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The Crimson Tide, holders of nine national championships (and possibly 10 before long) have one of the most tradition-rich programs in the nation, and Nick Saban has brought them back to the top of the college football world. Of course, he is a phenomenal coach, but his success there would not be possible without the incredible resources and powerful brand Alabama football enjoys.
For one, Alabama can get virtually any player it wants. Saban has put together superb recruiting classes in his tenure and takes advantage of an incredible pipeline that includes Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia and Texas. He has his pick of the best players in the best football regions in the country.
Secondly, the Tide cultivate an incredibly loyal fanbase. Football is nothing less than king in the state and region, and when the Crimson Tide are playing, everybody watches.
Of course, one cannot overlook the financial aspect. And Alabama shines in that area. According to the Memphis Business Journal, Alabama football generated $76.8 million in revenue in 2010, second only to another team included in this list.
This prosperity has enabled Saban to enjoy a 2012 salary of just shy of $5.4 million (excluding bonuses), making him currently the highest-paid coach in the nation, according to USA Today. Additionally, the 'Bama coaching staff overall is the second-highest paid, also according to USA Today.
Currently, Alabama is ranked second in the BCS and has a clear path to Miami to play for yet another national title.