Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide have the opportunity to win the BCS National Championship for a second straight season, and in the process gain even more of an advantage on the recruiting trail.
It sounds almost unfair at this point, but believe me, even Alabama could use the extra help with recruiting.
If we've learned anything through this college football season, its that the Crimson Tide certainly aren't alone on top of the college football world.
Don't get me wrong—until proven otherwise, the Crimson Tide boast the best program in the land, and they are indeed the defending national champions. That said, other programs have risen up this past season and at least look like they can potentially challenge Alabama in the next few seasons.
In Notre Dame's case, Brian Kelly and his program have the talent to challenge Alabama tonight, but I digress...
Texas A&M has quickly become the hottest program in the nation thanks to sensational freshman and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, and with the way Kevin Sumlin and his staff are recruiting, the Aggies will be a major contender in the SEC for years to come.
That's not even to mention a Les Miles-led LSU program, or Florida and Georgia in the SEC. Michigan is slowly but surely rebuilding in the Big Ten, and Urban Meyer and Ohio State are undoubtedly contenders. USC has an extremely bright future, and the same could be said for Oregon in the Pac-12. Then there's Florida State and Clemson in the ACC, two programs with immense potential.
Alabama is the top team right now, but there are a ton of programs out there that have the potential to take that away from the Crimson Tide. Notre Dame is first up, but there's a long line of competitors waiting for a chance.
How would a win tonight impact Crimson Tide recruiting? Simply put, it would reinforce Alabama's dominance for one more recruiting cycle.
With so many other programs really starting to build legitimate contenders through recruiting, the playing field is going to undoubtedly start to even out a bit on the recruiting trail.
Alabama has done an excellent job of recruiting in the 2013 cycle, but it's not the only program that can recruit well, mind you. Notre Dame is currently ranked No. 1 overall by Rivals.com, Ohio State is ranked No. 3, USC is No. 4 and Florida rounds out the top five. Alabama checks in at No. 2 currently.
As these programs improve on the field, their presence on the recruiting trail will improve as well, and it's not like any of these top-five programs needed much of a credibility boost anyhow.
The 2013 cycle isn't done yet, but a second straight BCS Championship win would really impact Alabama's standing with 2014 recruits, and it will even have ripple effects into the 2015 class. The fact of the matter is that Alabama isn't the only big-time school elite recruits can choose, and with the emergence of Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Ohio State and others, that's becoming extremely clear.
A win over Notre Dame would grant Alabama one more year in the spotlight as "the" program in college football. A win over Notre Dame would be a tremendous way to solidify recruits for 2013, but it would be an even bigger catalyst moving into the 2014 class for Saban.
That would give him another year on the recruiting trail as the undisputed best coach in football with the undisputed best program in football.
As far-fetched as it seems to Alabama fans, that's not a title that Saban or Alabama is guaranteed to hold on to. In fact, with other college football powerhouses on the rise, it's a title that will be in jeopardy sooner rather than later.
In fact, Alabama could lose that title tonight.
The recruiting trail is going to even out sooner rather than later for Saban and Alabama. If they can win a second straight BCS Championship, though, that will be put off for another recruiting cycle.