Move over Alabama, Clemson Tigers poised to become college football’s new dominant team

Clemson-Clemson Tigers-College Football Playoff

Perhaps it’s ironic that in this modern age of parity across all sports, there has been really only one measuring stick in college football during the last decade. Unsurprisingly, that would be the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Over the last decade, Alabama has lost more than two games in a season just once. While the program has gone undefeated just once as well, the Crimson Tide have recorded four 1-loss years under Nick Saban.

Since he took over as head coach, Alabama owns a 130-20 record. That gives the program a .867 win percentage — impressive even by video game standards. The remarkable record includes 7 bowl victories and four national titles.

During the Saban era at Alabama, no other team has won the national championship multiple times.

In the SEC, Alabama’s dominance has been even more impressive. Saban has won the conference championship five times since 2009. During that stretch, no other Power 5 team has won its conference outright more than four times (Oklahoma has won a share of the Big 12 five times since 2009).

As far as the College Football Playoff is concerned, only Alabama has earned a spot in the playoffs during all four years of its existence.

And while there doesn’t seem to be any indication that Saban and the Crimson Tide are going to slow down, there are these new kids on the block — the Clemson Tigers.

Clemson enters this postseason as the defending champions and No. 1 seed of the playoff tournament. The Tigers own as many conference titles in the last three years as they have losses — 3 — and 1 of those defeats was to Alabama in the national championship at the end of 2015. Clemson got its revenge in the title game last year, winning its first championship in more than three decades.

Could this third straight playoff matchup between Alabama and Clemson be a changing of the guard in college football? The winner will become the favorite to capture the big hardware on Jan. 9 once again.

More than likely, both programs will continue to have success in the coming years, but without a doubt, Clemson has joined Alabama as a measuring stick of success in college football. In some ways, the Tigers have already past Alabama.

For three straight years, the Crimson Tide have lost a coordinator to a coaching job ahead of the College Football Playoff. Kirby Smart, Lane Kiffin and Jeremy Pruitt all took advantage of their time at Alabama and landed head coaching gigs elsewhere.

Although the Tigers possess equally worthy head coaching candidates, that’s not happening at Clemson. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables has been connected to several schools over the last few offseasons, and this winter, co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott have been, too.

But none have jumped ship. They all seem to value what they’ve built at Clemson and realize how special their current run could end up being.

“I’ve never been in a hurry to take off and leave,” Scott said, according to The Post and Courier. “If that opportunity comes one day, then I’ll know it. But right now, I’m really excited about the future.”

“I think anytime you’re in this position, you want to aspire to reach the highest level, so it was a tremendous honor to even be considered,” Elliott said, declining to say whether he actually interviewed at Central Florida. “But the timing’s not right. I’ve got a lot of things that I’ve got to work on. I’m still trying to be the best offensive coordinator I can be.”

As long as Saban is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is going to be Alabama, but how special a place Clemson must be right now when assistant coaches won’t leave unless it’s for the perfect situation. The same can’t be said for any other program, not even Alabama.

While Swinney has obviously been the catalyst in the Clemson program, it’s the entire coaching staff that has turned the Tigers into national contenders. The players have changed — don’t forget, they lost the best quarterback in the country — yet the continuum throughout the coaching staff has Clemson on the doorstep of a repeat.

And if they beat Alabama again, the Tigers might just be the model program in college football.

The post Move over Alabama, Clemson Tigers poised to become college football’s new dominant team appeared first on Diehards.

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