Thursday night in the 80th edition of the Sugar Bowl the Alabama Crimson Tide were upset by the 14-point underdog Oklahoma Sooners.
The Sooners handled the Crimson Tide 45-31 in an instant classic for the ages.
The loss for Alabama was their second to finish out the 2013 season. The first of the two losses for Alabama came to Auburn in the Iron Bowl and now to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
The Tide now have to rebound starting in 2014 with star quarterback A.J. McCarron exiting following his senior year.
With the loss to Oklahoma and Auburn the Alabama dynasty is now a thing of the past and their run as the king of college football is over.
There have been a number of cases in the past decade where a stunning loss has ended the run of a dominant team in college football. Some examples that are similar to Alabama’s loss include the 2002 national championship game in which Ohio State upset Miami. The loss was the end of the run for a Miami team that had won 34 straight games.
Three years later the USC Trojans had a 34-game winning streak of their own and were looking to become the first team ever to win three straight national titles and were defeated by the Texas Longhorns 41-38 in what some call the greatest college football game ever played.
The loss for USC ended their 34-game win streak and sent them in a downslide that they are still trying to recover from to this day. The Trojans have not returned to the national title game since 2005 and have had multiple head coaches since then.
The Florida Gators were the next team that had an amazing run of dominance as they won the 2006 and 2008 national title game. The Gators were looking for back to back national titles, but were defeated 32-13 in the 2009 SEC title game. The loss for Florida ended their shot at back to back national titles and sent their run of dominance to a sudden halt.
Now, following the Sugar Bowl loss for Alabama against Oklahoma, the run of dominance of Alabama could be coming to an end much like the teams I mentioned earlier. It happens all the time in the game of college football where a team’s dominant run ends unexpectedly and that time appears to be now for the Crimson Tide following the 2013 season.
The Tide have had a run that has been right up there with the greatest of all time, but the reign of greatness could be shifting to another team starting in 2014.
Alabama were winners of the national title in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and became the first team since Nebraska in the mid 1990’s to win three national titles in four years.
The Crimson Tide will now have to try and become the first to team to rebound following an apparent end to that dynasty type run and return to the top right away. It will be very difficult for Alabama as they play in the SEC where the rest of the league has certainly caught up to them and even passed them in some cases.
As the Tide start the 2014 season the interesting question will be whether they immediately return to their dominant ways or if there is an end to their winning ways as they have seen in the past half decade. I feel the loss to Auburn was the beginning of the end of their dynasty for Saban and the rest of the Tide.
The rumors of Saban to Texas had been floating around the past month and with this loss, I wouldn’t be shocked if the rumors begin to pick up once again. Saban signed an extension just over a week ago that pays him $7.5M a year, but if he sees that the end of the dominant run at Alabama is coming to an end he may want to jump ship.
It would give him the opportunity to become the first coach in college football history to win a national title at three different schools. This would cement his legacy in the college football world that much more and don’t kid yourself, he is all about being the best to ever coach in college football.
The end of Alabama’s run is at the end of the road and I will stand by that until further notice. The loss of McCarron, more than anything, will be the reason for the end of this run. Miami experienced it once Ken Dorsey left, USC when Matt Leinart, Florida when Tim Tebow left, and now possibly Alabama will experience it now that McCarron is leaving.
The Tide will rebuild no doubt about that, but the days of national title trips seemingly every year are done with for the Tide faithful.