WATCH: Alabama Celebrate SEC Championship Win Over Florida
ATLANTA – Alabama won its 25th Southeastern Conference title on Saturday, and it made sure to celebrate it, too.
Immediately following its 29-15 victory over Florida in the Georgia Dome, Crimson Tide players rushed both the field – and even the stands – to take in the victory, which likely secured its place in the College Football Playoff for the second straight season.
For the most part, Alabama (12-1) controlled the game throughout against a Gators team unable to effectively move the ball well enough offensively to beat the Crimson Tide. On the other side, junior running back Derrick Henry wore down yet another defense with 189 yards and one touchdown on 44 carries, breaking records along the way.
Henry, who also helped Alabama win last year’s SEC title against Missouri, described this year’s victory “sweeter” than last year’s.
“We're really like a family,” Henry said. “The Ole Miss loss, when we lost, nobody really hung their head. Everybody came back and refocused and wanted to get here and that's what we tried to do. I'm just proud of this team. We're like a family. It just means everything to win this.”
Now that it’s come and gone, Alabama coach Nick Saban even expressed his surprise that the Crimson Tide was able to live this moment again this season after a September loss to the Rebels.
“I don't think anybody really thought after the Ole Miss game this team would wind up here. To be honest with you, I had some questions in my mind as to whether we'd wind up here.
“To see all the things that this team did and to stay together as a team and for everybody to be committed to doing what they needed to do to improve and whatever their role was on the team, there was a real togetherness with this group. We haven't had issues. We haven't had lots of problems. I don't have to call guys in at all. Everybody sort of bought in. Really a fun team to coach.
“Sometimes you have really good teams that have talent, but they also – with that talent comes some issues. This team doesn't have a lot of issues. So for where they came from, what they accomplished, what they did – I mean, I remember after the Ole Miss game, every time I would have a press conference, someone would ask me, what are you going to do this week to prepare better for this game? And I would say, if there was a better way, we would have done it last week because you asked me that question last week.
“That's how many big games this team had against really good teams in our league and our division, and they responded every time in some very difficult places to play.”
Watch the celebratory videos below: