As soon as the clock struck zero on Alabama's third BCS championship in four years, college football saw its newest dynasty launched. If recent history is any indication, it will be a long time before it ends.
Usually scores don't indicate how one-sided a game really was. In the case of the 42-14 final, you can clearly see that the Crimson Tide took it to Notre Dame. But even with a 28-point margin of victory, it doesn't give you a proper sense of how dominant this performance was.
Notre Dame's first touchdown came after Alabama was already up 35-0 late in the third quarter. The second score came midway through the fourth quarter when the game was in the bag.
The level of dominance comes when you look at the stats Alabama put up against that defense. The Fighting Irish allowed just nine touchdowns all season; they allowed six in this game. They allowed 305.5 yards per game; Alabama racked up 529 total yards.
Notre Dame only allowed two 100-yard rushers in the regular season; Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon both had over 100 yards.
All of this is to say that what everyone was calling the best defense in college football did nothing to stop this huge, physical, fast Alabama offense. We all think of the Crimson Tide as a defense-first team, yet they finished 12th in the country with over 38 points per game.
This win was the final exclamation point Nick Saban and Alabama needed to show the world that not only is this program a major force to be reckoned with, it is not going away anytime soon.
Think back to last year's Alabama team. It went 12-1 en route to dominating LSU in the BCS Championship Game for the second title in three years. But look at the talent that team lost.
Trent Richardson, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick and Dont'a Hightower were all taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Courtney Upshaw was a first-round talent taken three picks into the second round.
If any other program in the country loses that kind of talent, it will take at least a year of recruiting to build the roster back up and compete for a championship.
Alabama came back the next season, picked up right where the 2011 team left off and ended it being crowned champions again.
As Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN wrote, Alabama is the program that everyone else around the country needs to measure itself against now. It has reached the point where you run out of superlatives to describe how great Saban's teams are year after year.
Anyway, we can pretty much hold a retirement party for the "Is Alabama A Dynasty?" debate. The Crimson Tide are not only a dynasty, it's the program that other football teams want to be when they grow up.
This is Bama's second consecutive national championship, it's third in four seasons. If this keeps up, they're going to have to rename the trophy, The Nicky, or ask the Tide to join the NFC South.
This is not like Miami and USC in the early- and mid-2000s; Alabama is built to last because of the way Saban recruits. He doesn't go after all the flashy high-profile skill players, though he gets plenty of those players.
Saban builds teams with a strong foundation up front. The offensive and defensive lines are critical to any team's success. Saban understands that better than most, in addition to being one of the great talent evaluators in all of sports, and he builds huge fronts to open up everything else.
Dynasty is a word that gets thrown around too often in sports. We see a young team win a championship, we have to ask if they are going to become the next great dynasty. We don't actually give it time to develop, because who has patience for that?
With Alabama winning three championships in four seasons, and especially after Monday night's destruction of the "best defense in the country," it is time to start talking about how long the Crimson Tide dynasty in college football will last.