Nick Saban's Crimson Tide is picked to be the National Champion once again in college football. If they accomplish this enormous task, it would place this group of "Red Elephants" at the top of the list for the game's all-time best dynasty. Going into the 2013 season, only two other programs have won three titles in a four year stretch. (Notre Dame in 1946, 1947, 1949, and Nebraska in 1994, 1995, and 1997) 'Bama has won titles in 2009, 2011, and 2012 and when you throw in the rings they get from winning SEC titles and SEC Divisional titles, Tide players could be called, "The Masters of Bling."
The biggest question of all seems to be, "How does the Alabama dynasty come to work each day, still enthused, and still focused on winning?" Offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandijo says, "Football is an everyday thing. It's like a tree. Each day you either grow or you die. Every day is supposed to be a struggle, a struggle to get better. Some days I go out there and I really don't want to do it, but I know I'm going to die out there or get better."
The word, "die" may be a bit far fetched, though some detractors will tell you it fits a Nick Saban program. Believe it or not, there are already comparisons between Saban and the godly "Bear" Bryant in Tuscaloosa. Saban is a mere two National Championships away from tying Coach Bryant's total of six. When or if he reaches that total, then the discussions can begin regarding the greatest coach of all-time. No program has ever won three titles in a row, but if Alabama does the expected in 2013, that greatest coach discussion might start a bit early.
Standing in "Bama's way is perhaps the toughest SEC ever. The league is also going after an eighth straight National Crown and while LSU may be a bit down this season, Texas A&M, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida will provide the Tide's biggest competition. I remember back in 1992, when the SEC split into two divisions and started playing a league championship game, a well intentioned sportswriter made this statement; "It will be a long time before the SEC wins another national title. The league is too tough, too competitive. They'll just beat up on each other and play themselves out of the title picture." Alabama won the National Title in 1992, and since that season, an SEC team has won eleven of the twenty championships.
I am not ready to make a prediction one way or the other regarding Alabama's chances of winning the 2013 National Championship. Besides, it really doesn't matter a hill of beans who I think will win it all. To go even further, it doesn't matter a hill of beans who predicts who will win the title. It's just topics for conversation, that's all. But since the season is still more than six weeks away, it's fun to talk about.
There are also some other hot topics in the SEC for this fall; What will Johnny Manziel do for an encore at Texas A&M after being the first freshman to win a Heisman Trophy, will South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney be the first defensive player to win a Heisman since Charles Woodson beat out Peyton Manning in 1997, will Butch Jones make progress returning the Tennessee Volunteers to their spot among the SEC elite programs in 2013, will Georgia or South Carolina finally be able to snap the SEC West's stranglehold on the league championship event, ( five in a row)? The answers to those questions and many more are coming in just a few weeks. Get ready.......
Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).