Alabama's dominance is sucking the life out of the 2016 college football season.
Heading into most college football seasons, regardless of what delusional die-hard fans believe, there are only a dozen or so teams that are capable of winning the College Football Playoff. This year, that number is much, much smaller. In fact, it might be one. Alabama, the odds-on favorite to win the national title (again), looks leaps and bounds better than any other team in the country.
Alabama's most-recent win, a 49-10 thumping of Tennessee, coupled with less-than-stellar performances from Clemson and Ohio State, has many in the industry suggesting that every other team in the country may be playing for second place.
Unfortunately, that means the Crimson Tide's dominance is hurting college football.
No, it has nothing to do with the brand of football that Alabama plays. The Crimson Tide, which has put up at least 34 points in every game this season, is playing a much more exciting kind of football that it has in the past, when it was criticized for winning "boring." The issue? Fans of other teams are getting fed up with Alabama always having the most dominant team in the country. When fans feel their team can't win, it hurts the sport.
Alabama has won four of the past seven national titles - including last year's College Football Playoff National Championship Game over Clemson. Since Nick Saban's first season in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is 105-12 with no worse than 11 wins in a season. It isn't hard to see why - Alabama has had the nation's top recruiting class (per 247 Sports) for the last six seasons in a row. Saban is one of the best talent developers in the business, too. Regardless of whether you believe that Saban is the best coach in the sport, he's put together the most consistently dominant program of all-time during his tenure.
College football is full of proud programs that pour millions of dollars into putting together title-contending teams. Look around the country - schools like USC, Oregon, Texas, Oklahoma, LSU, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Georgia and more - all plan on competing for a national title every year. All of them - except for maybe Ohio State - are in awe of what's going on down in Tuscaloosa. Fans of their teams, too, know what's going on. Until Saban hangs it up to focus on his golf game, Alabama is going to continue doing what it's doing. That means years of their favorite team not being able to compete with the Crimson Tide.
Remember, at least some level of parity is essential in sports. Fans have to believe that their team has a chance every year - or at least every few years. That isn't the case right now. If your team is playing Alabama, you assume that it's going to lose - badly.
Would college football be better off if it had multiple title contenders spread out across the country? Of course it would. Don't give me the "dynasties are good for sports" argument either - that's only true at the professional level.
You certainly can't blame Alabama for what's happened. The Crimson Tide has figured out how to dominate a sport that sees forced personnel turnover every four-to-five seasons. It's downright amazing what the program has been able to accomplish. But it is also hurting the natural interest in the sport. The only people who don't believe that wear crimson and white on Saturdays.