While we are thinking about returning starters, new VHT players about to step up, how incredible Coach Saban is, and just how perfect a gameday in Tuscaloosa (or, I'm betting, Dallas) is going to be this year, I wonder if we shouldn't take a moment and marvel at and really appreciate just how great things are right now and how amazing they've been now for four seasons. I certainly agree with the "We're Alabama and we're supposed to be the cream of the crop of college football," but the fact is that we've not always been.
The fact is, if you're under 40 years old, the current Alabama football program is the best that it's ever been in your memory. If you're under 45, maybe even 50, it's the best it's ever been while you were adult enough to really appreciate it. I can guarantee you that it won't remain this way forever, or for even more than 3-5 years if we're lucky. We will go 7-5 (but hopefully not 3-9) again. I say this not to cause worry about a future that none of us is even guaranteed to see, but to encourage you to realize how special what we're in the middle of really is, and how unlikely it is that we will find it again anytime soon after Coach Saban departs.
Alabama football is special and unique, and to hell with those who would say otherwise. But UT and Nebraska fans circa 2000, Miami fans a few years later, boog fans in 2007, and Texas fans in 2009 would have all laughed at the idea that their programs could fracture and fail in a few years' time. They are not laughing now. (Except boog fans for a few months in 2010; credit due where credit is purchased.)
I implore you to take a moment to appreciate that we are currently where we have always said we belong and to give thanks that we got back there. Enjoy every minute of it while we're here while realizing that we won't be here forever. No man, or team, is promised a run as good as we have had; that we have the man and, during this time, 100s of players who will work for it is not something to take lightly and assume to be eternal.
Eleven days until we show where we are again.