No one, not even the most hardcore Auburn Tigers fan, can argue that. In fact, just coming off another national title, Alabama is in the midst of the most dominant run in college football in a long, long time.
How good has Alabama been the last seven years? Really, really, REALLY good. They’ve won three of the last four BCS National Championships. In the last seven seasons (including Mike Shula’s last), the Crimson Tide have won 74 games and lost only 19. In that span, they have beaten opponents by an average of 18 points. Wow.
The Tide can certainly lay claim to being the greatest college football team in the last seven years. But can they claim to be the greatest college football dynasty of all time? How does their recent run stand up against what most considered the most powerful dynasty of the modern era: the Miami Hurricanes of the 1980s?
Let’s compare the last seven seasons of Alabama football to the first seven seasons of the Hurricane dynasty — 1983 to 1989. During that span, the Hurricanes won 74 games and lost only 11. That’s a winning percentage of .871 compared to the Tide’s seven year winning percentage of .796. In seven seasons, the Canes won three National Championships, the same number as the Tide, but played for five. That’s five national title contentions in seven years. During those seven years, Miami dominated at home winning 41 out of 45 games, a .911 winning percentage. In the last seven years, Alabama has won 42 out of 50 home games, an .840 winning percentage. Both Miami and Alabama boasted Heisman Trophy winners.
What about team stats? Well, for the last seven years, Alabama has outscored opponents by an average score of 32 to 14. The Miami Hurricane teams of the 1980s beat teams by an average score of 33 to 13. Not a huge difference, but still better than the current Tide squads.
The bottom line is that the great Miami Hurricane teams of the 1980s are better in nearly every statistical category than the recent Alabama teams over the same time span. They won the same number of national titles and played for one more than Alabama.
Alabama is good. No, they are great in historic terms, but the greatest of all time they are not.
At least, not yet.
It is important to remember that after this seven year run of success, Miami went on to play for two more national championships in 1991 and 1992, winning one while running off 29 consecutive victories. If Alabama can maintain another three or four years of greatness like Miami did, they can surely lay claim to being the greatest college football dynasty of the modern era.
However, for now, that title is still reserved for the swaggering, super-tough Miami teams of the ’80s.