Alabama's dynasty will never really be over - Spencer Hall and Steven Godfrey

EDSBS and Godfrey put out a really good piece on Alabama Football that I recommend everyone take 10 minutes to read. Contrary to the title, the article does not once suggest that the dynasty will never end, but discusses the numerous ways that Alabama has separated itself from their competition, and how they are able to do so.

Three quotes that I found most interesting:

The Buckeyes recruited 192 total four- and five-star prospects since 2007. In the same time span, Alabama signed 236 four/five star recruits. The 44-recruit difference between Ohio State and Alabama represents two full recruiting classes all by itself.

DAMN. Bama has literally signed two classes-worth more of blue chips than the next best recruiting team.

The recruiting happens mostly via phone calls because Saban doesn't even text, much less send DMs to people.

Crazy that they don't rely on social media for recruiting.

"People who visit the program or coaches who come through, do you know what they're jealous of? It's not the buildings or stadiums. Everyone is in complete alignment. From the administration down to everyone in the department or the coaches, anyone who touches [the team]. Same goals, same philosophy."

This may be the one thing that Saban and Dabo have in common.

Alabama is averaging 1.3 losses/year in the Saban era, good for 141-20.

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In the coming year's class, they already have 10 commits. One five star and eight four stars. That would be an amazing class for us. And it's over half a year until ESD.

Well that's depressing.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

People also thought the UCLA basketball dynasty would never end.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

Or the British Empire or Nebraska football. All dynasties end at some point for some reason. It wasn't that long ago Tech was giving Bama their worst beating ever *until the national championship game this year.

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Or the Cowboys, or the Yankees, or the Red Wings, or UNC Women's Soccer, or Southern Cal in the early 2000s, or the Lakers.....

Everything has an expiration date.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

Tenn/UConn women's basketball...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Soviet Red Army in hockey....

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

USA basketball in Olympics...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Tiger Woods....

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

The McRibb...

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Done. Shut it down. Interwebz is closed rest of the day. Go be with loved ones. It's over.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I think the title is a little clickbait-ish (I read this when it was posted on r/cfb like a week ago or whenever), but I do think there are three factors that could help make this statement come to fruition.

1. Saban has thoroughly implanted his process (The Process, as it's often referred to) into every level of the program, and it's proven that it can withstand coaching turnover with unprecedented levels of success. The monetary investment has followed and Alabama will never not be on the cutting edge with facilities and history, those two things will help sell recruits no matter who is the coach.

2. The CFP era has even further funneled top players to the elite teams. Recruits want to play for championships, and there are only a handful of schools that can almost guarantee you a shot at the playoff every year. I think the CFP has even further separated the middle class from the upper class in college football.

3. The least popular and by far most speculative reason, college football, or at least college football as we currently know it, very well could cease to exist during our lifetimes. I am obviously not rooting for it, but we are probably one big breakthrough CTE/concussion study away from seeing an even bigger exodus of kids being funneled into other, less dangerous sports. If a big breakthrough study comes out in the next 5-15 years, we could see the beginning of the end for football in general. They might just have to survive through whenever that is.

See I dont buy the "saban can survive turnover" schtick. Turnover doesnt rear its ugly head around immediately and hes only been without kirby smart for 2 years and there have been some glaring warning signs imo. Let's face it UGA wasnt that great last year and gave saban all he can handle and Clemson manhandled them. Alabama was still great dont get me wrong but the turnover definitely caught up to them last year. And if they keep hemorrhaging coaches like this I really dont think they're going to be rolling over everyone even in the national championship like they did in the early/mid 2010s. I think the loss of kirby smart hurt a lot.

Want evidence that coaching changes sometimes take a few years for litmus tests of their abilities? Look no further than Larry Coker and the Miami hurricanes. His first few years he was labeled as maybe the greatest coach ever. He didnt lose in something like his first 31 games. Now we know him as the guy that drove Miami into the ground for the better part of a decade

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I think Pruitt was an essentially equal replacement for Kirby, but losing Pruitt and Kirby over the last few years was definitely an issue. Tosh Lupoi, a great recruiter, was not ready to lead a Saban defense as a coordinator. He fell short and produced one of the worst defenses of the Saban era (good defense, but not Bama standard).

