Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Alabama, Nick Saban look ahead to more titles

MIAMI — Shortly after he arrived early Tuesday morning to pick up three national championship trophies that awaited him, Alabama coach Nick Saban was already talking about the future. That's the way it's got to be when you're the king of the hill — and trying to stay there.

On Monday night, then-No. 2 Alabama dominated then-top ranked Notre Dame 42-14 to become only the third program ever to win three titles in four seasons. The Irish were playing in their first national title game since 1988.

Saban, who is in his sixth season with the Tide, now has four title rings, but you won't catch him wearing them to show off — although at this point he could.

"I just put them on the coffee table for the recruits to look at," he said half-joking. "… I think the satisfaction, enjoyment, comes from the fact that you know you did your best to be the best you could be at what you were trying to do."

To understand just how good Alabama was, look no further than the Tide's first three possessions — scoring drives of 82, 61 and 80 yards. That's 21 points in just under 11 minutes — including 90 rushing and 112 passing yards. Alabama led 2:47 into the game and the Tide's offensive line dominated Notre Dame's touted front seven throughout.

For Irish coach Brian Kelly, the bitterly disappointing loss shows where Notre Dame needs to improve.

"We've got to get physically stronger, continue to close the gap there," Kelly said. "… They're back-to-back national champs. So that's what it looks like. Measure yourself against that, and I think it was pretty clear across the board what we have to do. We're all going to learn, not just the players but the coaches."

So, too, will Alabama. Saban won't allow it to be any other way. He said Tuesday that to ensure a legitimate shot at a third straight title, the next few days for his players must be more reflective than celebratory.

"I really hope that we all appreciate what we accomplished and understand what it took to accomplish it, rather than just revel and marvel in what we really did," Saban said. "Because if you appreciate something and you understand what it took, I think that you may be more committed to what you need to do in the future to continue to be successful. So every opponent that we play next year will certainly have it targeted on their schedule to beat us, so we'll have a lot of challenges. And the team that we have next year is 0-0.

"Even though I really appreciate what this team accomplished, and I'm very, very proud of what they accomplished, we do need to start for the challenges of the new season very quickly with the team that we have coming back."

Celebration is over. Now back to work.

RATINGS NEWS MIXED: The title game's television rating was up from last season, but the lopsided score kept viewership down. ESPN said the game drew a 15.1 fast national rating. The 26.4 million viewers were up 9 percent from last year's Tide win over LSU, but down from the 27.3 million for ESPN's first BCS championship two years ago, Auburn's tense win over Oregon. Ratings represent the percentage of U.S. homes with TVs tuned into a program.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.

Alabama, Nick Saban look ahead to more titles 01/08/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 10:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule

    Tennis

    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]