Alabama Football: Comparing Tide's Last 3 No. 1 Recruiting Classes

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterFebruary 7, 2013

Alabama head coach Nick Saban
Alabama head coach Nick SabanKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When Alabama topped Notre Dame 42-14 inside Sun Life Stadium to claim the 2012 BCS National Championship, it solidified the Crimson Tide as the first—and perhaps only—dynasty of the BCS era.

But they had already established another dynasty on the recruiting trail as the "king of the living room."

While Ole Miss stole all of the headlines on national signing day, head coach Nick Saban quietly put together the nation's top recruiting class in the Rivals.com team rankings for the third straight season.

The Tide hauled in four 5-star players—defensive end Jonathan Allen, linebacker Reuben Foster, tight end O.J. Howard and defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson—and 13 players with four stars in front of their names.

But just how good is this class?

According to Rivals.com's point system, it's the best recruiting class of the three and the best since at least 2002. This year's group racked up 3,166 points, topping last season's 2,621 points and the 2,632 points the Tide posted in 2011.

Is it subjective? Sure. All recruiting rankings are.

That's why it's called the "mythical recruiting national title." But the 2013 class for Alabama deserves to be in the discussion as one of the best recruiting classes of all time.

Not only is this class littered with star power, it fills immediate needs in Tuscaloosa.

Robinson is going to step in and immediately challenge for time along the defensive line now that former defensive linemen Quinton Dial, Jesse Williams and Damion Square have moved on to the next level.

Derrick Henry, a 6'3", 240-pound running back, enrolled early and will get a jump start on fellow 4-star running back signees Tyren Jones, Altee Tenpenny and Alvin Kamara to get carries behind presumed starter T.J. Yeldon.

That's not to say that the other classes haven't produced stars of their own. They have.

Yeldon, wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive back Deion Belue all made immediate impacts for the Tide after signing on the dotted line last season; and Williams, Dial, offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are just a few of the stars from the class of 2011 that have made their presence felt in T-Town.

But the class of 2013 is vastly superior in terms of star power, which bodes well for the future of the Alabama program.

According to Jon Solomon of AL.com, nine of the last 11 teams to claim the top spot in the Rivals.com final team recruiting rankings have played for the national title within the next three years, with eight of those teams hoisting the crystal football.

Think about that for a second...Alabama is already a dynasty and is still trending upward based on recruiting rankings.

That's scary.

Former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said it best on ESPNU's coverage of national signing day. "Nick (Saban) has created a 'Darwinistic' culture in Tuscaloosa."

He's right. Saban continually brings in top-tier talent and creates heated competition in practice where only the strong survive.

On the heels of their third straight mythical recruiting national title, which just so happens to be one of the best classes of all time, the Crimson Tide's future looks even brighter.