Question: Who was the best team Alabama ever lost to?

selmaborntidefan

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I've seen some advanced stats guys rank 2015 Alabama VERY highly on all time rankings despite it's loss to Ole Miss. That team was a lot better than people realize by the end of the season. Really once Coker took full control of the team.
Well, for example:

who would win a game between 2011 Alabama and 2009 Alabama? We're talking just two years removed and some of the same players.

McCarron was MUCH better than McElroy at QB.
What's funny is if somebody says, "But not in 2011," he actually was statistically:

2009 GMac - 198 for 325 (60.9%), 2508 yards, 17 TD, 4 INT, 140.5 rating
2011 AJ - 219 for 328 (66.8%), 2634 yards, 16 TD, 5 INT, 147.3 rating

So even in 2011, when he wasn't designated the starter and played one less game, AJ beats GM as far as performance. Not by much, but he does.

We would 100% take the 2011 defense over the 2009 version, not even a point of discussion. Richardson 2011 was equal to if not better than Ingram 2009 (their stats are almost exactly the same but Ingram's game in an extra game or tbf 1/2 of one).

And the 2011 O-line was better, too.

If the 2011 Alabama team can be superior to an unbeaten Alabama team two years earlier, it is ludicrous to assume that to be the greatest team ever, you have to win every single game.
 
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TideEngineer08

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But see, this is where I get pedantic, so I'll ask the question again: "Why do we always ASSUME that 'the greatest college team of all-time' has to be a team that went undefeated?"

Using that logic, the 1972 Dolphins are the greatest team in NFL history without any peer.

It is a funny-shaped ball and things happen. I've never been able to understand why in college football, we are supposed to assume the best team in ONE SEASON is a team with a loss over an undefeated team, but we abandon that notion when we look across history.

Why?

1978 Alabama, with a loss, was probably better than 1979 Alabama, who went undefeated - and yet that 79 Alabama team makes a bunch of "GOAT" lists.
Agreed. But I look at who the team lost to, and it influences my opinion. 2008 Florida was a great team. By season's end, no one was going to beat them. But they lost to Ole Miss at home. Ole Miss was not terrible, but it had no business beating that Florida team at the Swamp. Was it due to Florida's dismissal of them as a threat? Sure. But that's all part of the equation.

Similarly, 2016 Clemson lost at home to Pitt!

But 1996 Florida's lone loss was on the road against FSU, in a game decided by 1 point. It was also heavily influenced by the refs allowing FSU's excellent front 7 free range on mauling Danny Weurffel all game. So I give 1996 Florida a lot of grace in determining their standing as one of the all-time best teams - that we lost a game to.
 

selmaborntidefan

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Agreed. But I look at who the team lost to, and it influences my opinion. 2008 Florida was a great team. By season's end, no one was going to beat them. But they lost to Ole Miss at home. Ole Miss was not terrible, but it had no business beating that Florida team at the Swamp. Was it due to Florida's dismissal of them as a threat? Sure. But that's all part of the equation.

Similarly, 2016 Clemson lost at home to Pitt!

But 1996 Florida's lone loss was on the road against FSU, in a game decided by 1 point. It was also heavily influenced by the refs allowing FSU's excellent front 7 free range on mauling Danny Weurffel all game. So I give 1996 Florida a lot of grace in determining their standing as one of the all-time best teams - that we lost a game to.
You make some good points here, none of which I would really argue with. As a reminder, I selected the 1996 Gators as the best team of the 90s, not that I'm infallible or anything.
 
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CrimsonTitles

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But see, this is where I get pedantic, so I'll ask the question again: "Why do we always ASSUME that 'the greatest college team of all-time' has to be a team that went undefeated?"

Using that logic, the 1972 Dolphins are the greatest team in NFL history without any peer.

It is a funny-shaped ball and things happen. I've never been able to understand why in college football, we are supposed to assume the best team in ONE SEASON is a team with a loss over an undefeated team, but we abandon that notion when we look across history.

Why?

