Nick Saban Adds to His Total of First Team All-Americans
For the seventh straight season, The University of Alabama football team has placed at least one player on the list of first team All-Americans. Wide Receiver Amari Cooper and safety Landon Collins were both selected as first team AP All-Americans for 2014.
Only one year since Nick Saban's arrival in Tuscaloosa (his first in 2007) has the Crimson Tide not earned at least one spot on the coveted postseason list. In fact, Alabama has placed at least two players on the first team in every year between 2008 and 2014 except for 2010. Safety Mark Barron was the lone honoree during that year.
Along with Cooper and Collins, offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio and punter JK Scott were chosen to be second team AP All-Americans.
Saban's incredible success has been well-documented, but it might be best-reflected in the number of first team All-Americans he's produced at the Capstone. A total of 24 different players have earned the distinction in his eight years as head coach.
That number needs some context to give you a true sense of how incredible it is. Alabama's first All-American was W.T. VandeGraaff in 1915. From that year until 2006 (92 All-American teams), the Crimson Tide had 86 first team players. Then Mal Moore hired Saban to take over the program and another 24 players have earned the honor.
That means that Saban has accounted for 21.4% (24 of 112) of Alabama's first team All-Americans while coaching just 8 of the 100 years since VandeGraaf earned the school's first honor. Saban is averaging three first team All-Americans per year coached at Alabama.
Are you wondering how that compares to Bear Bryant? The legendary coach led Alabama for 25 years and had 38 players make the first team. That works out to just over 1.5 players per year coached, or half as many as Saban.
You can see the full list of 2014 AP All-Americans here.