TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When it comes to historical significance, University of Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t slowing down and trying to put the 2015-16 team’s accomplishments into perspective, at least not yet.
Maybe he’ll do some of that later.
“I think that sometimes success can put a distorted perspective on things for you to some degree,” he said. “I look back to 1998 when we were 4-5 at Michigan State and we were going to Ohio State to play the No. 1 team in the country, if somebody would have told me then that this would have happened, I would have said, I think you're crazy.
“But you remember those times, and you remember all the lessons that you learned in terms of developing a process that works for young people to have a chance to be successful, a team dynamic that gives you a chance to be successful, and right now as long as I'm going to continue to do this, I'm going to keep things in perspective and look forward and not backward.”
It may be a long time before Saban takes a step back as the coach has shown no signs of slowing down. For example, when ESPN interviewed him on the flight back from Phoenix, the coach was going over game film of the 45-40 title victory against Clemson when most people on the plane were sleeping.
Since then, he’s been recruiting almost non-stop, although did take time to enjoy the Crimson Tide’s championship celebration that included a parade over the weekend.
Nevertheless, while he’s zeroed in on what’s next and adding to what might already be the strongest coaching legacy in college football history, the 2015-16 team’s place can already be evaluated.
It wasn’t the most successful team or the most polished, but Saban called it the most special team to him due to its resiliency and determination.
Here’s a look, in order, at the 16 national championships Alabama claims, based on record, accomplishments, place in history and statistical prowess respective to its era of college football: