Photo credit: Crimson Tide Photos/Alabama athletics
Nick Saban’s tenure at Alabama may be the greatest tenure in college football history. In fact, there is hardly an argument against it.
In case there was any doubt, the man has more SEC and national championships than regular season losses. What he has done at Alabama will most likely never be replicated; it has been absolutely dominant.
His dominance has come against everyone, but that’s especially true vs. SEC East teams. Saban has a 37-4 record against the opposite SEC division. Perhaps more impressive is his 15-0 record against annual crossover rival Tennessee.
To beat Saban, one has to be impressive. Here’s a look at the four SEC East schools to get the better of the Crimson Tide during the Saban era:
SEC East teams to defeat Alabama under Nick Saban:
- 2007: Georgia
- 2008: Florida (SEC Championship)
- 2010: South Carolina
- 2021: Georgia (National Championship)
Of the four teams to get the better of Saban, two went on to win the national championship. In 2008, Alabama held a fourth-quarter lead over Florida in the SEC Championship, but Tim Tebow led a pair of scoring drives in 31-20 victory for the eventual national champion Gators. It remains Saban’s last loss in the SEC Championship. This past season, Georgia rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat Alabama in an SEC Championship rematch for the National Championship.
No. 1 Alabama’s 2010 loss to South Carolina was when the Gamecocks were under the direction of legendary coach Steve Spurrier. South Carolina went on to win the SEC East for the first and only time.
Saban’s first loss to an SEC East foe came in 2007 against Georgia in overtime. It was Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa.
Other than Georgia, it seems hard to find an SEC East team capable of challenging Saban’s Crimson Tide in the near future. Tennessee would certainly like to find a way to get its first win over Alabama since Phil Fulmer’s tenure. Knocking off Alabama, however, will require knocking off a program in the midst of the greatest coaching tenure in the sport’s history.