HOOVER, Ala. — As mundane and — frankly — flat as this year’s edition of SEC media times ended up, Alabama head mentor Nick Saban served up a comment which, when looked at in the suitable context, ought to provide as an elephant-sized gut punch to the relaxation of the league.

In a second wherever some thought the 65-yr-outdated Saban experienced possibly shed his marbles or was hinting at a foreseeable future in bad stand-up comedy, the mentor provided this compliment to the relaxation of the SEC.

“I have a incredible amount of respect for a ton of teams in our league,” Saban mentioned. “I am trying to consider of somebody in our league that I really don’t have a incredible amount of respect for. … I consider you will find a ton of parity in our league. I consider it truly is extremely challenging from a regularity standpoint in our league.

“So I have incredible amount of respect, and I really don’t see us staying any different than any person else when it arrives to the problems of preparing and finding all set to enjoy actually fantastic teams that we have a incredible amount of respect for.”

It was a fantastic try at lifting up a team that is eons away from Saban and his system — he even threw in a remark about how young his workforce is! — but the coach’s statements carried little fat in a home comprehensive of media minds. Saban may be trying to insinuate that teams are a ton closer to the best — wherever his workforce sits easily — than lovers or the media may recognize, but that isn’t really remotely legitimate.

There is parity in the league, sure, but only powering Saban and his Crimson Tide. No, teams do not prepare, build or build the same way Alabama does. That’s why the SEC is a 1-workforce league, and the hole is so significant suitable now that it almost seems foolish to ponder buying an individual in addition to Alabama to get the convention so lengthy as Saban is coaching in Tuscaloosa.

“The regularity of that system in excess of the years did not occur overnight,” mentioned Texas A&M mentor Kevin Sumlin, who is 1-4 from Saban’s Tide all through his time with the Aggies. “I consider persons comprehend that. But you won’t be able to argue that that is the mark, and that is wherever everybody would like to be.

“You can get a ton of game titles in the West, and that 1 can choose its toll on you. I consider it took its toll on us the past pair of years, matter of reality.”

Alabama takes its toll on every person. In the past three seasons, the Tide have owned the league, winning 25 of 27 game titles from SEC opponents. The only SEC West opponent who has managed to defeat Alabama since Auburn’s magical kick-six get in 2013 is Ole Pass up (twice) the SEC East, in the meantime, is -9 from the Crimson Tide.

Of Alabama’s 25 wins in excess of SEC opponents in three seasons, 20 have been by double figures, which include the past eight — which Alabama received by a put together 219 points (27.4-issue margin of victory). All through that stretch, 5 different SEC teams have received 10 game titles, but West has mainly unsuccessful to challenge the Tide. The East, for its part, has been commonly condemned as 1 of the nation’s worst divisions.

Alabama has been the national darling, posting three consecutive University Football Playoff appearances and a 1-1 document in the national title sport. But the fat of the system is dragging the relaxation of the league down, producing (at very best) 13 onlookers and (at worst) sacrificial lambs.

Even journeys to Atlanta have turn out to be mundane for the Tide Alabama has pulverized the East champion 125-44 in the past three game titles it has performed in the Georgia Dome.

“I really don’t know the hole by itself [between Alabama and the rest of the SEC],” mentioned Jim McElwain, whose Gators have been outscored 83-31 by Alabama in the past two SEC title game titles. “I do comprehend this: They’re suitable now at the best, and, you know, it truly is up to the relaxation of us to go get them.”

Even though the hole is substantial, successful recruiting is the crucial to dethroning the Tide. Thankfully, SEC teams have taken comprehensive benefit of the fertile recruiting ground they have obtain to in the South. Even though Alabama has hauled in three No. 1 lessons in the past 4 years, the league has landed 16 other best-10 lessons, in accordance to ESPN’s class rankings.

The crop of head coaches in today’s SEC may not be on par with the distinguished figures that held workplace all through Saban’s early Alabama years (Urban Meyer, Mark Richt, Phillip Fulmer and Les Miles), but the amount of talent this league appeals to is nonetheless enormous. And if you happen to be likely to choose quality swipes at Alabama’s effective main, you have to continually recruit at an elite amount.

“The major issue is recruiting and advancement,” mentioned Georgia mentor Kirby Good, who put in nine seasons with Saban at Alabama and signed this year’s No. 3 class. “And I consider each and every workforce in this convention is trying to enjoy capture-up in regards to that. I consider each individual one’s finding closer, and we would like to see that hole shut by means of recruiting.”

Saban is the 1 legitimate king of the SEC. He sits on the league’s iron throne, and when a couple teams are jockeying to overthrow him, none enter the 2017 period healthy to even contact his toes. With Saban harboring no intentions of stepping down anytime quickly, the league’s sport of perpetual capture-up will only tire persons out.

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