Fact or Fiction: Alabama stays on top as long as Saban is in charge
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
1. No program will catch Alabama as long as Nick Saban is in charge.
Farrell’s take: FACT. Georgia won the recruiting title each of the last three seasons before Alabama took over in the 2021 class – and it didn’t matter. Yes, Georgia nearly won a national title, but the Bulldogs lost on a true freshman connection from Tua Tagovailoa to DeVonta Smith. Now that the Alabama roster looks as strong as ever for the foreseeable future, who the heck is going to beat them? No one.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Alabama is the best program in college football and everybody is trying to mimic what the Crimson Tide do in every aspect, but other teams have a very real chance against them and history is on the side of the field. Since 2013, fewer than half of the national championships have gone to Alabama. Before the Crimson Tide won the team recruiting title for the 2021 class, Georgia won three in a row. Clemson, Ohio State and some others battle at that highest level, too. I will never dismiss all of Alabama’s success and the genius of coach Nick Saban, but others have a real shot, too.
2. Oregon will be the next Pac-12 team in the College Football Playoff.
Farrell’s take: FACT. To finish No. 3 in recruiting is amazing for Oregon, and it's the best class the Ducks have ever had. The roster talent will soon be off the charts, and I expect a playoff run next season or the year after that.
Gorney’s take: FACT. The talent accumulation at Oregon is absolutely phenomenal and the Ducks have almost all the tools to make a run at the playoff. I do worry about quarterback play and whether the Ducks have elite players at receiver, but there are five-star players all over the place, a bunch of four-stars and a great coaching staff. USC has a shot, too, especially after this 2021 recruiting class, but right now Oregon has the edge coming out of the Pac-12.
3) The biggest threat to Alabama remains Ohio State.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. As much as I think Alabama is unstoppable, the Tide's biggest competition remains in the SEC with Texas A&M in division and Georgia in the East. Ohio State is a great program and recruiting at a high level, but the way to get Alabama is to get them from week to week, and not after weeks of preparation the way the Buckeyes will need to. I can see Alabama losing its next game to the Aggies or Bulldogs before it loses to anyone in a playoff.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Texas A&M is building something special. Georgia has recruited so well in the last few years that another run at the national title should be inevitable. But Ohio State has been so dominant in the Big Ten (Urban Meyer was 54-4 in the conference and Ryan Day is 15-0) that the Buckeyes use conference games as a tune-up to the College Football Playoff. The Aggies, Bulldogs, Clemson, Oklahoma and Notre Dame all have major tailwinds going on right now, but Ohio State is still the biggest threat.