Alabama Football: There’s a reason to search for the next Clemson

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

ESPN’s Bill Connelly wants to know what team is the next Clemson, rather than searching for the next Alabama Football. Why Connelly decided to search for the next Clemson rather than the next Alabama Crimson Tide is obvious to Alabama football fans. Take all the current college football superpowers and none of them come close to matching what Nick Saban has in Tuscaloosa.

Saban has built a National Championship-winning, college football factory unlike no other in the history of the game. While doing it Saban has also created the most prolific college to NFL pipeline. If Connelly had asked what team is the next Crimson Tide, an honest answer would have been, for now, there isn’t one. It is more than remotely possible, there never will be.

Searching for the ‘next’ Alabama Football is a waste of time.

Connelly is one of the best data-diviners in the business. His story, linked above is solid. He was spot on choosing Clemson as the standard to measure other programs against. The criterion could not be what college football program can win six National Championships in the next 12 seasons. What team, as Clemson has done, can win two National Championships during the current Alabama Football Dynasty? More specifically, Clemson has won two National Championships in five seasons. How close does that come to matching the output of the Crimson Tide Dynasty? An answer requires a standard measurement. Using the most recent decade as the standard, going back to the 2011 season, Alabama Football has won a National Championship an average of every two seasons. On the same measurement, Clemson has won a National Championship on an average of every five seasons.

Clemson fans will cry foul to such measurement. They will claim the Tigers’ span should only go back to 2015 or 2016. Adjusting it to 2015, though arguably unfair to the Crimson Tide, would result in a Clemson average of one Natty every three seasons.

Maybe the Tigers are ascending to the level of a Crimson Tide dynasty, But there is a large difference between comparing what ‘might’ happen rather than what ‘has’ happened.

Bill Connelly argues that what Clemson was in 2013, and turned into what it became by 2016, could be replicated by a new superpower program. Even though not on the level of the Crimson Tide, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Georgia are already ‘superpower’ programs. The Crimson Tide, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma have dominated the history of CFB Playoff selections, with 20 of the 28 final four slots.

dark. Next. College football can't be made fair

Maybe, and it is a big maybe, the history of CFB Playoff domination will change in the next few seasons. More likely it will not change until an attempt at forced parity results in an expanded Playoff field.