Why the State of Alabama Rules College Football
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Over the past few years, talk around the country has seen how the SEC has dominated college football, but let's be specific here.
It's the state of Alabama that has dominated college football.
Its two best-known universities have won four straight BCS trophies: three by Alabama and one by Auburn. And as we are well aware, Auburn is about to play for the state's fifth BCS title in a row. Yes, its fifth.
No state has done that in modern football. And to top things off, the quarterback of the No 1 team in the country is from Birmingham, Alabama, and he's most likely your 2013 Heisman Trophy winner.
Why is the state of Alabama this good at football?
First of all, it's coaching. Nick Saban is the best college coach in America, and he's being paid as such. We knew Saban was a rather good coach before he got to Tuscaloosa, but we've seen, with the right tools around him, how dominant he can be.
Same with Gus Malzahan. Auburn's miracle worker knows offense and proved it. He took a bad team -- the Tigers had a 3-9 record last year -- and made them one of the best in the country in his first season at the helm, one that saw him beat the best coach in the country.
It also doesn't hurt that both of these gentlemen know how to recruit to their needs, whether within the state or out.
Secondly, it's the players. Despite how small the state is, Alabama high schools have produced an impressive list of the nation's best players. Alabama running back TJ Yeldon and quarterback AJ McCarron, for example, are Alabama natives.
Bo Jackson is from a small town outside of Birmingham. So is Jameis Winston.
Winston is a rarity. He's one of the few players who got out of the state. The caveat is he wanted to be part of a strong baseball program, too, and found it at Florida State.
Most of the best players in this state, though, go to either Alabama or Auburn. If one of those schools wants you, they get you. Of course, they also attract plenty of players from outside the state. Auburn running back Tre Mason is a Florida native, and Alabama defensive back Landon Collins was taken from under LSU's nose.
Do you think any of the Florida schools or LSU could have used those players this year?
It also doesn't hurt that Alabama and Auburn are on TV frequently, win championships, and send a brace of players to the NFL.
So, if you're wondering where your next BCS Champion will be coming from, you might do well to look to a place I call sweet home.