National Championship 2019: Clemson hands Alabama its biggest loss ever under Nick Saban

Alabama didn't just lose the College Football National Championship Game against Clemson on Monday night; it suffered the worst loss in program history under Nick Saban.

Before Monday's title game, the most points Alabama had lost a game by under Saban was 14. It happened three times: A 31-17 loss to Utah in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, a 35-21 loss to South Carolina in 2010, and a 45-31 loss to Oklahoma in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. So three of the biggest losses in Alabama history under Saban have come in postseason games. The coaches of those three teams were Kyle Whittingham, Steve Spurrier, and Bob Stoops respectively, meaning that three of the four coaches to beat a Saban-led Alabama team by at least two touchdowns won national titles at some point during their career.

It was the first time the Tide had lost a game by more than 20 points since a 27-3 loss to LSU in 2003. LSU's coach in that game was Nick Saban. Alabama's coach was Mike Shula, and Alabama was in the process of going 4-9 during his first season in Tuscaloosa.

And just in case that isn't strange enough for you, the last time Alabama lost a game by at least 16 points before Monday came in 2004 when LSU beat Alabama 26-10. Nick Saban was the coach at LSU that season as well. The 28-point margin of loss was the largest since the Tide fell to Virginia Tech in the 1998 Music City Bowl 38-10.

As for Clemson's 44 points in the game, that's tied for the second-most points Alabama has ever allowed under Saban. The Tide allowed 45 points to Oklahoma in the aforementioned 2014 Sugar Bowl and 44 points to Auburn in a 55-44 Alabama win in 2014. It's the ninth time Alabama has allowed an opponent to score at least 40 points in a game under Saban, but the first team to do it since Ole Miss scored 43 points in a 48-43 Alabama win during the 2016 season. Ole Miss had been the first team to post at least 40 points on the Tide since Clemson did so in the national title game the season before. A game Alabama also won, 45-40. Following Monday's loss, Alabama is now 4-5 when it allows at least 40 points under Saban.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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