Some teams rebuild, some teams reload, Alabama just returns.
As it will next season.
Alabama engenders strong feelings both ways. Some love the Crimson Tide and some surely do not. Some love coach Nick Saban and others do not.
Let’s remember this in the aftermath of Clemson’s 35-31 victory on Monday night to steal the national title from under Alabama’s sweaty nostrils: The Tide won 26 games in a row, never trailed in the fourth quarter of a game this season until meeting Clemson, led 14-0 and lost with one second left – while piloted by a true freshman quarterback. No true freshman had won a national title since Jamelle Holoway with Oklahoma (1984 season) – and he’s the only one.
Alabama is 28-2 over the past two seasons, 40-4 over three and 65-6 over five with three national championships. Feel sorry if you want for the young men who lost a heartbreaker in Tampa, Florida, but don’t weep for this program. It will thrive and it drives others to compete even harder.
You think there’s not an arms race going on in college football? Clemson is about to open a $55 million training facility for its team – dining rooms, game rooms, slides between the floors of the complex. Georgia has a $30 million facility under construction. Florida is working on a $100 million upgrade. Success does not come cheap.
George Lynn Cross, president of the University of Oklahoma, from 1943-68, was grilled once at a state budget hearing about his request for an increase in funding. He was asked why he needed it and said: “I would like to build a university of which the football team can be proud.”