Alabama Football: 4 Reasons Tide Are Bound to Succeed in 2013
lThe beauty of Nick Saban’s process is that it never sleeps.
He’s never satisfied, and in turn, no one—players, coaches, support staff or administrators—that sets foot inside the football offices at the Mal Moore Athletic Facility is thinking about the remarkable string of accomplishments that have come during Saban’s tenure at the Capstone.
With that type of spirit and attitude in mind, it's easier to understand how Alabama’s football program consistently reloads every single season and challenges for national championships year after year.
For the Tide’s fanbase, winning a national championship is the only standard that matters. And who can blame them? There’s a crystal factory that seems to be expanding exponentially in Tuscaloosa.
It would seem as if there’s only one place for Alabama’s program to go, and that's down.
However, betting on the Tide falling from their perch atop college football’s mountaintop would not be a wise choice.
Here’s four reasons why the Tide are bound to succeed in 2013.
At first glance, it may look like Alabama’s team is too young to carry the responsibility of trying to earn the school’s 16th national title.
But even sophomore stars such as running back T.J. Yeldon and receiver Amari Cooper had integral roles in helping the Tide win it all last season.
Combine that with seniors such as quarterback AJ McCarron and linebacker C.J. Mosley providing more than capable leadership on both sides of the ball, and Alabama clearly has enough experience returning to win it all.
It may seem simple in theory, but a big reason why the Tide are once again favored to win the national title is because their roster is loaded with talent.
As B/R colleague Barrett Sallee points out, Saban and his staff have been able to turn the recruiting process into more of a draft.
Several of yesterday’s studs from the recruiting trail are ready to bust loose in Tuscaloosa now that the latest exodus of talent has departed for the NFL.
Players such as safety Landon Collins, receiver Chris Black and linebacker Denzel Devall are just a few of many former star recruits who have patiently waited for their opportunity to make an impact on the field.
With the bevy of available talent in Tuscaloosa, it’s logical to think that the Tide won’t face another team all season that can claim to have a more talented roster.
Another reason that Alabama has an excellent chance to be in the thick of the national title race is that the 2013 slate appears to be the most favorable schedule it has had in recent years.
After leading off with games against Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, the Tide’s last 10 games feature just four games against schools that had winning records last season—and one of those is against FCS opponent Chattanooga.
Bye weeks come before the two games (at Texas A&M and at home against LSU) perceived to be the toughest on the schedule.
Aside from the season opener with the Hokies, the non-conference slate features warm-ups against the previously mentioned Mocs, Georgia State and Colorado State.
If the Tide can get by the Hokies and the Aggies, games against Ole Miss, LSU and Mississippi State (with the first two of those games at home) appear to be the main challenges standing in the way of the Tide earning a return trip to Atlanta for the SEC title game.
1. Attitude Reflects Leadership
Perhaps the biggest reason that Tide will not go in the opposite direction is because of the man in charge.
A perfect example of Saban’s drive to keep moving forward came in an interview with ESPN last week.
I give myself a vacation, but I don't really reflect back. It's over. It's done. It's history. I'm happy about it. But if you're going to continue in this business, you'd better be ready for the next challenge, because we're going to be the target for a lot of people. Everybody's got the game they play against Alabama circled on the schedule.
It’s that type of mentality that he ingrains into his clubs, and that’s why his team is never content to rest on its laurels. Saban’s process ensures that the most important snap, play or game is the next one. That philosophy also helps Saban get every ounce of production out of his players and his team.
It’s hard to underachieve at anything with that type of mindset. With the combination of the program’s success and the factors listed above, the 2013 edition of the Crimson Tide have everything in place to meet its goal of capturing the school’s 16th national title.