Alabama's Nick Saban, AJ McCarron have Tide on track to win third title

The SEC has won seven consecutive national titles, including back-to-back wins to cap the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Luck can only take you so far in this game.

That’s why until someone steps forward and knocks the SEC off its perch, I’m all in on Alabama winning its third straight national title in 2013.

I’ve previously written that the SEC’s impressive run in the BCS was too good to be true. I foolishly believed that a team from one of the other power conferences would step forward and bring an end to the SEC’s tight grip on the title. Time and time again, the SEC’s powerhouse teams proved me wrong.

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Well, no more. I’ve seen the light and you can count me as a true SEC believer.


I used to think it seemed unlikely the SEC’s ridiculous title streak could continue. I’ve learned my lesson. How could you ever doubt the SEC, especially with a team like Alabama at the top?

The program is led by perhaps one of the greatest coaches in college football, the team’s quarterback is possibly one of the greatest to play the game and the Crimson Tide play in one of the best conferences in the sport.

Alabama’s dominance starts with Nick Saban.

The Crimson Tide coach has the public appeal of a politician in an election year. Listen in on one of his press conferences and you feel like you are listening to someone who would thoroughly enjoy reading the phone book.

There’s just something about him that most fans don’t like. Perhaps it’s the limited insight he provides about his team, making it clear he will only communicate with those who are in the Alabama inner circle. Or perhaps too many remember the way he ditched the LSU Tigers and Miami Dolphins, admonishing those who suggested he was leaving right up until both feet were firmly out the door.

My guess is it’s just because he coaches at Alabama.

Yet despite all of the animosity, you can’t argue with his results — four college football national championships. Last season, he became the first coach to win back-to-back national championships since Pete Carroll did so with USC back in 2003 and 2004. Legendary Nebraska coach Tom Osborne also accomplished the feat in 1994 and 1995.

Another championship this season would move Saban one step closer to catching legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant, who leads all modern-day coaches with six titles.

However, it’s not all on Saban.

A big part of Alabama’s recent success is due to the hard work and sound decisions of its starting quarterback, AJ McCarron.

McCarron is everything that his counterpart at Texas A&M — Johnny Manziel — is not.
Confident, but not cocky, McCarron has been a model of consistency for the Crimson Tide. He’s the first quarterback to lead his team to back-to-back national championships in the BCS era. A third consecutive title — which is something that has never been done before — would arguably make McCarron one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the college game.

Then there’s the defense.

The old coaching mantra is that defense wins championship. Alabama is a perfect example of the philosophy.

The Crimson Tide have consistently fielded an elite defense, ranking among the top defensive teams in the country. Last season, Alabama led the nation in total defense, allowing a paltry 250 yards of offense per game. Despite losing several key defensive players to the NFL, Alabama always finds a way to plug in new playmakers and fill gaps.