Alabama beat Florida in Saturday’s SEC conference championship game, securing a spot in the College Football Playoff, and becoming the greatest college team of the past 80 years.
The Crimson Tide needed to defeat Florida by 11 or more points to surpass the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers for No. 1, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Elo power rating.
In fact, they whipped the Gators by 38 points, putting ’Bama ahead of any team in the history of The Associated Press poll, which began in 1936.
For many college teams, the pinnacle of this year’s Elo ranking coincided with the end of the schedule. However, in the case of Alabama, the Crimson Tide needed to be both Washington and in the winter of the Clemson-Ohio State game to become this year’s national champ.
If they didn’t, says Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight, Alabama would’ve peaked a bit too soon.
Nevertheless, FiveThirtyEight.com notes that Nick Saban can now boast that his 2016 Alabama team is now the strongest team in the modern college football era.