Dynasties are a big part of the rich history of college football. As a fan, nothing is more exciting than watching a team dominate its opponents, especially when it’s your favorite team. But it’s been a while since college football has seen a dynasty like Miami in the late '80s, Florida State in the '90s, or Oklahoma in the '50s.
In the last 10 years, eight different teams have won a national title. But this decade will be much different. The parity in college football will fade away and one school will dominate the era. That school, the Alabama Crimson Tide, has all the components to reign supreme. With their coaching, recruiting, and national recognition, there is no reason that Alabama can’t be the next big thing.
Nick Saban is the cream of the crop when it comes to college coaches. Sure some fans might argue for Mack brown or Jim Tressel, but there is no denying Saban’s track record with bad teams.
Before Saban arrived in Baton Rouge to coach LSU, the tigers were 3-8. When he exited five years later, the tigers had won two SEC Championships and a National Title. Now they are perennial powers and threats to win a title every year. But Saban isn’t a one hit wonder. He did similar things at Toledo and Michigan State and now he is doing it at Alabama.
Whether Saban has the ability to coach a dynasty isn’t the question, it's whether he stays long enough for a dynasty to form. Nick Saban isn’t known for sticking with programs. He has a reputation of rebuilding and then leaving for another program in disarray. But after signing an extension that goes through the 2017 season and receiving a statue outside of Bryant Denny Stadium, Saban will most likely finish his coaching career in Tuscaloosa, and fans should be ecstatic about this.
The main element of Saban’s success has been his ability to recruit top talent. In the last four years, the Tide have finished in the top three in recruiting each season. No other team has done this in that time. Only Texas has finished in the top three more than once in that span, completing the feat twice.
Also in that time, 36 of the players recruited have been ESPNU150 prospects. Bringing in top players is key to being able to compete for a title on a consistent basis, and Alabama has done this better than anybody.
But Saban isn’t the only key to Alabama’s recruiting success. The name Alabama alone garners much respect from recruits. Whether it is Bear Bryant or Mark Ingram, high school players know about the great individuals that have been a part of this program. They know about the uncompromising fans and what they expect of them. They know what it means to put on the crimson jersey and run out on the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Pat Riley once said, “Coaches who let a championship team back off from becoming a dynasty are cowards.” This is exactly what Alabama has to avoid. The players can’t be afraid to be great. And most importantly, Nick Saban has to allow them to be great.