Jan. 12, 2017
Is Alabama Killing College Football?
The college football playoffs national championship game is upon us. Alabama vs Clemson, part 2 in Tampa, Florida. The Crimson Tide looking to win their second straight national title, and fifth title eight years. Clemson looks to win their first title since 1981 and defeat Alabama for the first time since 1905! While the game itself will be intriguing, and I intend on watching it (the game itself, not all of the megacast's crap that ESPN is going to have on during the game), I write this article as a concerned fan.
Since 2009, in the world of college football, there has been one thing that's consistent with either the national championship, playoff games, or conference championships. That is Alabama. Since they won the 2009 national title, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide have been title contenders ever since, and always the choice for the SEC title. This season has been no exception, with the tide going 13-0 and beating Washington in the Peach Bowl.
Look, everyone loves a dynasty story, no matter what sport you follow. You got the Patriots in the NFL, the Spurs in the NBA, and recently the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL. A dynasty can be a wonderful thing in sports, because the more they win championships, then the competition's goal is to beat the champs. I can say that Alabama is a dynasty in college football, and we can all agree that they are. But in college football, this dynasty isn't helping the sport at all.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are killing college football.
When the Miami Heat had the super team and went to the NBA Finals from 2012-2015, I argued that they were killing basketball because you knew who was going to win all the time, and there was no competition during that timeframe. Well, now college football is becoming the same way with Alabama. Everyone talks about Saban and Alabama winning another possible title, always a contender, and being just so damn good. I can assure you if you were to go to the Westgate Sports Book in Las Vegas, and you were to put money on Alabama to win it all, I'm sure the bookie's response will be, "We got another one." It's kind of pathetic
The reasons that 'Bama has a good team is that they recruit the best players down south, which is a hotbed of athletes period. They don't have to compete with other schools for the best prospects, because every player wants to win a national title, and if they're good enough to go to Alabama, then they go and essentially win titles and awards. The remaining SEC teams has taken a step back, and without Alabama, they wouldn't have been represented in the playoffs. When you had once powerhouses like Florida, Ole Miss, and Georgia, you now have Texas A&M.......and that's pretty much it. The SEC has gotten to the point of being compared to the Big 12, and that speaks volumes.
I can only imagine what the culture in Tuscaloosa is like. You could compare it to the career of one Ronda Rousey. You know, the former UFC Women's Bantamweight champion. When she lost her title, and the subsequent comeback loss to Amanda Nunes in UFC 207's main event, she went from being the best to essentially going away. If Alabama, god forbid, were to suffer a similar fate and not win a title in, let's say, five years, and throw in a losing season or two just to spice things up, then we can see Alabama go away, and college football can finally heal. The culture of winning can be healthy, but too many titles later, the fan's egos go way over their heads, and they get arrogant. Alabama fans aren't at that point, because they can back up their boasts with facts. But once they start saying "we're the best team ever", then they've reached the point.
Everyone wants to be that team that saves college football and beat Alabama. But until that happens, college football fans are going to get to the point where the sport itself will suffer the same fate as the NFL: low tv ratings, lower attendance than usual, and people actually DOING things on Saturday nights instead of watching the primetime games, because ALL of the games will be meaningless if Alabama is going to win another title. Can teams beat Alabama in recruiting and games itself? Sure. Doesn't mean anything until they don't win a title.
We all hope for our favorite teams to win the big one. Whether their Michigan, Ohio State, Clemson, Florida, Washington, UCLA, Oklahoma, Texas, Rutgers (poor souls), Missouri, or Penn State, we all want the chance to raise a banner and call ourselves national champions. Got a nice ring to it, huh? Well, sorry to say this, but Alabama isn't going to die anytime soon. Until this happens, you can say that the state of college football is not good. In reality, it's on life support, and may never recover until the Tide lose.