Alabama’s status as the nation’s premier college football program was cemented after its season-opening 41-14 demolition of then-No. 8 Michigan in the Cowboys Classic.
It’s almost ridiculous to think that a team that lost a cavalcade of All-Americans to the NFL could withstand such departures and look like an outfit that could potentially be stronger a year later.
Nick Saban’s club looked so strong, in fact, that it leapfrogged LSU in the USA Today Coaches Poll and USC in the Associated Press for the No.1 spot.
With a chokehold on the top spot this early in the season, the Tide are in a prime position to become the first school to secure three national titles in the BCS era.
If Alabama is successful in its quest to repeat, that achievement may as well serve as a rubber stamp for the new era’s first modern dynasty.
Another national title would earn Alabama its third crystal football in the last four years—and bring Saban’s national championship total to four in his distinguished career.
Taking into account that prior to Saban’s arrival in 2007, the Crimson Tide went 26-24 in the previous four seasons, what Saban—who went 7-6 in his first season at the Capstone—has been able to accomplish since the 2008 season is nothing short of remarkable.
The Tide’s dominance on the recruiting trail (at least one major recruiting service has deemed each of Alabama’s last three recruiting class as the nation’s top group) has translated to the field (Alabama has amassed a 49-6 record since 2008) and extended into its program becoming the nation’s top developmental hub for the NFL (23 former Tide stars have been drafted over the last four years—11 of them in the first round).
Along with the Crimson Tide, only three schools—USC*, LSU and Florida—have won two national titles since the BCS began in 1998 (*of course, the Trojans' 2004 title was vacated as part of the NCAA sanctions resulting from the Reggie Bush case).
However, each of those powers were turned away at the doorstep of winning a third title, and none of them were able to repeat.
What remains to be seen is how long the Crimson Tide’s reign atop the polls—and the college football universe—will last.
The bottom line is that while Alabama has the game’s most successful coach in charge of its program, the Crimson Tide will be a force to be reckoned with.
As its effort against Michigan proved, the Tide’s program is a freight train that has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon.