Nick Saban Passes Bear Bryant for Most National Titles in CFB History

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Alabama head coach Nick Saban passed college football legend Paul "Bear" Bryant as the head coach with the most national championship wins on Monday night as the Crimson Tide beat Ohio State, 52-24.

With the victory, Saban claimed his seventh national championship, and sixth with Alabama. 

Alabama star wide receiver DeVonta Smith put on a show throughout the game's first half, hauling in 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns, breaking the national championship for catches in a game which had been 10. Smith, who was injured on the second play of the second half, also was just six yards shy of the record for championship game receiving yards, set last year by LSU wideout Ja'Marr Chase.

Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris also finished the game with three combined touchdowns. Harris has 79 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in addition to 79 receiving yards and one touchdown. 

Quarterback Mac Jones threw for 464 yards and five touchdowns in the win.

Saban won his first championship with LSU in 2003, before winning six more with Alabama in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and now 2020. The 2020 Crimson Tide are only his second team to do it undefeated (2009 was the other).

"I think every team is different," Saban said earlier this week when asked about his recent string of title appearances. "Every team has its own personality. All those teams certainly did an outstanding job creating an opportunity for themselves to play in the national championship."

Bryant, who coached at Alabama between 1958 and 1982, won all of his championships with the school, winning titles in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978 and 1979.

The Hall of Fame coach spent 25 years with the Crimson Tide, joining the program after shorter stints at Texas A&M, Kentucky and Maryland. 

Monday's win gave Alabama its 18th national championship. 

Celebrate Alabama's national championship win with Sports Illustrated's championship commemorative issue. You can also purchase classic Alabama covers in the SI cover store.