At Alabama, Doubt Replaces a Football Dynasty

In this Jan. 1, 2015, file photo, Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaks to his players in the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football playoff semifinal game against Ohio State in New Orleans. Saban is expected to address the media Monday, March 30, 2015, after two Crimson Tide players were arrested in separate cases over the weekend. Defensive back Geno Smith and defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor are facing legal trouble again.(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Mississippi running back Jordan Wilkins (22) scores a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, as Alabama linebacker Dillon Lee (25) watches, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Mississippi running back Jordan Wilkins (22) scores a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, as Alabama linebacker Dillon Lee (25) watches, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Dan Wolken, USA TODAY

 

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (USA Today) — No two college football dynasties are exactly alike, but they all look the same at the end. At first, they are so mighty it almost takes something from the cosmos to strike them down. Maybe an amazing effort from an opponent, maybe a bolt of bad of luck. Then the veneer of invincibility gets stripped away and those moments tend to come more frequently and forcefully. Before you know it, the run of excellence goes from difficult to maintain to impossible.

It’s hard to say exactly where Nick Saban’s Alabama falls on that spectrum traveled by Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators, Pete Carroll’s USC Trojans and so many others before them. But make no mistake, what happened here at Bryant-Denny Stadium late Saturday night in No. 11 Ole Miss’ 43-37 victory was the clearest sign yet this unbelievable epoch in Alabama football history is much closer to the end than the beginning.

Not because it happened, but because by now it wasn’t much of a surprise.

 

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