Since Nick Saban took over as head coach in 2007, Alabama has been college football's most dominant program, winning 11.4 games per year — that includes a 7-6 mark in his first season — and three national championships. Believe it or not, that might count as underachieving, because the Crimson Tide have been even more dominant off the field.
The class of 2015 is the fifth straight for Bama finishing No. 1 in the 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings, which combine all four major recruiting services into one. It's not much of a stretch to say Saban's program, with all those blue-chip prospects over the years, is the most talented in the history of the sport. And it's shown on the field, which means the so-called Bama Bump exists for a reason.
This year, USC came very close to topping Bama on the Composite thanks to a massive National Signing Day, and even pulled the No. 1 class on Rivals.com. The Trojans added blue chips John Houston and Rasheem Green and are favored for No. 1 CB Iman Marshall, but will still finish a couple points shy on the Composite, assuming no other changes. But Alabama's been by far the favorite for the No. 1 spot for nine months now.
How amazing is Alabama's recruiting run? Consider:
- In the history of Composite rankings, only one other program has finished No. 1 in consecutive years. That streak covered only two cycles: USC in 2005 and '06.
- Alabama has signed 24 five-star prospects since 2011, including six in each of the last three classes.
- The 2014 NFL Draft was the first in which freshmen from the 2011 class could be selected. Eight Alabama players were picked.
- Since 2011, 11 Alabama players have gone off the board in the first round.
- In each of the last two recruiting classes, Alabama has pulled in more five-stars than three-stars.
- The Tide have signed 18 (!) five-star prospects in the last three years. The next-closest team is Florida State with eight.
- Alabama's average finish over the last five years is first (duh). The next-best program over the same stretch, Florida State, has an average finish of 4.4.
- Over the last five years, Alabama has averaged 311.7 Composite points per class. That means the 2015 class, with 311.08 points at the moment, six five stars and 14 four-stars, is only an average Saban class. After USC, the next best in 2015 is Florida State at 286.8, the same distance that separates No. 9 Auburn and No. 15 Oklahoma.
- Alabama has finished with more than 300 points four years in a row. Only two other classes -- Ohio State's in 2013 and USC's this year -- garnered at least 300.
Saban's contract at Alabama runs through 2022, seven more years. While there will be challengers -- Ohio State under Urban Meyer, Florida State under Jimbo Fisher -- it's hard to see Alabama's recruiting dynasty ending anytime soon.