BOSTON (CBS) — Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, two longtime friends, are both in the conversation for being the greatest football coaches at their respective levels. Saban, of course, has guided Alabama to six national championships, while Belichick has steered the Patriots to six Super Bowls.

Yet in an odd twist of fate, while the two have won championships 12 times since 2009, they’ve never won titles in the same year.

Really, look:

2011: Alabama wins national championship; Pats lose Super Bowl
2012: Alabama wins national championship; Pats lose AFC Championship Game
2013: Neither team wins championship
2014: Patriots win Super Bowl; Alabama loses in CFP semifinal
2015: Alabama wins national championship; Pats lose AFC Championship Game
2016: Patriots win Super Bowl; Alabama loses in National Championship Game
2017: Alabama wins national championship; Pats lose Super Bowl
2018: Patriots win Super Bowl; Alabama loses National Championship Game
2019: Neither team wins championship
2020: Alabama wins national championship; Pats miss playoffs

And because of that odd coincidence (or proof of some very powerful football gods, depending on your belief system), the result of Monday night’s National Championship Game was bad news in Tuscaloosa but good news in New England.

Saban’s Crimson Tide got overwhelmed by Georgia in the fourth quarter, en route to the Bulldogs’ 33-18 victory in Indianapolis. It was Georgia’s first national title in 41 years.

This is a positive development for the Patriots, as the door is now open for Belichick’s team to win the Super Bowl. Of course, as the 2013 and 2019 seasons show, it doesn’t mean the Patriots will win the Super Bowl. A ‘Bama or Belichick title is not guaranteed every year.

But the loss shows — scientifically, beyond any doubt — that the door is now open for the Patriots to win it all this year.

CBSBoston.com Staff