Lots of folks think they can predict when the Alabama football dynasty will end. Only one person has any control and that’s the head coach.
Way the hell back when Alabama football was no longer Alabama football, people began to wonder if they’d ever return to their normal, dominant selves.
Now they’re just hoping it will stop.
It all started with the late Mal Moore – a first-class man who never got his due until it was almost too late for his due to get got. His first run at Saban failed. But at the suggestion of then-South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, Moore took a second shot at his first choice. This time, he got his man. And he did so, in a way, by appealing to the man’s woman.
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He reached his tired arm back behind his aching right shoulder and threw a Hail Terry, and it was answered.
This would be the perfect time to say, “the rest is history.” Problem is, history is still being written. No one knows yet what the “rest” will be. But the college football world knows all too well what already has been.
Four national titles in seven years. A national semi-final berth. Another year, 2013, in which Alabama lost its chance for a title in its last regular season game. Throw in 2008, when Alabama was eight minutes away from a berth in the BCS championship game, and Saban has produced arguably the most impressive eight-year run in college football history.
Saban’s one “bad” year during that span? Six points away in 2010 from yet another chance to win it all, and a drubbing of Big Ten tri-champion Michigan State. At 10-3, that was Saban at his worst. For most people, that’s a contract extension.
One would think, after all this unprecedented success, some degree of complacency might set in. Not for Saban. He still recruits like he’s desperate, coaches like he’s about to lose his job, and develops players like he’s painting the Sistine Chapel.
He’s Michelangelo without the back pain.
When will it end? The best answer is, it will end when Nick Saban says it will, and not a minute sooner. Father Time seems to be the only hope his competitors have. There’s just one problem.
No one is guaranteed tomorrow, and Nick Saban sure as hell isn’t about to give you today.