I have talked about how the turnover caught up to him this season in other threads, but the turnover has been happening for awhile and he has survived it just fine. Saban lost a bunch of assistants over the years and have always bounced back eventually, and no other coach I can think of has had this kind of success with that much turnover.

Additionally, the closest regular season game last season was a 22 point win over Texas A&M. So we are really splitting hairs on the "he didn't survive turnover" take because they lost to really good Clemson team who had an absurdly good night on third and long, a level of success that they would not likely replicate over another game. Mounting injuries also played a pretty big role in their defensive struggles that night.

Georgia was a 7 point game and they probably shouldve won. I think the sec is in a huge transition kinda similar to what the acc outside of Clemson is doing. A ton of coaching changes recently. Miss state was not great last year. A&M was well coached but pretty meh. LSU is not a well coached team... I mean bama just took advantage I dont think it was a particularly great conference and alabama got absolutely exposed in the championship

I think the turnover has finally started catching up to Saban. He really didnt have much prior to kirby leaving. And what he did lose he still could always fallback on the rock solid defenses kirby smart was producing every year.

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

He has still had way above average turnover, Kirby was pretty unique in how long they were able to keep him on staff.

The Georgia game is not the best argument though, Tua injured his ankle (the one he had to have surgery on) on the first offensive series of the game, and it made a huge difference. Healthy Tua that game probably isn't nearly as close.

The SEC was absolutely elite this year as well. All advanced analytics agree with that. A&M treated NC State like an FCS team, as did Auburn with Purdue. Michigan got trashed by Florida, UCF lost to LSU with almost none of their defensive starters on the field.

Georgia had a disappointing Bowl game, but that doesn't define the conference. I also think Clemson had a perfect storm game against Alabama. I highly doubt if that game is played again that Alabama has 3-4 RZ drives end in 0 points, I highly doubt Clemson can replicate their WAYYYY above season average success on third and long.

I literally cannot name a single bama assistant that left during their first few nattys and it still doesnt overwrite the fact that he still had kirby. I think kirby smart was crucial to the success of that team.

Also as far as the sec being elite: I would not point to Auburn trashing a really bad Purdue team to say this is a good team. They pulled an upset on OSU outside of that they were pretty meh all year. My point wasnt so much that they're bad teams or that the sec is awful but more of a 'theres been a ton of coaching turnover and teams take time to adapt' mentality. I mean Bamas top dog contenders in the sec are as follows: florida LSU georgia auburn and I'm gonna toss A&M in there and over the last few years Mississippi state. Literally every one of those schools except Auburn has been through a coaching change in the last 2 years. Not lost an oc. Not lost a DC. A full regime change with a new scheme/script. Of course there are some growing pains right now and yes I do think the sec is underperforming right now particularly in the regular season. I think Bamas got 1 or 2 more good easyish runs to the natty the next 2 years before at least 2 of those teams return to prominance because I believe kirby smart is the real deal (think hes kinda proven that) i think dan Mullen is legit and i think jimbo might get the team to a good level for 3-4 years before completely imploding

I think Bamas window to the national championship will get a whole lot harder the next few years and saban isnt getting any younger

As far as the championship goes...Clemson did it without potentially their best player on defense and frankly they called off the dogs late. They picked bama apart on passing down and I think the game couldve been even worse if they wanted it to be

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Here is a list of all the coaches who have branched off from his coaching tree, Plenty of those listed under Alabama are before Kirby left, including multiple defensive assitants, key positions like OL coach, etc.

Here is a reddit post showing how Saban has lost every single one of his coaching positions since the staff that won the 2015 National Championship. During the course of losing all of these assistants 2016-2018, Alabama went 14-1, 13-1, 14-1 with a national title, good for 41-3 since 2015. I'd say that's handling turnover pretty damn well.

If Alabama's run to the Natty through elite recruiting schools like LSU, Auburn, Georgia, and Texas A&M is considered "easyish" does literally any team have a difficult run to the title outside of the SEC? Can you honestly say a team in another conference had a tough path and say Alabama's was easy-ish?

