Will Nick Saban make it four national championships in five years next season?
Perhaps it is Nick Saban's ingenious coaching.
Perhaps it is Alabama's traditionally daunting defense.
Perhaps it is their prolific running game.
Throughout the past four seasons, Alabama has been the definition of the word "dynasty" in college football. While the players come and go, the system and mindset remains the same, as Nick Saban continues to churn out national championship-caliber teams.
And Alabama is showing no signs of stopping.
In sports history, when you think of dynasties, the Jordan-era Bulls come to mind. Or perhaps the Connecticut women's basketball team of the last 10 years. Or maybe even the Brady-era New England Patriots crack the cusp.
Right in that mix should without a doubt should be the Nick Saban led Alabama Crimson Tide Football team.
Winning three national championships in four years, with their most recent coming in a 42-14 trouncing of undefeated and number one team Notre Dame, Alabama has left no doubt that it is far and away college football's best team. With quarterback AJ McCarron announcing that he will return for his senior season, there are no signs of Alabama football relinquishing their title anytime soon. With only nine scholarship seniors on their roster, Alabama will be ready to make a poised run at their 3rd consecutive national championship.
Furthermore, Alabama has a plethora of young talent that will ensure it remains competitive in the SEC for years to come.
Freshman running back T.J. Yeldon has showed much upside in his first campaign with the Crimson Tide, and will only continue to develop being the premiere back with the departure of starter Eddie Lacy. Coming in the BCS National Championship Game, the running back duo had combined for 2,182 yards and 27 touchdowns in 13 games, with Lacy being the second-leading rusher in the SEC.
Freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper also has bested Julio Jones' freshman receiving records at Alabama. With his speed and route-running ability, Cooper has the potential to be one of the most versatile receiving threats in Alabama history. With McCarron, Yeldon and Cooper all probable preseason all SEC candidates, Alabama will certainly be the preseason favorite to win the national championship.
On a down note, Alabama will have to fill the voids left by the departures of All-Americans Barrett Jones and Dee Millner. While the Tide are sure to have other players who scamper off to the NFL draft, it shouldn't prove to be too difficult for Nick Saban to reload with the depth and talent procured from Alabama's top-rated recruiting classes.
With the SEC winning the last seven national championships, the Tide's biggest challenge will undoubtedly come within the SEC West, as Alabama will again have compete with the likes of LSU and Texas A&M.
But now only one thing is for sure: after winning three of the last four national championships (and showing great promise for a fourth), Alabama is the closest thing to a modern-day dynasty.