Alabama Football: The Most Dominant Program in College Football History
The University of Alabama is one of the most successful college football programs in history. The Crimson Tide have won 18 national championships, more than any other school in the country. Alabama has also won more SEC championships (32) and bowl games (37) than any other school.
The Early Years: The Bear Bryant Era
The University of Alabama's football program began in 1892. The team's early years were marked by mediocrity, with only a few winning seasons. However, all of that changed in 1963 when Paul "Bear" Bryant was hired as head coach.
Bryant is considered by many to be the greatest college football coach of all time. He led Alabama to six national championships (1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979) and 23 SEC championships. Bryant retired from coaching in 1982, but his legacy lives on.
The Nick Saban Era: The Modern Dynasty
After Bryant retired, Alabama struggled to find consistent success. The team had only two winning seasons in the 1980s and 1990s. However, all of that changed in 2007 when Nick Saban was hired as head coach.
Saban played college football for Kent State as a defensive back in the early 1970's. Upon graduation, he stuck around as a graduate assistant before leaving for Syracuse in 1977 to coach outside linebackers. Saban would bounce around the country in various assistant coaching positions until 1988, when he joined the Houston Oilers to coach defensive backs. Short lived, he spent a single season with the Oilers before returning to college football to become the head coach at Toledo in 1990. He would join the Cleveland Browns as defensive coordinator in 1991 and then serve as head coach at Michigan State, LSU, and with the NFL's Miami Dolphins before landing in Tuscaloosa.
Saban's time at Alabama has been unmatched. He has led Alabama to six national championships (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2020) and six SEC championships. Saban is the winningest coach in college football history with 186 wins and has produced quite the coaching tree, with Georgia's Kirby Smart top of mind.
We previously wrote about how many books have been written about Nick Saban. You can check out that article here.
The Future: Alabama's Dynasty Continues
It is hard to imagine a future in which Alabama is not one of the top college football programs in the country. The school has a rich tradition of success, and it has one of the best coaches in the game in Nick Saban. While some may point out that Saban is 71 years old, he certainly hasn't show any signs of slowing down. Alabama is sure to continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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