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Greatest era of football

Published 10:00pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Is Nick Saban the best college football coach of all time? Only time will tell.

But for now, Saban has led Alabama to the greatest five-year stretch that any team has ever had.

The Tide is 61-7 in the last five years with three BCS Championships and would have played for a fourth if it wasn’t for Tim Tebow and Florida.

While Alabama’s defense carried the team for two of those three titles, the 2012 championship was because of the Tide’s offense. This is no disrespect to the Tide’s defense because there was no better defense in 2012 than the Tide’s, but they weren’t near as dominant as Saban’s 2011 defense.

But in 2012, how was it possible to stop Alabama’s offense? The only ones that could stop the Tide’s offense was themselves. In their only loss to Texas A&M, Alabama committed an uncharacteristic three turnovers and had questionable play calling.

However, there was no stopping Alabama’s offense when they were in rhythm. That’s what Notre Dame found out on Monday night.

The Fighting Irish’s front seven were as good as you can find in college football. Led by Manti Te’O, the Irish defense is why they got to Miami, but even they were just overmatched by an offense that will probably see all 11 players in the NFL at some time, especially on the offensive line.

Across the front, you had Anthony Steen, Chance Warnack, Cyrus Kouandjio, Barrett Jones and D.J. Fluker. All five of those guys will be draft picks before their college careers are over.

That line paved the way for two 1,000-yard rushers and helped protect AJ McCarron to throw for nearly 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns while throwing just three interceptions all year.

I don’t know where this year’s offense ranks all time, but I think it’s the best offense Alabama’s ever had. LSU did the best job containing Alabama, but in crunch time, Alabama still got the job done.

Seriously, there wasn’t a defense good enough to stop Alabama. They could do whatever they wanted to do at any time.

When they defeated Georgia in the SEC Championship, Alabama took the lead on a drive where they ran it down the field and then passed to Amari Cooper for the score.

So is there an end to this dynasty in sight? With the way Alabama recruits and develops players, I don’t see it.

But will the rest of college football to catch up to Alabama? Until that happens, Alabama will likely be celebrating many more championships before this ends.

Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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