A win Monday night against Ohio State marked Alabama's sixth national championship under Nick Saban, tying Saban with Bear Bryant for the most won by any single Alabama coach.
Including his win at LSU in 2003, Saban stands alone as the only coach in the modern history of the Bowl Subdivision to win seven championships.
Beginning in 2009 and continuing through the College Football Playoff era, Saban-coached Alabama has stood alone as the undisputed dynasty of the 21st century.
One way to qualify the Crimson Tide's dominance of the sport is to compare the program to the rest of college football. By that math, beating the Buckeyes gives Alabama as many championships in the last dozen years as the rest of the FBS combined.
With the latest in the books, here's how Saban's six championship teams at Alabama rank:
This year's team might not have had the same defensive stinginess as those teams in the early 2010s, but that's less a statement about Alabama than a representation of how the sport has changed in the past decade. Now offense rules, and this year's team did offense better than any group in program history. (And there was never a group better than the three-headed machine of Mac Jones, DeVonta Smith and Najee Harris.) As proven in the championship game against Ohio State, this offense was unstoppable.
Alabama coach Nick Saban celebrates after his team defeated Ohio State College Football Playoff national championship game in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)
This team has a place in program and SEC history despite not winning its own division — a fact we'll hold against the 2017 team, in fact. But anyone who witnessed 2011 Alabama can attest to its place among the best in program history. A defense that smothered every opponent on its schedule, culminating with a 21-0 shutout of LSU for the championship, certainly ranks in a historically elite group.
The 2012 team isn't far behind. While there was a loss, to Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, the Tide were improved offensively behind quarterback AJ McCarron and typically stingy on defense. After sneaking past Georgia to win the SEC, Alabama ripped past Notre Dame 42-14 to claim the third championship under Saban.
Whether Alabama could win another title seemed in doubt after an early conference loss. The Tide quickly put those doubts to rest. The Tide won their last 12 games, all but one by double digits, and topped Clemson 45-40 in the first of four meetings in a row in the rivalry. In all, Alabama won eight games against ranked competition.
Alabama gets points for being the lone unbeaten team of the Saban era before this season and for having the first Heisman Trophy winner in program history in running back Mark Ingram. The defense was outstanding, holding six opponents to single digits, and the Tide beat four ranked teams on the road. But there were a few close calls, notably a 12-10 win against Tennessee sealed by a blocked field goal in the final seconds.
The 2017 team failed to win the SEC West, like the 2011 version, and were on the ropes against Georgia in the championship game before Tua Tagovailoa paced a second-half comeback. The Tide were dominant in spurts but not quite up the standard set by the rest of the Saban-led champions. The bar has been set very high.
Follow USA TODAY Sports colleges reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg
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