final 5 years, it’s time to see how a Crimson Tide stacks adult with a best of a best.

The Dash looked during stats for some-more than a dozen undefeated and unfastened inhabitant champions given 1968, including each widespread inhabitant pretension leader this century. The answer, as it stands today: ‘Bama compares really good to those teams.

Alabama is averaging 268.9 yards per diversion some-more than a opponents. Among 21st century pretension winners, nobody had a larger domain than that. The closest is a 2013 Florida State (13) team, during 237.7. The usually widespread group in a final 50 years The Dash could find that tops a Tide’s series is 1974 Oklahoma (14), during 276.2.

The Dash hasn’t found any undefeated pretension leader in that time camber that tops Alabama’s normal of 8.22 yards per play, or a domain over opponents in yards per play, that is 3.61. Simply put, on an every-down basis, a Crimson Tide has manhandled everybody it has played.

That changes somewhat when we get into scoring margin. Alabama leads a republic in scoring during 51.3 points per diversion while giving adult 14.1, that is seventh. That’s a domain of 37.2, that is surfaced by Florida State’s ’13 patrol (39.5) and a 1995 Nebraska (15) juggernaut during 38.7.

But dual of a biggest teams of a 21st century don’t utterly have a numbers a Tide is currently putting up. The 2005 Texas (16) team, led by Vince Young, was a plus-33.8 scoring margin, plus-209.2 yards per diversion and plus-2.7 yards per play. The 2001 Miami (17) team, that had NFL players everywhere, was plus-31.9 points scoring, plus-180.8 yards per diversion and plus-2.8 yards per play.

And this Alabama group is statistically distant some-more widespread than Saban’s usually other widespread champion, a 2009 team. The stream Crimson Tide book outscores that group by 19.2 points per game, has a per-game yardage domain of plus-110, a yards-per-play domain of plus-1.61 and outscores a opponents by 16.8 points some-more per game.

(Looking during this century, by distant a many supernatural undefeated champion was 2002 Ohio State. The Buckeyes — or Luckeyes, if we will — hardly outgained their opponents, usually 43.6 yards per diversion and 0.9 yards per play. They had a lowest scoring normal of any champion 1997, checking in during 29.3. Yeah, that was a large pass division dwindle in a finish section opposite Miami in Tempe.)

We’ll see how Alabama’s numbers reason adult over a subsequent 3 games. With a difference of 2016, a Tide has, in new years, had a bit of an descent hangover entrance out of LSU and personification Mississippi State, that is a competition again this Saturday. There will be a bloodletting opposite Citadel on Nov. 17, and afterwards Auburn arrives for a Iron Bowl. Gus Malzahn is a usually active SEC manager who has degraded Nick Saban, though a Tigers could be in for a payback pulverizing after violence ‘Bama in 2017.

For now, Alabama is on a ancestral course. We’ll see if it can stay a march and keep destroying all comers.


Dazzling as a Crimson Tide has been, here’s an refurbish from a Upstate of South Carolina that should be kept in mind: Clemson (18), a other half of a sport’s twin towers during a College Football Playoff Era, is a statistical counterpart picture of Alabama.

While we’ve been purgation over a group from Tuscaloosa, a Tigers have been multiplying somewhat underneath radar. After obliterating 4 true teams, a Tigers demeanour each bit as widespread on paper as a Tide. Check it out:

Points per game: Alabama 51.3, Clemson 47.8.

Points authorised per game: Alabama 14.1, Clemson 13.3.

Scoring margin: Alabama 37.2, Clemson 34.5.

Yards-per-game margin: Alabama 268.9, Clemson 268.8.

Yards-per-play margin: Alabama 3.61, Clemson 3.59.

In other words, if ‘Bama is carrying a potentially historically good season, so is Clemson. Maybe this is 2005 all over again, when exile trains USC and Texas collided in an all-time good championship game.

Strength of report to date is a slight curtsy to Alabama — a line-up is rated 44th-toughest nationally by Sagarin, while Clemson’s is 50th. That’s not a far-reaching gap.

The teams have played dual common opponents, Texas AM (19) and Louisville (20). The Aggies were most closer to violence Clemson (a 28-26 loss) than Alabama (45-23), though played a former in College Station and a latter in Tuscaloosa. The Cardinals were crushed by both teams, though were some-more rival opposite a Tide (a 51-14 detriment to open a season) than a Tigers (a 77-16 humiliation). Then again, Louisville also has shown each pointer over a final month that it has quit, cold, on Bobby Petrino.

Clemson competence be a usually group that could enter such a matchup with certainty it can compare adult in terms of talent, strength, speed and will. A fourth true playoff matchup of a dual seems like a ideally excellent approach to finish a season, if both teams can get there.

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