INDIANAPOLIS – The Alabama No.1 missed by a quarter in his attempt for a seventh national championship under coach Nick Saban.
Georgia, number 3, scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter in a 33-18 win in the 2022 College Football Playoff Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday. Saban, who has guided the Crimson Tide to six appearances in the championship game in eight seasons, took the opportunity to make his own talking points.
Saban, who turns 71 next season, is already setting the stage for another national championship in 2022. Simply put, this show is not over, although the fall is what everyone is expecting.
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Two of the most popular contemporary television series are “Estate” and “Yellowstone,” and both detail a wealthy family’s struggle to protect their wealth. It is an attractive television because it encourages the viewer to sympathize with the “haves” in spite of their faults. In the college football landscape, Alabama is WayStar RoyCo on the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. In this regard, Saban plays the role of Logan Roy or John Dutton.
The difference is, Saban is a real success story, and it made sports entertainment at the box office on Monday. Alabama (13-2) failed to win back-to-back championships, and Saban took the opportunity to praise his team despite the loss.
“It’s a very good group of winners,” said Saban. “They won away this year. They came from behind and won close games to have the opportunity to play in this game. I feel really bad that we did not finish the game better than we did. in the fourth quarter. “
Saban also congratulated his protege. Former Alabama assistant Kirby Smart, who was with Saban at four of those national championships as a defensive coordinator from 2008-2015, led No.3 Georgia (14-1) to their first domestic championship since 1980.
“I love Kirby,” Saban said. “I think Kirby has a lot of respect for us. He has done a great job for us for a long time. If we were to lose a national championship I would rather lose one to one of the old assistants who certainly did a great job for we.”
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Saban also made no excuses for losing star wide receiver Jameson Williams, who left the game with a knee injury after receiving 40 yards in the second quarter. Alabama has already lost John Metchie III, their other 1,000-yard receiver, to a ripped ACL in the SEC Championship game on Dec. 4. Saban didn’t use Williams to promote a win-at-any-cost mentality.
“He 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 medics wouldn’t let him, which I think was. smart because he has a future as a footballer.
Then Saban, who was flanked by Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young and All-American linebacker Will Anderson, shot the final streak for his returning stars to hear. Alabama lost 26-18 in the final two minutes with a chance to tie the game before Kelee Ringo’s 79-yard interception kicked off Georgia’s celebration with 54 seconds left.
“This is what happened,” Saban said. “I guess you watched the game, but that’s really what happened. It’s how you felt. It’s how you felt for Will and that’s what you feel for. Bryce, who feels really bad that he can’t do better for trying not to let this happen. “
At the end of the Alabama press conference, Nick Saban selected Bryce Young and Will Anderson to congratulate them.
“These two guys sitting here, they’re not defined by one game.”
– The Athletic (@TheAthletic) January 11, 2022
Saban was keen to distinguish these team managers before leaving the podium and said: “They are not defined by a single game.” Young had 35 of 57 passes for 369 yards and a touchdown, but the two second-half interceptions were part of Georgia’s comeback story. Anderson had four tackles. These two have become sort of Saban clones.
“We didn’t perform,” Young said. “At the end of the day, it’s up to me to play. For us, not finishing training the way we want it is just not execution.”
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“Nobody lowered their heads,” Anderson added. “It was the same with the Auburn game and all year long everyone has been so positive,” said Anderson. “It took us a while to get to play at the Alabama standard.”
This standard will not change in 2022, even in a landscape that challenges Saban’s continued adaptive capacity.
The transfer portal also helped Alabama. He delivered Williams of Ohio State and linebacker Henry To’o To’o of Tennessee this season. Williams was an All-American consensus and To’o To’o led the Crimson Tide in tackles. LSU cornerback Eli Ricks, a 2020 All-American Freshman, and Georgia Tech’s Jahmyr Gibbs, who had 1,216 scrum yards this year, are on their way to 2022.
Saban made his most pointed comments at the CFP Championship press conference on Sunday on the subject of the image and the likeness of the name.
“I think what’s a little worrying is how it’s used to get players to decide where they go in school, because I don’t think that’s the intention,” Saban said. “I don’t think that would be the NCAA’s intention.”
Saban doesn’t say something like that unless he’s conveying an underlying message. After all, Alabama has had the best recruiting class according to 247Sports.com nine times since 2010. The Crimson Tide’s lowest class ranking in this stretch is No.5.
“I think we probably need some kind of national legislation to control this to some extent, because I think there will be an imbalance over who can dominate college football if it is not regulated d ‘one way or another,’ he said.
It could be interpreted as sour grapes or as Saban protecting this premier pipeline to Tuscaloosa, but there’s more to it. Saban is not talking about another school taking Alabama’s place. He talks about Alabama, which keeps its place in the pecking order.
Monday was a reminder that the Crimson Tide can do it all and still run up against the best team. Alabama lost 42-35 to Ohio State in the semifinals of the 2014 college football playoffs. The Crimson Tide lost the CFP Championship games to Clemson in 2016 and 2018. Alabama was back in the game. peaked two years after each of those losses, but Georgia is a fitting foe for years to come given their recruiting success under Smart. After Monday’s CFP committee meetings, playoff expansion is not imminent and Saban’s contract runs until 2028-2029.
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“Yellowstone” and “Succession” may not be on TV at that time, but Alabama will be in the national championship race 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, again, is real life.
We know what to expect now. “The process” begins again.
“Praise Georgia for the job they’ve done, but no one can take the SEC Championship away from this team, the Cotton Bowl Championship,” Saban said. “I’m extremely proud of how much this team had to go through to get to this position and have the opportunity to win the national championship. We just didn’t finish the way we needed to be.”