Alabama Football: Crimson Tide Leads Nation with 4 First Team All-Americans

Jimmy McMurreyAnalyst IIDecember 14, 2011

Mark Barron.
Mark Barron.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama had a record-setting six first team All-Americans at the end of the 2009 season, and while they didn't break that record this year, it's still quite a feat to have four first team players from the same team, according to NBC Sports.  

Heisman finalist and Doak Walker winner Trent Richardson led as a first team running back.  He was joined on offense by Outland Trophy-winning left tackle Barrett Jones.  

Richardson is fifth in the nation with 132 yards per game, and a total of 1,583 yards with a 6.02 average.

Barrett Jones has been nicknamed the Tide's "MVP," and without his help on the offensive line due to injuries, both the passing and running game suffered.

The defense was represented by Alabama's two field generals, safety Mark Barron and linebacker Dont'a Hightower, both finalists for numerous awards.

Hightower leads the team with 81 total tackles with Barron second with 64, but Barron leads the team with 40 solo tackles. Barron also has two interceptions to Hightower's one.

The second team All-Americans include cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and linebacker Courtney Upshaw.

Kirkpatrick has been the Tide's best cornerback, despite having no interceptions.  His brutal hits more often than not jar the ball lose for an incompletion.  

Courtney Upshaw has been the Tide's premier pass-rusher and line of scrimmage attacking linebacker, tallying 8.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hurries and 17 tackles for loss.  

The Tide's defense is ranked No. 1 in the nation in six major categories: scoring, rushing, passing, total defense, third-down conversions and red zone conversions.  The team is also 12th in the nation in time of possession, indicating individual defensive stats are scaled down due to the fact that the other team rarely has the ball.  

If a team's All-America honors are any indication of the team's quality, then two things are certain: voters were right when they put Alabama at No. 2, and LSU is in a lot of trouble.