Per S&P, Alabama's path to the playoff this season saw them play post season S&P 2, 5, 7, 8, 11, and 12. (Bill made a very recent adjustment for conference quality which boosted all these S&P teams up, but the reality of the decisions is that it made spreads 2.5 points more accurate and increased his overall against the spread by 2%, thus it was a justified adjustment).

Per FEI, they had to play 3, 4, 8, 15, 18, 20

Per Massey composite, they had to play 5, 7, 10, 19, 22, 23

As for the championship game, as a Clemson alum living in the upstate, I know their team very well, and I follow the team closely whether I want to or not, watching almost every game because the majority of my friends and girlfriend are Clemson fans. Dexter Lawrence was certainly a big loss, but he was a much less substantial loss in this matchup than Wilkins, Ferrell, or Bryant would have been given the style of defense they needed to play and Lawrence was their least productive player. Their run defense was less of a concern, given that they sat in two deep for most of the field and gave Alabama some leeway to run, and Albert Huggins was a top 100 player out of high school and veteran senior who replaced him. So that really doesn't mean much to me, statistically/production-wise, he was the player they were most able to afford to lose on their DL, with a possible exception of Austin Bryant.

Secondly, pretty much every film analysis I've read/watched on the title game echoed and reinforced my original statements. Clemson was absurdly good on third and long, far better and more consistent than they had been all year. They entered the playoff as the worst of the four teams on 3rd down. Additionally, Alabama was elite in the RZ all year and had 3-4 trips to the RZ end in 0 points. Both of those factors were unlikely to be replicated. At one point after the 1st quarter they showed a stat where Alabama had outgained Clemson 220-80 and was losing 13-14. The reality is that Clemson's gameplan was well executed, but they also benefitted from some uncharacteristic playcalling and execution from Alabama in the RZ. It's hard to imagine that "it could have been much worse" when it was actually Clemson who was relying more on big, busted plays to advance the football than Alabama, who was methodically moving the ball between the 20's, seemingly at will. Ultimately, Clemson had a great gameplan and few things went there way, resulting in a well deserved victory, but I don't think you've committed the time and analysis to that game that I have.

Touche on the natty, I'll give you that. I still think in the second half clemson easily could've poured it on. Bama was outplaying them in the first quarter but I think the second was when the game kinda fell apart for them. Plus wasn't that kinda the beef with Locksley since the start his play calling was never particularly good and was covered up by some incredible talent on the bama sideline?

As for the schedule, my point is that the teams are only going to get better while I think bama has finally lost some crucial coordinators that are tough to replace (notably kirby smart). You cannot tell me over the last 5 or so years that the SEC was as good as it was during the start of Saban's run. I think the coaching has gotten a whole lot better and the conference on the whole will get a lot better as they adjust to coaches schemes. Its like Fuente's first year. Was there some talent? absolutely. was that a damn good team? Fersure. But imagine if we had those same players in the system for more than a year. I guarantee you the disaster at Bristol doesn't happen

As for the turnover. I was not aware they had lost that many coaches however it still comes back to my original point that it takes a few years particularly on teams as talented as the bama's of the world to feel the dropoff (see my Larry Cooker comment). Now obviously the dropoff isnt going to be as sudden as Miami as the head hauncho is still around but little things might start to add up. When you start losing your incredible DC, start churning through OCs every year and the teams around you go from good to GREAT...yeah your window might close a bit.

All it takes is one or two teams in the SEC to get in spitting range of bama and an upset to happen and they're out of the playoffs. Thats all im saying, and I dont think thats THAT unreasonable given they've lost some incredible coaches over the last 2-3 years and the rest of the SEC is starting to reload and I think may be catching up a tad. I think its a lot harder to get to a championship when theres 3-4 great teams in conference vs 6-7 good teams.

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I was mostly just trying to combat hyperbolic, hot-takes based on the NCG.

The staff turnover this offseason was largely Saban's doing, he realized too many guys already had one foot out the door and/or weren't putting in the standard of hard work that he holds his staff and himself to. Some guys left for new jobs like Locksley, but most of these guys were encouraged to take jobs elsewhere so he could rebuild the staff with guys who are more bought in and will align better with Saban's ethos. The class that Saban just signed is absolutely absurd, and I expect their defense to be notably better this upcoming season than it was last season.

