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Jumbo Package: Wrapping up a remarkable season for a special group of young men

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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College Football Playoff National Championship - Ohio State vs Alabama Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Happy, happy, happy Tuesday everyone. Imagine not waking up after watching your team complete the most dominant season in college football history and knowing your SEC-leading basketball team rolls into Lexington tonight with a real chance to win. It’s hard to fathom, isn’t it?

This Alabama team will be talked about for a long time, but these three pieces sum it up.

Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith capped what was arguably the greatest FBS season ever for a wide receiver with what was inarguably the greatest first half of football by any player in the seven-year history of the CFP. The “Slim Reaper” took a scythe to the Ohio State secondary, slicing it to pieces: 12 catches, 215 yards and three touchdowns in the first 30 minutes.

The skinny man, listed at 175 pounds, was impossible to cover or corral once he caught the ball—offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian schemed Smith into open spaces and mismatches against a shaky Ohio State defense with breathtaking ease. In a sport that has always favored the biggest and strongest, this season was a triumph for an understated guy who looks too spindly to crush teams’ souls. But he took them all.

In the land of five star talent, this is a team led by a Heisman winner who goes 175 lb. soaking wet and a QB who had to reach out to recruiting services. It was defined by its unity. This group of young men genuinely cares for one another and respects their coaching staff. Special doesn’t even begin to describe them.

This piece sums things up nicely. It had to be Alabama, right?

“I think we’re the best team to ever play,” Jones said. “There’s no team that will ever play an SEC schedule like that again. But at the same time, we’re just so happy to win this game and put the icing on the cake. There was not a lot of pressure; we just wanted to go out there and play the game we’ve all been playing since we were 5 years old.”

Despite all the unknowns about how this season would unfold, the Crimson Tide committed to each other.

“We had a mission,” Smith said. “Everybody wanted to end things the right way. We just all came to work every day and just put in the work. We got the result that we wanted.”

And ultimately, the result that we could all see coming.

In the most chaotic season in memory, if not ever, the stability that is Nick Saban’s program proved dominant. It was a master class in keeping people focused through adversity.

A USA Today writer wishes that Saban would retire for the good of the sport.

Negotiate a retirement: With his win Monday, Saban earned a $200,000 bonus and is scheduled to make more than $10 million this contract year, according to his contract. He already has a statue outside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. He’s arguably the best coach ever. What more does this guy want?

If he retired, there’s a good chance Alabama’s dynasty would level off after a few years. None of his former assistants have been able to come close to his level as a head coach. The cycle might finally end.

In its last season before Saban, Alabama finished 6-7. It was 2006, the end of a 10-year period in which a different team won at least a share of the national title every year, including Florida, Texas, Southern California, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio State and Tennessee.

Wasn’t that a little more interesting to fans outside of Alabama?

Or is this what we want football to be?

If it’s just the same to you, we will keep him a while yet. Thanks.

There are too many recaps and analyses to link, but here are a few for you.

What a night. What a season. What a team.

That’s about it for now. Have a fantastic day folks, as we know you will.

Roll Tide.