In all walks of life, one thing is constant and that is change. No matter what facet we are talking about, this remains true. In everything there are cycles and nothing stays the same. This is especially true in sports. Dynasties rise and fall, even if it’s just for a time.
Now, this isn’t a philosophical article. However, there seems to be a shift going on in college football, especially in its strongest conference, the SEC. For years now the Crimson Tide of Alabama has ruled at the top of the mountain and they are certainly still a dominant force. However, what is changing is the fact that they are having to share the mountaintop.
Once again, Alabama is still one of the biggest dogs in the yard, however, the key phrase here is ‘one of’. For a long time, no one had a bigger bark, or bite than Nick Saban. It just seems that the element of invincibility that once resided in Tuscaloosa is beginning to fade. Let me reiterate, this is still a great and proud program, they are simply a program that may not stand alone any longer.
Let’s be real, Kirby Smart seems to be building a juggernaut in Georgia. After losing a large portion of his starters to the NFL coming into this season, Smart was looking to have somewhat of a rebuilding year in Athens. Granted, they were still going to be good this season, however, maybe not projected to be this good. As of this writing, the Bulldogs sit undefeated and number one in the nation. It seems that Georgia is doing a lot more reloading than rebuilding and at the rate, they are recruiting they will not be going away anytime soon.
Then you have the sudden rise of Brian Kelly and the LSU. Granted, we are only one season in and the jury is still out on the longevity of success, however, the Tigers are in the driver’s seat to win the west in his first season. Kelly has an impressive resume and there is a lot of history and success in Baton Rouge. The Tigers could be major players for a long time.
The SEC is well known for its biggest players at the top, however, what sometimes gets lost in the sauce is the conference’s incredible depth. There are a plentiful amount of good programs within the conference. Programs like Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, and Kentucky, as well as a rising South Carolina. You have Texas A&M, Florida, and Auburn who historically are in the mix and even Missouri and Vanderbilt are trending in the right direction.
The Crimson Tide have manned the throne for a very long time in the SEC and this isn’t to say they can’t reclaim the crown. However, the battle for supremacy has certainly become much more difficult to continue to reign at the top of the kingdom. We very well may be in the midst of a shift in power and the SEC has become much more interesting.