With 2012 being an election year, it seems fitting that Alabama has done the best job in selling its program as the most dominant powerhouse in the country.
Less than a week after Alabama pulled into Fayetteville and left a path of destruction—formerly known as the University of Arkansas football program—in its wake, the aftershocks from the Tide’s 52-0 demolition are still being felt across the nation.
As far as the national championship race is concerned, Nick Saban’s young squad delivered an emphatic statement that it is the Tide's title until someone steps up to take it away from them.
Which team do you trust the most to be there at season’s end—and to get it done when it arrives in Miami in January?
USC has already been outed as an imposter, and Oregon will eventually face a team that looks like it practices playing defense.
Oklahoma and Florida State are perennial darlings in September, but both teams have an established recent history—especially in the case of the Seminoles—of being afterthoughts by November.
Teams like Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia and Clemson are lingering, but its hard to imagine any of those teams excelling in all three phases against Alabama in a neutral setting.
That leaves SEC West rival LSU as the main, and perhaps only, real threat to Alabama’s seat atop the throne.
But as we saw in January, even the powerful Tigers are susceptible to a beating at the hands of the juggernaut that resides in Tuscaloosa.
It is not a surprise that Alabama—who began the season ranked No. 2 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls—is 3-0 and has vaulted to the top spot in both polls.
What is almost inexplicable is how dominant the Tide have been with so much turnover on both sides of the ball.
How easily we forget that the Tide are breaking in a green cast of skill players and are learning under first-year offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, while the defense has seven new starters with several backups getting their first taste of extended playing time.
The scary part is several newcomers—guys like running back T.J. Yeldon, receivers Christion Jones and Amari Cooper on offense and defensive standouts like linebackers Trey Depriest and Adrian Hubbard plus safeties Vinnie Sunseri and Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix—are underclassmen that are already playing at a championship level.
Quarterback A.J. McCarron is just a junior—and he has looked as impressive as any signal-caller in the nation through three weeks.
While forecasting the potential for multiple national titles is admittedly presumptuous, can anyone honestly discount that Saban will not have one of the best teams in the country for the foreseeable future?
As B/R colleague Barrett Sallee points out, Saban is the unquestioned king of the recruiting trail—with his penchant for racking up crystal footballs equal to his triumphs in February.
His track record of getting talented players and developing them has turned Alabama into the premier NFL developmental hub in the country.
And for those who feel that his continued success will eventually lead to him shifting gears into autopilot, consider how he ripped into freshman defensive back Geno Smith in the fourth quarter of the rout over the Razorbacks and it's clear that he is as fiery as he ever has been.
With a young nucleus of talent on hand and the best coaching staff in the nation, the Tide are set up to make a run that will place them amongst the most revered dynasties that the sport has ever witnessed.