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Why Alabama Wins

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Process, Schmocess

I once had a recruit THIS BIG...
I once had a recruit THIS BIG...
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, The Smoking Musket posted an interesting thinkpiece, arguing that the Alabama dynasty might already be over, we just don't know it yet. I highly recommend you go read it, as it makes a historic argument that we never see the dynasty's end coming.

While I'd like to believe it is always darkest before the dawn, and we are ready for a new Alabama-free era to begin... we aren't going to be that lucky. OK, I do doubt Alabama will win three national titles in four years again if for no other reason that a playoff makes upsets more likely. However, Alabama is still going to be one of the top teams in the country, year-in and year-out, for one simple reason:

Talent.

Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program, and Nick Saban has created a recruiting juggernaut at Alabama that is unmatched in recorded history. I know that recruiting ranking can be a bit arbitrary and inaccurate, but by and large, they give you a pretty good idea of who is hauling in the most talent. And the best teams haul in the most talent.

USC, for example, during their run under Pete Carroll, pulled in the No. 1 class according to rivals.com in three consecutive years. They bookended those classes with a No. 3 class and a No. 2 class. That's an amazing run, and USC was a virtual NFL prep school for a few years. That was a stellar run... and it's nowhere near what Alabama has done under Saban.

Nick Saban's first full recruiting class at Alabama was in 2008. Rivals.com ranked it No. 1 in the nation. He followed that up with a No. 1 class in 2009 and then a No. 5 class in 2010. Run over? Nope. He was just getting started. That 2010 class is not just the worst-ranked recruiting class in Alabama history, it is the only class Nick Saban has had at Alabama that did not rank No. 1.

In seven years, Alabama has six top-ranked recruiting classes. Alabama is on pace to finish on top again in next year's recruiting rankings as well. If Saban pulls that in, and there's no reason to think he won't, Alabama will field a team in which every single player on the roster was part of a No. 1 recruiting class. Every single one. Right now, only the fifth-year seniors failed to rank first.

Alabama fans can blather on about The Process until their blue in the face, but that's not what's fueling this run. It's talent. Nick Saban is not just the best recruiter in the world right now, he is the best recruiter ever.

He'd have to be a drooling moron to not win ten games a year with a roster this stacked. Hint: he's not. LSU doesn't exactly have a weak roster, and Miles has turned this place into every bit of the NFL factory that Alabama is. Miles is a spectacular recruiter, but check his rankings dating back to 2008: 2nd, 6th, 18th, 6th, 6th, 2nd, and 11th.

Those ranks are awesome. Les Miles consistently brings in top 10 classes, and only once (2012) has the recruiting fallen to the lower half of the top 25. Yet even with all of those recruiting victories and all of that talent coming to Baton Rouge, it is absolutely dwarfed by the recruiting juggernaut in Tuscaloosa.

I would love for the Red Menace to be vanquished. I want to live in the world in which Alabama fans are left searching for answers. But we don't live in that world. Until that recruiting machine slows down a tad, the Alabama Dynasty is not going anywhere.