Alabama won its fifth national title in nine years Monday, but don’t tell that to UCF. The Knights went 13-0 this year and beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
Auburn, by the way, beat both national championship game participants by double digits in November.
Nevertheless, UCF did not get a shot at the playoff. Is that right?
“I think it’s all on how you look at it,” Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans said on Tiki and Tierney. “I think regardless of the actual record, you got to take into account the people that they play. UCF’s wins were actually pretty impressive. They did beat Auburn, who beat us. But at the same time, I think where everybody is thinking – and the reason why UCF didn’t really get that chance – I feel like it was all because of the history. You look at us, whenever we’re in this situation, we do pretty good. Almost every year, we’re probably one game away from being in the national championship. If we were to put this team in there, do you think they would actually have the best chance of actually making it to the national championship? Who knows? But if they do the same thing next year, I think they should definitely (be) in consideration of being in that last game.”
Either way, Alabama will go down as the 2017 national champions. The Tide have made the playoff every year in the four-year history of the playoff and figure to be in the mix again in 2018.
“Coach Saban, each and every year he gets the vest recruits in the nation, and the things he does with the recruits – developing them and making them the best possible player that they can be – you can put your third and fourth string in, and I feel like they’ll still have a chance at winning,” Evans said. “That just shows you the emphasis he puts on each and every player that comes through here, regardless of whether you’re a scholarship player, a walk-on – there’s a true standard. Everybody that’s a part of this organization has to be on that level.”
Alabama performs so well in games because, frankly, its players typically face better competition in practice.
“You’re probably facing one of the best players in the nation each and every day in practice,” Evans said. “It’s easy for you to transition over into the game (because) you’re playing against a guy that’s probably going to be as good as you or probably most likely going to be better. Coach Saban has created the most brilliant type of system for any guy to be able to be successful in that system.”