LSU is no longer officially the reigning NCAA national champs as the Alabama Crimson Tide captured its sixth national championship of the Nick Saban era by knocking off Ohio State 52-24.
Saban himself picks up championship No. 7 of his illustrious career, passing Bear Bryant for the most all time. Monday night's game featured future NFL talent all over the field as Devonta Smith, Najee Harris, Patrick Surtain, Mac Jones and Justin Fields were just a few of the noteworthy talents who could be high NFL draft picks later this spring.
Matching that to the Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Justin Jefferson, Patrick Queen, Trevor Lawrence, Isaiah Simmons, Travis Etienne and 14 total NFL draft picks from LSU a year ago and the talent pool over the last two national championships has been ridiculous.
Think about this for a second. The last two national championships have featured the last two Heisman trophy winners and both lie in the SEC. In fact, both Smith and Burrow squared off against one another in that unforgettable 2019 battle in Tuscaloosa, where the Tigers arose victorious 46-41.
What Saban and Alabama's win over Ohio State does more than anything is reaffirm that the SEC is the clear cut powerhouse conference in college football. Alabama, LSU, Florida and Auburn have all won at least one national championship in the last 21 years.
In fact since 2003, 12 of the last 18 national championship winners, whether it be from the BCS or College Football Playoff era, have come directly from the SEC. Alabama, under Saban's direction lays claim to six national championships while LSU has won three during that span, Florida with two and Auburn with one.
An additional five SEC teams were on the losing end of a national championship in that 18-year window so it's really been no contest as to the powerhouse conference in college football. But even in the SEC, Saban and Alabama are in a class of their own.
Programs like LSU, Auburn and Florida have had successful one or two-year stretches but are still looking to reach the level of the Crimson Tide program as consistent winners. A big part of that for the Tigers is in the works right now, finding the right coaching staff to develop the talented players that are currently on the roster.
Saban has been wildly successful in finding dynamite coordinators from Kirby Smart to Lane Kiffin and most recently, Steve Sarkisian. Orgeron hopes to have found the next great offensive duo in Jake Peetz and DJ Mangas but only time will tell.
Former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is reportedly stoked about bringing Mangas on board after a brief stint with the Tigers in 2019.
This is a critical season for the purple and gold under Orgeron as they want to get back to that level of play that put them in New Year's Six Bowls in back-to-back seasons. The combination of nine returning veterans, a new coaching staff and development of talented, young stars will all contribute to more success in 2021.