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Head Coach: Nick Saban
Final Record: 12-1
Ranking the 2011 Alabama club is a puzzling affair. The Crimson Tide, unlike their 2009 counterparts, lost a game—and they didn't even win the SEC crown.
However, they made up for their one loss—a 9-6 heartbreaker to LSU—by crushing that same Tigers squad 21-0 in a national title-game rematch.
'Bama left no doubt that it was the champion that year thanks to its incredible defense. And it is that defense—the best of its kind in the BCS era—that makes this team one of the greatest ever.
The Tide allowed just 8.2 points per game behind stars Mark Barron, Courtney Upshaw, Dont'a Hightower, Dre Kirkpatrick and others. Several other big-name defenders (C.J. Mosley, Dee Milliner, Vinnie Sunseri) just played backup roles, as UA didn't allow more than 21 points per game all season.
The offense, which featured a young AJ McCarron, as well as Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy, wasn't quite as prolific as the one from 2009. However, the top-notch defense leveled the playing field. And its competition, namely that extremely talented LSU team, puts it over the top.
Looking at the total package, this club has left an outstanding legacy that will only grow with time.