I would never argue against their playoff chances being lower in some of the coming seasons, because I agree the SEC is getting progressively tougher and Georgia is establishing themselves as an elite tier power as well. Lots of emergent powers as well, but Saban won three championships during a similarly stacked SEC era 2008-2012, so it wouldn't be foreign territory for them.

The majority of the SEC is so far behind Bama that two games is a lot. You have to hope for major upset and UGA to win the the title game. The SEC has one coach that has beaten Nick Saban, Malzahn, and he is on the hot seat for eternity.

Ahhhh, the hyperbole of 2019 media.
It's going strong now. But this too shall pass. At some point the star will fall out of the sky. Until then, just let them be their own little thing and stop trying to over-analyze the Tide.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

This won't be in question until Saban retires. Head coaches have a way of wanting their own processes and systems in place regardless of how well the last guy did.

I would be surprised if his processes survived a coaching change where his successor is not one of his proteges.

im curious how much sabans philosophies changed from LSU to Bama and how much his short stint in the NFL taught him new methods. While LSU has been up and down since Saban left they have been far from a dynasty. I get it the recruiting #s in favor of bama are outstanding but to think they will maintain that level of recruiting once he is gone OR that just because they have great recruiting #s the dynasty will continue on is very presumptuous. Recruiting #s don't always translate into the equivalent in wins. It helps sure. but there is a balance between recruiting and coaching. Saban has found that balance, maybe others have tried without success.... Jim Mclwain at UF, Mark Right at UGA, randy Shannon UM, Lane kiffin at USC, Charlie Strong at TX, etc.

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Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

I thought about creating a forum post for this article as well. Erroneous usage of GDP aside, it's a pretty good look at why Alabama is so successful. One other thing I found interesting is the following comment by "Bocktean" about why elite athletes choose elite schools:

elite players have realized that grouping has real benefits. You see it at every level of sports now, all the way down to scholastic sports and youth all-star travel teams. You're going to get better in practices, not games, and when the guy across from you is NFL bound, you're getting better. When you're surrounded by elite play makers, it's that much harder for opponents to double you or scheme away from you. And depth at position groups means you're insulated from being pushed back on the field before you're really ready or being asked to do things before you're really prepared. Sure, it's more of a challenge, but that's kind of the point. There is no path of least resistance to the NFL unless you're a 1 in a million freak like Ed Oliver who came out of high school pretty much ready for the NFL. His two college career highlights were terrorizing Baker Mayfield in his first game and then getting into a Starter Jacket argument with Applewhite late last fall. He will be a first round pick, but he's not going to be the #1 pick, which I think he could have been. That looks like Bosa, fellow 5 star, Ohio State. He could end up behind Quinnen Williams (borderline 4 star, Alabama), Rashan Gary (5-star, Michigan), Clelin Ferrell (borderine 4, Clemson), or Christian Wilkins (mid-4, Clemson). If so, he may have lost multiple millions by choosing Houston over a blue blood program.

I think the bolded statements above are more relevant to VT's success than anything in the article about Alabama.

So what's going to happen in the next 4 years is this: Nick Saban retires Bama hires Dabo, Mack Brown retires and UNC goes super cheap to save for Roy Williams replacement, Maryland fires Locksley after going 5-27, Dave Dorean leaves NC state for Clemson, coach K And Coach Cutliffe both retire and Duke drops to Div. 2, James Franklin goes to USC after Clay Helton gets fired, Willie Taggart gets fired and FSU hires a coach out of the XFL, and Lincoln Reilly jumps to the NFL

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"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Really? After Bama just got their ass handed to them in the national championship by a younger coach with very similar recruiting chops, these goofballs put an article out about how the Bama dynasty will never die? This fluff piece won't age well after Saban retires. IF they wrote that the dynasty would continue as a result of hiring Dabo, I would say it has some legs, but don't try to sell me that they will be a dynasty forever just because they are Bama.

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Did you even read the piece? The article isn't about how Alabama will never lose again, it's about how the university has separated themselves from the pack financially, operationally, and culturally.

