When it comes to sports, excellence should and is admired. There should always be a standard, a target for other teams and individuals to shoot for. Alabama is that program in college football. They have won 3 of the last 5 national titles, and 4 of the last 7. If they beat Clemson Monday night, it will be 5 titles in 8 years. If you’re a non-Alabama fan you just congratulate them, and shake your head at how dominate they’ve become under Nick Saban.
It’s also bad for the sport of college football. Excellence is praised – total domination is boring. It’s not Alabama’s fault and they obviously don’t care if they keep winning title after title. The rest of college football has to catch them somehow, but like women’s college basketball with UCONN and their 4 straight titles 6 titles in 8 years it’s not good overall for the sport. It’s boring, un-interesting, and creates a lack of competitiveness in a sport.
The national interest in women’s college basketball is as low as I can remember. It’s not like in the late 90s when the Tennessee and UCONN rivalry brought women’s basketball to the fringe of the national consciousness.
When FSU was running through the ACC in the 1990s to the tune of a 70-2 record and 9 straight ACC Titles, it did not elevate or create interest in ACC Football. In fact once FSU went into decline during 2000s, most of the conference was in such disarray it led to one of the worst era’s of ACC football from 2001-2012 when the ACC won just 1 BCS Bowl game.
How has Alabama’s dominance helped the SEC the last few years? SEC football not named Alabama is at it’s lowest level in at least a decade. Even USAToday agrees it’s time for the other SEC schools to stop rooting for Alabama.
The reflexive instinct is to cheer on the Tide against the Tigers, just as they would at any other time in any other nonconference matchup, in the belief that victory would demonstrate the SEC’s continued dominance.
In reality, it would simply illustrate — and exacerbate — Alabama’s continued domination of college football’s proudest conference.
That’s why college football needs Clemson, or for that matter anyone to slow the Crimson Tide freight train. The SEC is just a speed bump for the Tide, it has to be someone from outside the SEC. Clemson gets their shot Monday.