The Iron Bowl has long been considered the most passionate of rivalries in college sports. Other games may lay claim to the greatest rivalry, but as far as pure hate and passion are concerned, they pale in comparison. Alabama is a 365-day-a-year walking, talking, breathing, football hotbed, and today it was just cranked up around 10 notches.
It may be hard to believe that the Alabama vs. Auburn rivalry could get any better, but it just did.
Both Alabama and Auburn have just hauled in consensus top five recruiting classes. Imagine if you can for a minute the significance of that statement.
A state with a population of less than five million people has two of the best recruiting classes in the country. To give you perspective on this, California has two top 10 classes and a population of 32 million, and Florida, which also has two top 10 classes, has a population of over 18 million.
In fact both California schools which produced the top 10 classes reside in Los Angeles, California, which itself has a population of 3.8 million people (roughly 70 percent of Alabama).
To be in a state with a population in the lower 50 percent of the nation, and have two major D-1 programs recruiting at such a high margin, is incredible. Today it does not matter if you yell "Roll Tide" or "War Eagle" you are a winner.
This may not be a shift of power in the country or even in the SEC, but the odds are that in the next two to three years the Iron Bowl may be a playoff for the National Title. Nick Saban and Gene Chizik should be congratulated for doing something no other coaching duo in the state or region has ever done—make football matter more.
Today, like any other day, is the start of something new. Unlike some days, today it truly is “Great to be from Alabama."