1978 Alabama, with a loss, was probably better than 1979 Alabama, who went undefeated - and yet that 79 Alabama team makes a bunch of "GOAT" lists.
Florida didn't go undefeated though, so that wasn't the assumption. The assumption was that I think we were better than LSU that year, so I can't pick them as the best.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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I've seen some advanced stats guys rank 2015 Alabama VERY highly on all time rankings despite it's loss to Ole Miss. That team was a lot better than people realize by the end of the season. Really once Coker took full control of the team.
That was a good team that will never get its due because of 5 turnovers, a backup QB, and two of the most insane TDs you will ever see in your life.

But they were one of the better teams I've ever seen, too.
 

TideEngineer08

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selmaborntidefan

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I'm not into moral victories but I thought the 1996 Alabama acquitted itself well against that Florida team. Certainly better than FSU did in the rematch in the Sugar Bowl.
Sort of.

It was kind of artificially close, we hung around for 3 quarters stuff, but given what we thought we might be or how bad it might be, yes.
 
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tusks_n_raider

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The 2016 Alabama team was a great team that lost on a pick play to a bunch of sign stealing cheaters
It stinks too because it has sort of caused that 2016 Defense to start to become a bit forgotten.

They were INCREDIBLE. Stopped teams from scoring and then turned around and scored themselves.

If you could combine the 2016 Alabama Defense with the 2020 Alabama Offense I'm not sure another team in the History of the game could hang within 3 Scores.
 

saturdaysarebet

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But see, this is where I get pedantic, so I'll ask the question again: "Why do we always ASSUME that 'the greatest college team of all-time' has to be a team that went undefeated?"

Using that logic, the 1972 Dolphins are the greatest team in NFL history without any peer.

It is a funny-shaped ball and things happen. I've never been able to understand why in college football, we are supposed to assume the best team in ONE SEASON is a team with a loss over an undefeated team, but we abandon that notion when we look across history.

Why?

1978 Alabama, with a loss, was probably better than 1979 Alabama, who went undefeated - and yet that 79 Alabama team makes a bunch of "GOAT" lists.
Very true and good points. There are members of those Miami Dolphins teams that say that the 1973 team was better than the undefeated '72 team. The '72 team played what turned out to be a very weak schedule and in the post-season beat Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Washington each by a touchdown or less. The '73 team in the post-season absolutely demolished Cincinnati, Oakland and Minnesota winning each game by 17 points or more. But the '72 Dolphins team gets all the publicity and recognition.
 

TDBama78

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Nebraska and Johnny Rodgers, it was really no contest. Missouri and Tony Galbreath although not a top level team bama had no answer for TG either.
 
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4Q Basket Case

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In absolute terms, the 2019 LSU team.

Versus the standards of the day, 1971 Nebraska.

I know it’s been over 50 years, but for much of that time, the 1971 Nebraska team was the consensus CFB team GOAT.

By today’s standards, they’d be way undersized and infinitely too simplistic offensively. 53 years ago, that was not the case.

This is what makes it so hard to compare teams across eras. You have to compare teams against the competition of their day.

The question shouldn’t be, “Who is/was the best team?” It should be, “Which team most effectively dominated its contemporaneous competition?”
 
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saturdaysarebet

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In absolute terms, the 2019 LSU team.

Versus the standards of the day, 1971 Nebraska.

I know it’s been over 50 years, but for much of that time, the 1971 Nebraska team was the consensus CFB team GOAT.

By today’s standards, they’d be way undersized and infinitely too simplistic offensively. 53 years ago, that was not the case.

This is what makes it so hard to compare teams across eras. You have to compare teams against the competition of their day.

The question shouldn’t be, “Who is/was the best team?” It should be, “Which team most effectively dominated its contemporaneous competition?”
I totally agree on how the question should be phrased, but people haven't figured out how to use turn signals in a car yet and now they need smart phones to help them with everything. In my day, we memorized people's phone numbers. People today need warning labels that steaming coffee is hot.
 
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RollsTide

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Well it appears to me that the 71 Nebraska team did a job on our Tide team. Thank God my fiancée's daughter's family never watched that game. After seeing their Corn Huskers play since we have been together, I felt bad and bought my future step grandson a cool Alabama shirt.
It's great the game is still available to watch on-line, but I don't want to watch it.
So, I'll have to go with the 2018 Clemson loss.
 
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