College Football: Predicting How Tide's Dynasty Will Come to an End

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College Football: Predicting How Tide's Dynasty Will Come to an End
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Sixty-one wins in the last five seasons. Three BCS national championships in the last four years. To say that Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are in the midst of a college football dynasty is an understatement.

Like all things, though, this, too, will eventually come to an end. The only question is when.

Alabama will enter the 2013 season as a likely favorite to win its third consecutive national crown.

According to Rivals.com, Saban just signed the top recruiting class in the nation for the third consecutive year as well.

Alabama is at the point now where every time it loses a star athlete to the first round of the NFL draft, Saban simply replaces him with another future first-rounder.

No, the end of the Alabama dynasty is not in immediate sight. The scary part is that Alabama's reign at the top may still be in its infancy.

When kickoff arrives in September, Saban will be 62 years old, still a spring chicken by many coaching standards.

He has given the NFL a try and dismissed multiple attempts from professional franchises to talk him into returning. He has the money that he wants and knows that Alabama will continue to up the financial ante upon request. He knows that nowhere else in college football will he find the combination of facilities, money and support that he has at Alabama.

Contrary to the misguided optimism of his envious opponents, Saban isn't going anywhere.

And as long as Saban continues to recruit and coach with the tenacity of a rabid hound, he will continue to win at the elite level that Tide fans have once again grown accustomed to.

The facts are clear.

Saban is the best recruiter. He is the best coach. He surrounds himself with the best assistants. He has the most talent. He competes in the best conference with the best TV deal. When in doubt, Saban gets the benefit.

It is not in Saban's blood to just stop coaching. It is because of this that Alabama supporters can rest comfortably knowing that their beloved coach will man the ship at the Capstone for another eight to 10 years.

During that time, Saban will continue to provide the Alabama football program with the best talent that America has to offer.

He will continue to make sure that Alabama plays nationally significant non-conference games in September, and he will continue to win them with regularity.

He will continue to place his teams at the top of the talent-heavy SEC each and every year and have his team in position to play in BCS title games, as well as the soon-to-be college football playoff.

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And he will continue to win national titles.

No, Alabama will not win the national championship every single year. It will seem like it, though.

By the time that Saban retires forever from the coaching ranks somewhere around the year 2021, he will have won no less than seven national crowns at Alabama. To put it in perspective, that will be seven titles in no more than 15 years.

You doubt this? What on earth have you seen of Nick Saban in the last decade that would lead you to this conclusion?

When Saban does step down, the Alabama Nation will find itself in quite the quandary. The crash will be a violent one. The kids will call it "epic."

The days of Mike DuBose and Mike Shula will have been long forgotten, and the Tide will search endlessly and desperately for the next Saban.

Unfortunately, he won't likely be there.

Alabama will continue to win as it typically does, but 12- and 13-win seasons that end with crystal footballs in the trophy case will be replaced by eight- and nine-win seasons and January trips to the likes of Orlando and Tampa for largely meaningless bowl games.

Having said that, the sport's greatest dynasty will be one that is never again repeated. Alabama will have put together a run under Saban that today seems unapproachable.

Nick Saban will go down in history as the most dominant coach of all time, and the top schools from the top conferences will finally be able to play for national titles without having to go through Tuscaloosa to get them.

The dynasty will be over, and the Tide will fall back to reality for the first time in almost 20 years.

Then, and only then, Alabama will begin to work on the blueprint for its next dynasty.

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