Death, taxes, and Alabama football are the only three constants in life. The quarterback, the defense, the coaches, the fans—these things are interchangeable. The institution remains the same; the stadium cannot be moved. The national titles and SEC Championships are forever in the record books. Forever and always, the once and future king.
Alabama is the fourth of Newton’s Laws. They are a physically imposing entity, one that suffocates teams into losses and has been for the entirety of college football. The Crimson Tide’s defense makes opposing offenses forget they had a game plan.
Take last Saturday: if Alabama’s defense is the irresistible force, Leonard Fournette was the immovable object. Note that past tense: Fournette was held to 31 yards on 19 carries, good for 1.6 yards per carry. Alabama blew out LSU 30-16, ending their national title aspirations.
Alabama does this every year, it seems like, because they exist outside the laws of nature and man. Their laws are the laws of college football, something they took part in shaping. Imagine if a mere mortal traveled to Mt. Olympus to battle Zeus using thunderbolts.
That is why this season has been so peculiar for the Tide. Their quarterbacks traditionally aren’t the best parts of the team, but Jake Coker, while good enough to be the starting quarterback for Alabama, is on the lesser-than side of Blake Sims, who himself was on the lesser-than side of AJ McCarron. Going into the season, their defense was not thought of as being a prototypical Alabama defense. Giving up 43 points against Ole Miss made the critics louder.
After the Ole Miss game, the sharks circled. Historically for Alabama, it was one of the worst losses ever. The ship was righted after the game, blowing out every team they’ve faced with the exception of Tennessee.
Alabama has four more games to win to get to the College Football Playoff. Three of those are SEC, including the SEC Title game, a grudge match from another generation against the Florida Gators, and the Iron Bowl against hated rival Auburn.
If Alabama stumbles this season, rest assured they will be back the next season. And the season afterwards, as well as in ten years. That stadium will still be there, and fans will continue to flock. The statues and trophies will be worshipped forever. Forever and always, the once and future king.