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Except half of it is still nonsense. Getting 44 more blue chips since 2007 is fine and dandy, but has nothing to do with their "separation" today. Because in 2018 OSU had more blue chips on their roster. UGA had more 5 stars. Bama will probably get the top spot again after their 19 class, but there isn't this chasm in talent

And all of that is great, but Alabama's success comes from Nick Saban. Once Saban retires there will be a change in results even with all of the cash and non-nick saban stuff.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

And they get them from any state and any corner of the country; I guess if Alabama is knocking them I'm coming

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I feel like the Texas football program is the best argument against permanent dominance. Probably more money to spend on football than any program in America (Alabama included) if their boosters really got agitated...and they're over a decade into a huge slump. There are simply no guarantees for anyone.

I mean, it'll still be amazing to be Alabama football when Saban goes...but the other rich programs won't be so easily pushed aside like he's been doing in most years.

Texas's biggest challenge is that they can't get out of their own way, and the boosters/AD/Football team/University haven't been 100% aligned since 2009. According to the article, that's what separates Bama from other schools - The 3-4 entities that are typically at odds with each other (to some degree) are 100% in alignment.

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I get it but to act like the harmony at Alabama is going to last forever is extremely short-sighted and foolish. Sure it may continue under Saban, especially if they continue winning national titles 50% of the time, but any number of things can throw that balance out of alignment and I guarantee that day will come.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Oh, no doubt, no one thinks it can last forever. The point is, it's lasted longer at Bama than anywhere else.

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Has it? OSU under Hayes like '55-'75

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Not sure I'd call Woody at anOSU a dynasty...
205-61-10 is a 76% winning record, with 5 national titles over a 17 year span. True it was a strong run, but, well, anyway...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I'll add that Saban has been 146-21 (including a 7-6 first season) for an 87.4% win percentage. He also has 5 titles in the past 10 years, while being 10-4 in bowls during that span.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I mean, it will end eventually. But it will be awhile though.

Nick Saban will turn 68 this season, so they should probably define what they mean by "never."

If they had said Saban's dynasty will never be over, then I would probably agree with that. But once he retires, Alabama will be just another program (albeit one with an impressive history). Remember they had been pretty mediocre for a decade when Saban took the job.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

Mack Brown just took a job at the ripe old age of a 112 though...

Dynasties ALWAYS end. Alabama has done it twice, but under two capital L "Legendary" coaches. That doesn't mean Alabama football will fall of the map, but maintaining that dominance for decades is a feat. Miami, USC, and Florida State couldn't do it.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: “Guys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.” - David Teel Tweet 2018

"People who visit the program or coaches who come through, do you know what they're jealous of? It's not the buildings or stadiums. Everyone is in complete alignment. From the administration down to everyone in the department or the coaches, anyone who touches [the team]. Same goals, same philosophy."

And this costs $0.

Except for whatever the cost is of hiring the best administrative staff and coaches money can buy that have a proven record of being able to set and carry out the high level goals and philosophy Bama sets for itself and then of course its easier to do that when you're working in the best facilities and with the best players in college football. But yea I guess there isn't a technical price tag on it.

15 Straight

Establishing culture has nothing to do with "the most expensive support staff." You can have high priced assistants without laser focus and strong leadership. That is a credit to how Saban (the strongest leader in CFB) runs a program. It's not a money thing.

Sure that's why their football budget alone is 56 million which is 14 million more than next closet public school.

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totally OT, but IIRC, you live in P*****ia. If so I think we're playing (or attempting to play) some music there Fri night at a community event. If you are there, come up and say hi. I'm the old guy on bass. We're supposed to play from 5:30 to 8.

Disney weekend for oldest birthday. We live next planned community up. "Noc"

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ahhh...well have a great weekend and a safe trip.

we did the annual pass thing for years when the kids were growing up.

That's what we have. In fact will be there next weekend too for the next in lines 6th birthday.

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when yours get a little older and everyone learns their way around the parks, who likes what ride, etc.; it gets A LOT easier

My wife is a Jedi with it. We were there 4 weeks ago did 11 fast pass rides.

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i'm impressed!

everything has to end eventually...nothing is permanent

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

As I recall the Miami dynasty would never end, followed by the USC dynasty, followed by Florida. About the third year after Saban leaves they will only win 9-10 games and the world will come to an end here in Alabama.

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Its always 110 Holden...said every mining engineer ever.