Alabama Crimson Tide football fans have something in common with fans from my home state of Texas; and a glorious past a long memory.
Growing up in Texas, I always tired of hearing about the past when it came to college football. You never heard about how great The U was, or the run that Tom Osborne and Nebraska were on. All the talk centered on two college football teams who were always good but not great, and any talk of potential dynasties other schools were putting together was easily dismissed with the notion of “we’ve been there once, we’ll be there again.”
On one side are fans of the University of Texas, who despite having a huge advantage over the rest of America in terms of funds, high school talent pool, and the top equipment money could buy (including their own floundering ESPN-backed TV station), have only been able to win a single national title in the past 33 years.
On the other side of that fence sits Texas A&M, a proud and tradition-rich school whose last claimed national championship likely happened before the majority of us were born, and last outright conference title happened when I was 10 years old.
Between them, they have a combined three (all Texas) BCS bowl wins, and yet you’d think these two had been the stars of the show for years. People in the Lone Star State can’t understand why you would want to go anywhere but one of these schools, and dismiss contrary opinion as “not understanding our history.”
Any Alabama fan or student should truly appreciate the run that the Crimson Tide football team is currently having. No university in the current BCS standings has won more than two national championships, and of the three BCS programs not named Alabama who have been fortunate enough to make back-to-back title games, none of them have been able to repeat.
Most fans would be elated to have one national championship and a few conference titles over their lifetime, and yet coach Saban and the Crimson Tide sit atop the college football rankings preparing to defend their third national title in four years.
On Sunday Saban accepted yet another accolade, during which coaching legend Bobby Bowden spoke of “not seeing an end” to Alabama’s dominance. Former player Barrett Jones said of the Tide’s success that “the key was not to get complacent,” and Dee Milliner said Alabama’s run “will end when we want it to end.”
Tide fans are fortunate to have Nick Saban as the head coach in Tuscaloosa, and to be able to witness the process that he and all the other coaches and players go through on a daily basis to keep Alabama at the top. We should enjoy this journey; we are in the midst of a truly special run that our children and grandchildren will hear about the rest of our lives.