The process of re-establishing Alabama as a national power took some giants steps toward that ultimate goal of being a champion. In a season of triumphs -- twelve straight in the regular season -- the Crimson Tide rolled into the post-season with a perfect record and a No. 1 ranking, not seen in Tuscaloosa since the end of the 1992 season.
Florida's fourth quarter rally in Atlanta in the SEC Championship game bitterly erased the hopes of a national championship or SEC title. The 31-20 loss was painful and it showed when the Tide slept walked through a Sugar Bowl loss to Utah, leaving Alabama with a final worksheet of 12-2.
The highs of '08 certainly lessened the pain, though, with a 36-0 romp over Auburn, the first Bama win over the archrival since 2001. There was also a season-opening impressive trouncing of Clemson in the Georgia Dome that perhaps signaled to the college football world that the Crimson Tide was indeed a factor again.
Gimmicks didn't impact Nick Saban's team either, with Georgia having a blackout in Athens that turned ghoulish for the Dogs in a 41-30 Alabama win. Likewise, in Knoxville, Tennessee fans exited in mass, leaving the venerable Neyland venue practically all crimson when the Tide left town with a 29-9 victory. Besides ending the streak to Auburn, Coach Saban expunged some nagging demons from LSU when the Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers 27-21 in overtime, ending a five-game losing streak to the Bayou Bengals.
Certainly, the ground work for the future had been firmly entrenched in Tuscaloosa.