AIR, LAND, AND SEA (TIDES): Alabama dominated Notre Dame on all fronts and cruised to a national championship. Photo courtesy Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Thanks to Nick Saban and Alabama, the last game in each of the last two seasons has been an absolute snoozer. That’s just how much the tide had, well, rolled.

The Crimson Tide didn’t just beat Notre Dame to capture the first repeat championship since USC got a share of it in 2003 and then stood alone in 2004. And, if you don’t validate that defense, you have to go all the way back to Nebraska in ’94-’95.

But Alabama’s ability to successfully defend their 2011 crown isn’t the most amazing part of this story. It’s HOW they’ve won these past two championships.

First, there’s the defense. ‘Bama didn’t allow a team vying for the national championship to score for the better part of seven quarters of football. It’s laughably unblievable.

Then there’s the fact that the Crimson Tide entered both championships as the #2 seed to an undefeated foe and never for a second looked like an underdog. In Miami last night, they were nearly ten point favorites, the most lopsided line in a decade.

QUICK OUT: Notre Dame put up the same amount of points Alabama did. In the first quarter, that is. Photo courtesy Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Halfway through the first quarter, they covered the spread. By halftime, they’d nearly tripled it.

For 120 minutes — 60 in 2012 and 60 in 2013 — Alabama ran what looked like a clinic against a practice squad defense. If this was the two best teams in the country, it was never much of a race.

You almost felt bad for Notre Dame. They waited, prepared, and practiced for more than a month for this game and, by the second quarter, it was over. It sounds like the 1996 Sugar Bowl that Shane Falco played in (yes, that WAS a The Replacements reference).

But as impressive as everything I mentioned above is, it pales in comparison to the notion of the era of college football in which Alabama accomplished this. It’s hard enough to build a consistent winner when players have a four-year shelf life, but how about when that time is cut in half? So many of these premium players leave early for the NFL leaving their teams scrambling to rebuild just a year after a major bowl win.

For Alabama, it was the perfect storm of a roster. Star seniors returning for their final year of eligibility coupled with freshman capable of making an impact from the moment they walked on campus. And in between? A plethora of sophomores and juniors — including their very underrated quarterback A.J. McCarron — that have helped create one of the deepest, most talented college teams of all time.

If it sounds like I’m brown-nosing Alabama, it’s because I am. This team isn’t good, it is HISTORICALLY good. The only thing that will hold them out of the conversation of being one of the greatest teams of all time was that slip-up against Texas A&M.

People will say (and they have already) that last night’s championship game is the quintessential argument for a playoff system? Why? So Alabama can drain the hope out of two or three programs instead of one?

With the way Alabama played yesterday, who realistically had a chance at beating them? Georgia? They lost. Oregon? Doubtful. Kansas State? Not with the way they played Oregon.

Sure, maybe Johnny Heisman could’ve gotten a rematch, but with two losses there were plenty of teams in line ahead of them. The Aggies wouldn’t have made an 8-team playoff field let alone the 4-team one that will replace the BCS.

Love it or hate it, the BCS worked here. The best team in football ended up on top. Now Alabama has three crystal balls in four years.

Nick Saban can say he’s had success wherever he’s gone (outside of the NFL, anyway), but even he outdid himself on this one.

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NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to follow him @bclienesch for college football updates and other shenanigans!