The Crimson Tsunami – 2020 College Football’s Very Best

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Alexzander (AJ) Braaten, Reporter

One last wave of the 2020-2021 College football season has drifted away. It was a very odd season with a very predictable outcome. Now that the games have been played and the awards have been given out, it’s time to look back on the season, and the team that won it all. Here’s a quick rundown of how the season went for the eventual winners, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Nick Saban leading his team out of the tunnel

The season started much like other things did in 2020, with uncertainty because of the pandemic. The “Power 5” conferences expected to begin play in late August, but delays caused the earliest games that season to be played in September. The conferences also wanted to limit travel as much as possible, so a majority of games played were in-conference. This meant that Alabama had to play mostly other teams from the SEC, which is widely regarded as the best conference in college football. In both the preseason AP (Associate Press) poll and the preseason coaches poll, the Crimson tide were ranked third behind Clemson and Ohio State. They would eventually prove themselves to be the best team in football later in the season as they went undefeated and nabbed their 18th national championship.

They started their season on September 26th against their middle-of-the-road conference rival, Missouri, who they beat 38-19. They followed that up with their first ranked opponent in SEC West powerhouse  #13 Texas A&M. The Tides starting QB, and projected second-round draft pick, Mac Jones, had a breakout day with 435 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns in their 52-24 blowout win. This would be the only loss for A&M that season as they went 9-1 and finished second in the division. They would cruise for the rest of October, picking up wins everywhere they went, including at home vs #3 Georgia. In October they had one breakout player who would become one of the most feared wide-outs in college football history, and his name is DeVonta Smith.

DeVonta Smith posing with Heisman award

DeVonta Smith going into the season was seen as a great receiver and most likely the #1 option for Mac Jones to throw to, but I don’t think anyone expected him to be as great as he was this season. He led the team in receiving yards most games, including two different games with over 200 yards. By season’s end he walked away with 5 awards, including the Fred Biletnikoff Award for best wide receiver in the nation and the Heisman award which is given out to the best player each year. Smith is the first receiver to win the award since Desmond Howard in 1991.

Late in the season and Alabama had yet to lose, they hadn’t even really come close yet, as their closest game in the regular season was their last one. The last game for them was a home game versus the Florida Gators, who had the #7 ranked team at the time despite losing 3 games that year, including teams that Bama had crushed in LSU and Texas A&M. Florida kept it close though, but they just couldn’t quite get above the all-around stacked Alabama roster. For Bama, it guaranteed them an appearance in the playoffs and another run at the “Natty”. Their first game was against #4 Notre Dame, who they very casually dominated 31-14 en route to the National Championship game. For a competition between what were supposedly the two best teams in college football it sure was lopsided. Bama won 52-24, winning the game in a way that everyone saw coming going in.

This Alabama team was all-around great, not only did they have the Heisman winner, the national championship and a perfect record, but they also had a team so great that most of the games were never in doubt. On the season they scored without regard, they were ruthless, and they wanted to show-off. On the season they scored on average just over 48 points, while only allowing an average of 19 points per game. They dominated on both sides of the ball, and they proved they were no joke by keeping up with the dominance in the playoffs. Now it’s time for Nick Saban and company to gear up for another potential title run in 2021.