College football fans may scoff at the thought of Alabama Football being aligned with college football’s ‘little’ programs. Crimson Tide football is a blue-blood program and even during a rocky run, Alabama remains one of only a few college football elites.
There is no suggestion here that the Crimson Tide has become ‘little ole Alabama’ as Dabo Swinney’s program was ‘little ole Clemson.’
Instead, what is being asked by more than me, is in today’s college football world, can championships be bought? If they can be bought, then Texas, Miami, and most definitely Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M are potentially the most successful deep-pocket buyers.
Let’s be clear, Alabama Football is not an NIL-also ran. There have been many rumors of gigantic NIL deals done on behalf of other programs, that benefit players and recruits. But Crimson Tide athletes do well with NIL deals.
It is not known how widespread are college programs buying recruits (even prospect visits) but with no functioning rules and no transparency, there can be no level playing field. Tampering and free agency are common as programs build rosters by throwing cash at transfers. It has been rumored that Javion Cohen’s transfer to Miami gained the player a $500,000 payment.
Maybe the Aggies, Hurricanes and Longhorns are not doing more than other programs, but whatever they have done or are doing has gained the most attention.
As Matt Hayes wrote for Saturday Down South, Jimbo Fisher has mostly built his roster through high school recruiting, rather than through transfers. Hayes points out that the current storyline about the Aggies is not the ridiculous Jimbo Fisher contract shackling the program. According to Hayes, the story is instead,
"For the first time since Fisher left Florida State for that initial guaranteed, you’ve got to be kidding me, contract of $75 million over 10 years (that eventually became $95 million over 10 years), Texas A&M is 2-0 in SEC play.Fisher built for this season, 4 years of elite recruiting putting the Aggies in position to compete in the toughest division in college football. And now with Texas A&M at its peak with talent — and with the lines of scrimmage as strong and talented as any in the SEC — the West Division is cycling down."
Alabama Football at a disadvantage?
A question in the minds of some Alabama football fans is how much of an advantage the Aggies have because their booster base has more wealth than Alabama. There is little doubt deep-pocket supporters of the Aggies and the Longhorns are willing to ante up massively.
Is Alabama far enough behind Texas A&M in financial resources for roster-building, that a win by ‘little ole Alabama’ on Saturday would be a win for the rest of college football?
Don’t most college football fans want a game in which championships cannot be bought? Or is that outdated thinking, and ‘just win baby’ is enough, no matter the cost?