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Countdown to kickoff: ‘21 started with a bang

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Alabama football had one stellar winter.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 11 CFP National Championship - Alabama v Ohio State Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As we count down to what is setting up to be another fine football season in Tuscaloosa, let’s take a moment to look back on how this year started, shall we?

The Tide wasted no time starting off the year with a bang, dispatching Notre Dame in workmanlike fashion on New Year’s Day. The stars were on display in that one: Najee hurdling, DeVonta gliding, Metchie blocking, Mac distributing, Barmore sacking and Christian Harris intercepting. The game felt as though Alabama could name its score.

That victory, of course, allowed the Tide to advance to the national title game against Ohio State. It was here that DeVonta Smith put a bow on one of the greatest WR seasons in college football history, piling up 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the first half! It’s a damn shame that he hurt his hand and had to come out of the game as he may have broken all the records. Jaylen Waddle provided some extra inspiration to the squad, giving everything he had on a clearly very gimpy ankle. This game was over before it started.

Much has and will be written about that 2020 team. With the entire world facing the adversity caused by COVID-19, it was a mature team led by many elite upperclassmen that stood above all as the clear class of the sport. With 13 straight FBS level wins and two blowouts in the playoffs, it’s easy to make the case for the best season in college football history.

Nick Saban and company weren’t done. When all of the points were tallied on National Signing Day in February, the Tide had added the highest rated recruiting class since people started rating them. Six five-star prospects signed with the Tide including the top two tackles, the top cornerback, and the top pass rusher. Then, to top it all off, Alabama added transfer LB Henry To’o To’o from Tennessee, easily the top player available at the position.

While we are counting down to football, which is and will always be king in Tuscaloosa, Alabama was also awarded Best in College Sports by CBS for a stellar 2020-21 year across the athletic department, the first SEC school to win the honor. It is a testament to the leadership across the board that Alabama excelled in a year thrown into chaos.

We don’t know what the rest of 2021 will hold, but it’s off to one hell of a start.

We are now 21 days from kickoff.

Roll Tide.