What if the burning desire for a non-SEC national champion in 2013 is nothing more than a fantasy that—if fruitful—would deliver more agony than ecstasy?
Indeed, what if by welcoming a new champion from another conference—or at least one that isn’t Alabama—college football would miss out on some tasty storylines?
Though to every non-SEC fan in the nation this seems like the most counter-intuitive of statements, perhaps it’s worth considering.
Here are five peachy scenarios that college football enthusiasts would potentially forego if Alabama doesn’t win the 2013 BCS title.
A Brush with History
There are few fans remaining to reminisce about Army’s three-peat (if we're counting their shared title with Notre Dame) from 1944 to 1946 and none left to recall Michigan’s string of titles from 1901 to 1904.
These are the only equitable comparisons since 1900 to what Alabama would achieve by winning the BCS title in 2013.
This all means that if Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide could repeat this season, the rest of the nation would become witnesses to history.
Whether this is nauseating or titillating, few fans—in the history of the game—will ever be able to match what might be experienced in 2013.
This all becomes much more impressive when you remember that the Crimson Tide must play 12 worthy opponents—plus Chattanooga and Georgia State—this season to reach paydirt.
In contrast, Michigan played only 10 games in 1904, including contests against the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the American Medical School, both from Illinois. Army played nine opponents in its capstone 1946 season (when veterans were just returning from World War II), including games with the Personnel District Command of Kentucky and the Melville PT Boats of Rhode Island.
The Roaming Coach Roams On
So, what does Saban do after he leads Alabama to its third consecutive national title and the fourth in five seasons?
Does he jump directly back into the grind and begin recruiting and retooling for another run in 2014 or, instead, does he turn his wandering eye elsewhere?
Saban left Michigan State after five seasons and a historic No. 9 finish, and he broke it off with LSU after five years, two SEC titles and the 2003 BCS crown.
So, what stops him from leaving Alabama after eight years, especially after such a historic run?
Not only has Saban proven he has a bit of wanderlust, but he has also been successful at timing the “cut and run” throughout his career.
Saban leaving Alabama would create a sensation. And more than anything, the hoopla would center on where the still-young 62-year-old coach would go next.
Would he prove he could do it again at someplace like Texas or would he go westward and take over the chariot reins at USC?
Poaching Season Re-Opens
Alabama winning the big enchilada—again—in 2013 would give the SEC its eighth consecutive national title.
What that could mean to a league already on confidence-overload, in a climate of realignment, is tantalizing.
The conquerors of the BCS era, the vanquishers of history, could become the thieves who strike quickly in the night.
Since the SEC is the SEC and sets the standard, it becomes the first super-conference and moves the bar a notch higher with a double-division format with 16 teams.
Clemson and Miami (Fla.) come on board and Florida State jumps ship for the Big 12 as the ACC’s football vessel sinks. The ACC morphs into the Big East, which is now the AAC, or, American Athletic Conference.
Irony is thick in the air as Big East fans get their due revenge on an ACC that plucked Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech in 2004, Boston College in 2005, Syracuse and Pitt in 2013 and is slated to welcome Louisville in 2014.
Damaging Media Saturation
Alabama’s repeat would mean that the media would descend on Tuscaloosa in a way unprecedented in the chronicles of college sport.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram would be abuzz with activity as would be every sports website in the nation.
This magnifying glass could uncover some otherwise well-hidden—and likely obscure—misdeeds on the part of the Alabama football program.
The NCAA would follow up with an exhaustive 18-month investigation. This would draw the ire of the same media that heralded the Tide as the best thing since sliced bread.
For Alabama and SEC-haters it would mean an opportunity to tag the Tide’s marvelous run as “tainted.”
For the rest of the free world it would mean “on to the next story, please.”
The BCS and the SEC Fade
Though not a true conspiracy theory, isn’t it at least intriguing that the rise of the SEC has come during the BCS era?
How much did the making of the “dominator” conference have to do with the format of the BCS, a scheme which rewards the mightiest schedule-holder with the title game?
If Alabama—or another SEC team—wins it all in 2013, it sets up an interesting scenario moving into the era of the College Football Playoff.
Think about it, what does it say for the cozy relationship between the SEC and the BCS if once the BCS is gone the SEC stops winning consecutive titles?
If the SEC’s supremacy fades after the BCS goes, the argument could be validated that the league’s dominance came—at least in part—from the nature of the BCS scheme.
And this is a contention that can only be made if the SEC wins the final BCS crystal football in 2013.
As a note, historical data in this piece is via College Football Data Warehouse.