Alabama posted a 13-2 record, earned its 29th SEC championship, won the Cotton Bowl and played in the CFP national title game this season. Ten numbers from the Crimson Tide’s 2021 campaign:
0 Coaches who have worked at least 200 games at one school have a better on-the-field winning percentage than Nick Saban’s .880. Saban reached 200 games at Alabama in a 49-9 victory over Mississippi State on Oct. 16. With a 183-25 record with the Crimson Tide at the season’s end, Saban surpassed Tom Osborne, who had an .836 winning percentage at Nebraska by compiling a 255-49-3 record from 1973 through 1997. The best in the SEC among coaches with 200 games at one school had been the .824 winning percentage of Paul “Bear” Bryant with a 232-46-9 record at Alabama from 1958 through 1982. During the 2021 season, Saban also became the fourth SEC coach to win 100 conference games at a single school when the Tide defeated Florida 31-29 on Sept. 18. Saban has a 106-16 record in league regular-season games at Alabama. Bryant had a 137-28-5 record at Alabama from 1958 through 1982, Johnny Vaught had a 106-41-10 record at Ole Miss from 1947 through 1970 and in 1973 and Vince Dooley had a 105-41-4 record at Georgia from 1964 through 1988 in SEC regular-season games.
2 Kickoffs were returned for touchdowns by Alabama WR Jameson Williams in the Crimson Tide’s 63-14 victory over Southern Miss on Sept. 25. Williams became the 26th player in NCAA FBS history with two TD kickoff returns in one game and the second SEC player to do so. Vanderbilt’s Darrius Sims had two TD kickoff returns in a 48-34 loss to South Carolina on Sept. 20, 2014. Williams went 100 yards with the opening kickoff and 83 yards in the fourth quarter. In between, Williams caught an 81-yard TD pass.
10 Victories for Alabama against the No. 1 team in the AP Poll, more than any other program. The Crimson Tide scored its 10th win over the No. 1 team in the SEC Championship Game, where it beat Georgia 41-24 on Dec. 4. Alabama had been tied with Miami (Fla.) and Notre Dame for the most victories against the top-ranked team. Alabama has a 10-5 record, including a 7-2 mark under coach Nick Saban, when playing the No. 1 team. Miami is 9-10 against the No. 1 team, and Notre Dame has a 9-17-1 record against the No. 1 team.
13 Receptions for 150 yards for Alabama WR John Metchie in a 24-22 four-overtime victory against Auburn on Nov. 27 to tie for the most catches by a Crimson Tide player in the Iron Bowl. WR Amari Cooper caught 13 passes for 224 yards and three TDs in Alabama’s 55-44 victory in the 2014 Iron Bowl. Metchie’s game stats don’t include his two 2-point receptions in the third and fourth overtime periods, even though they did not follow TDs as a normal 2-point conversion would. Metchie’s showing allowed him to surpass the 1,000-yard milestone for 2021 and give the Tide two 1,000-yard receivers for the second time in its history, following DeVonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy in 2019. Metchie had 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight TDs and WR Jameson Williams had 79 receptions for 1,572 yards and 15 TDs in 2021, although both ended the season sidelined by knee injuries, with Metchie bowing out in the SEC Championship Game and Williams going down in the CFP title contest.
14 Consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories for Alabama after the Crimson Tide posted an 13-2 record for the 2021 campaign. Alabama tied the major-college record for consecutive seasons with double-digit victories set by Florida State from 1987 through 2000. Alabama most recently failed to win 10 games in a season in 2007, when it went 7-6. The Tide also extended the longest streak of 11-win seasons in NCAA FBS history to 11 in 2021. Alabama won 12 games in 2008, 14 in 2009, 10 in 2010, 12 in 2011, 13 in 2012, 11 in 2013, 12 in 2014, 14 in 2015, 14 in 2016, 13 in 2017, 14 in 2018, 11 in 2019 and 13 in 2020.
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34 Consecutive games with at least 30 points for Alabama, the longest such streak in major-college football history. The streak included the first eight games of the 2021 season and ended in a 20-14 victory over LSU on Nov. 6. The Tide broke the record of 31 consecutive games with 30 or more points established by UCF during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons in its 41-38 loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 9. The Tide also had an SEC-record streak of 40 consecutive games with at least 20 points that included the first 14 games of the 2021 season and ended in a 33-18 loss to Georgia in the CFP championship game on Jan. 10. In its 59-3 victory over New Mexico State on Nov. 13, Alabama broke the SEC record of 35 games in a row with 20 or more points established by the Tide in a streak that started in the 2011 season and continued into the 2014 campaign. The 34-game 30-point streak and the 40-game 20-point streak started after a 44-16 loss to Clemson in the CFP title contest on Jan. 7, 2019.
34.5 Tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks for Alabama LB Will Anderson this season, with both figures the best in the nation. Anderson’s tackles-for-loss total was 12.5 more than any other player in the nation had in 2021 and ranks second on the Crimson Tide’s single-season list behind the 39 of Derrick Thomas in 1988. Anderson’s 2021 sack total also has been bettered by only one Alabama player – Thomas, who had 27 in 1988 and 18 in 1987. Anderson became the Tide’s second winner of the Nagurski Award, which has been presented annually since 1993 to the nation’s best defensive player. Alabama DE Jonathan Allen won the award in 2016.
100 Consecutive victories were recorded over unranked teams by Alabama -- the longest such streak in NCAA FBS history since the AP Poll began in 1936 – between a 17-10 loss to Auburn on Nov. 24, 2007, and a 41-38 loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 9, 2021. Alabama broke the record of 72 consecutive victories over unranked teams. Miami (Fla.) defeated 72 unranked opponents in a row between a 47-45 loss to Boston College on Nov. 23, 1984, and a 31-8 loss to UCLA on Sept. 2, 1995. Florida defeated 72 unranked opponents in a row between a 34-7 loss to Washington in the Freedom Bowl on Dec. 30, 1989, and a 47-35 loss to Mississippi State on Sept. 30, 2000.
559 Passing yards for QB Bryce Young in Alabama’s 42-35 victory over Arkansas on Nov. 20 to set a school single-game record. Young completed 31-of-40 passes with five TDs and no interceptions against the Razorbacks in surpassing the 484 passing yards compiled by the Crimson Tide’s Scott Hunter in a 49-26 loss to Auburn on Nov. 29, 1969. Young’s yardage ranks second in SEC history behind Mississippi State QB K.J. Costello’s 623 passing yards in a 44-34 victory over LSU on Sept. 26, 2020. The record was one of several set by Young as he became Alabama’s fourth winner of the Heisman Trophy, while also receiving the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award. Young set school single-season records for completions, yards and TD passes as he completed 367-of-548 passes for 4,872 yards with 47 TD passes and seven interceptions.
743 On-the-field victories for Alabama since the start of the 1936 season – the most in college football’s AP Poll Era. The Associated Press began issuing college-football polls regularly on Oct. 19, 1936, and Alabama has two more victories than Oklahoma in the 86 seasons of the Poll Era (and two more victories than the Sooners in 2021). Alabama has been ranked 841 times, including 137 at No. 1. The Tide has been ranked No. 1 more than any other program. By holding the No. 1 spot in seven polls this season, Alabama extended to 14 its streak of seasons with a No. 1 ranking, a showing that’s twice as long as any other school’s.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @>AMarkG1.
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