Even in the midst of his seventh National Championship celebration, Alabama head coach Nick Saban candidly admitted something I didn’t expect to hear. Especially in that moment. He stated that while the seven rings are nice, the two recent title game losses to Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers still haunt him to this day. And it’s those two humbling losses that stick out the most in his mind, not the seven others won at both Alabama and LSU.

Saban typically doesn’t lose in title games. Or just period for that matter. However, he has come up short against Clemson twice in the National Championship which is truly remarkable and speaks volumes to what Swinney has built in Tigertown.

Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins, right, and defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell kiss the College Football National Championship trophy after the Tigers defeated Alabama 44-16 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA Monday, January 7, 2019. Also pictured are head coach Dabo Swinney, and cornerback Trayvon Mullen. Clemson Alabama College Football National Championship

Congratulations are in order for the greatest coach in college football history and Crimson Tide nation on a well-deserved 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship. With the win, Saban passed Coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant for most national titles. Safe to say that after the 2018 blowout loss to the Tigers and missing out on the playoffs last season, the old man isn’t done just yet.

And what a night it was for DeVonta Smith as the Heisman winner posted an unreal stat line before being sidelined due to an injured hand. Through the first half, he had 12 catches for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns. An unreal performance by a true college football legend and by all accounts a guy you can’t help but pull for. He’s not a showboat and simply goes about his business while making it look easy. He was the heartbeat for this Alabama offense and deserves all the hardware he’s accumulated over the last two weeks. Go make that money, young man.

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) celebrates after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports