The WSJ has a piece on Saban and the Tide up. It’ll rot behind the paywall, so here’s a few key bits:
With all due respect to the 123 other schools that play major-college football, the sport’s foreseeable future boils down to one question: Can anyone stop Alabama?
The Alabama Crimson Tide, college football’s defending national champion, has become the game’s “it” team, an all-powerful and impervious Death Star of a program. Alabama has won two of the last three national titles. Its coach, Nick Saban, won another one while he was at Louisiana State—meaning he has won the title in three of the past seven college seasons he has coached.
The Tide is a 14-point favorite Saturday over No. 8 Michigan—repeat: a two-touchdown favorite against a top-10 team—in its season opener. The last time Alabama was an underdog was 28 games ago, against Tim Tebow and Florida in the 2009 Southeastern Conference championship game. Result: Bama 32, Florida 13.
And then there’s this:
Since Saban’s arrival in 2007, Alabama has produced 11 first-round NFL draft picks, by far the most in the country. Since 2003, only four colleges have churned out more first-rounders than Alabama has since 2009. Three of those programs—Miami, Ohio State and Southern California—have had NCAA rules-related scandals. The fourth school is LSU, which Saban coached from 2000 to 2004. He signed nine of the Tigers’ 12 first-round draft picks.