It’s difficult to imagine how many more records can be broken when it comes to Alabama football. But with 2018 potentially being one of the best offensive seasons in program history, there are some marks that are within reach for the Crimson Tide.
Here are six to pay attention to this season:
1. Points scored in a season
School record: 582 (2016)
With their top two passers and rushers returning and an emerging receiving unit, not to mention four of last year’s starting offensive linemen, expectations are this could be the Crimson Tide’s best offense ever. There are some who suggest this could be just the second Alabama team to average 40-plus points per game (record is 43.0 by the 1945 team).
While the scoring average record isn’t out of the realm of possibility, more realistic for this season is the points scored record, held by the 2016 team with 582.
The key to this record is the schedule. Alabama could play as many as 15 games if it reaches the SEC Championship Game and the College Football Playoff Championship Game. That would mean the Crimson Tide would need to average 39 points per game over a 15-game season.
Obviously, fewer games make this record difficult to reach. For example, a 14-game season would mean Alabama would have to average nearly 42 points (41.6) to break the scoring mark.
However, an undefeated season would certainly put this record in jeopardy.
2. Passing TD in a season
School record: 30 (AJ McCarron, 2012)
Clint Lamb went in depth with records Tua Tagovailoa could break this season. As Lamb noted, Tagovailoa needed just 77 pass attempts to account for his 11 TD tosses as a freshman last season. If he wins the starting quarterback job, throwing 20 more TD passes over a full season isn’t and outlandish thought, particularly if Alabama has the kind of season as expected that would mean more games in the season.
However, if Jalen Hurts remains the Tide’s starting QB, it’s worth noting that as a freshman in 2016 he threw 23 TD passes, the fourth-best total in school history. So, if Hurts and Tagovailoa split time this season, clearly this record will not be reached. But if either is the starter and gets the majority of snaps during the season, look for one to make a run at this mark.
3. Yards per rush in a season (Min: 100 rush att.)
School record: 7.47 (Bobby Marlow, 1950)
Yes, Bobby Marlow has the single-season record for highest yards per carry average in school history, but how many fans know who is second and third on this list?
Answer: Damien Harris.
Last season, Harris nearly broke this mark, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. In 2016 Harris averaged 7.1 yards a carry. So, as the team’s top returning rusher, and with four of five starters returning on the offensive line, why can’t this record be shattered in 2018?
(In case you were wondering, Derrick Henry averaged 5.62 ypc when he broke the Alabama and SEC single-season rushing mark with 2,219 yards.)
4. National championships by a head coach
NCAA record: 6 (by Nick Saban and Bear Bryant)
This is simple: Another national championship for Alabama in 2018 would mean another national title for Saban.
That would give him six national championships with Alabama and seven overall, when you add in his 2003 title with LSU.
It would no doubt add to the increasingly popular argument that Saban is the greatest head coach in college football history.
5. National championships in a single decade
Record: 4 (Notre Dame in 1940s, Alabama in 2010s)
For college football fans, it’s universally known that no team has won more national championships in the AP Poll era than Alabama’s 11.
But what might not be as well known is no school has won five national championships in a single decade. Only Notre Dame in the 1940s and Alabama in the 2010s have won four national titles.
Alabama’s dominance has been so impressive, the Crimson Tide don’t even need to win it all this season to achieve this mark. Given there are two years left in this decade, Alabama still has 2019 to look try and reach five titles in a single decade, in case 2018 doesn’t work out.
6. Wins in a season
NCAA record: 14 (Done 11 times)
In the history of Division I football, 11 times a team has won 14 games in a season, including Alabama three times – 2009 2015 and 2016.
But no team has ever won 15 games in a single season.
Alabama could be the first with a perfect season. The Crimson Tide will have 12 regular season games and a potential SEC Championship Game and two games in the College Football Playoff. A perfect season would give Alabama that elusive, historic 15-0 record.