Daily Cavalcade: New England vs. Alabama. Who Has The Better Dynasty?

Daily Cavalcade: New England vs. Alabama. Who Has The Better Dynasty?


Daily Cavalcade: New England vs. Alabama. Who Has The Better Dynasty?


The two football superstars are still chugging, with Alabama winning the national title and New England back in the Super Bowl. So who has the better dynasty? 

Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy

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Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …

“The show goes on! This is MY home! They’re gonna need a (bleep)ing WRECKING BALL to take me outta here! They’re gonna need to send in the national guard or the SWAT team, ’cause I ain’t goin’ NOWHERE!”

Everyone says they like to root for David over Goliath. And then their latest delivery from Amazon arrives.

Yeah, the New England Patriots and Alabama Crimson Tide might be the Evil Empires to some, but like it or not, we’re all living in a strange moment in sports history when the two greatest respective college and pro programs – at least in the modern era – are rolling at once.

Of course you could argue about a great run by the Miami Hurricanes here, or the San Francisco 49ers there, or the Steelers, or Sooners, or Packers, or Fighting Irish, but considering the current rules, and parity, and how hard it is to maintain such an elite level of greatness for so long, the two greatest football dynasties are happening right now.

You can debate that the Jordan Bulls run of six championships in eight years was more fun, and certainly the New York Yankees and Boston Celtics enter any discussion of Greatest Sports Dynasties, but the NFL is the king, and college football still owns a significant sector of American sports life.

If you own the NFL or college football, you own the American sports world. And if you’re the coaches at the head of the top teams, then you become coaching gods.

Bill Belichick and Nick Saban might not be everything you want in today’s day and age, but if they’re not the top all-time head coaches in their respective sports, they’re No. 1A.

So which run has been more impressive? Which accomplishment was the harder to achieve? Let’s give this a very, very subjective shot.

The Players

Under Saban, Alabama has had 17 unanimous All-Americans and 65 players were drafted. Since 2000, New England has had 66 Pro Bowl players.

Yeah, New England has been amazing at filling in the parts with okay guys who fit the roles at the right time, but (and no beef if you want to argue the other way) …

Winner: Alabama (considering there’s been a lot more turnover)

THE Player

Tom Brady vs. Heisman winners Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry

Winner: New England

Coaching Tree

Yeah, Saban worked for Belichick. However, who were the other truly great head coaches who came out from under the Belichick coaching tree? There have been plenty of okay ones – Bill O’Brien and Pat Hill – and more are about to spread throughout the NFL, but Kirk Ferentz is the only other fantastic head man.

Out of those who coached under Saban and went on to get big head coaching gigs were Mark Dantonio, Jimbo Fisher, Will Muschamp, Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt, Jim McElwain, Major Applewhite and Jason Garrett. It’s a bit much to give Saban credit for Lane Kiffin, but it was a career-resurrecting move being the Alabama offensive coordinator.

Winner: Alabama

Quarterback Call

Tom Brady over Drew Bledsoe vs. Tua Tagovailoa over Jalen Hurts

Winner: New England

Coaching Charisma

Belichick and Saban both have the personalty of a doorknob, but to be fair, they’re both interesting and engaging when they’re out of the media spotlight.

Saban, though, will at least provide a bit of a window into the Alabama world – he’s brilliant at explaining by breaking down why things are what they are. Belichick doesn’t know or care that you exist.

Winner: Alabama

Coaching Aura

Belichick is doing this in the NFL. Saban isn’t.

Winner: New England

Press Conferences

“We’re on to Cincinnati.”

Winner: New England


“Do your job” vs. “The Process”


Coach Hair

Saban has an all-time great salad deep into his 60s. Belichick’s do, on the wrong day, is just this side of Lloyd Christmas.

Winner: Alabama

Coach Fashion

Belichick has become the fashion icon of chilly, overweight old men everywhere.

The hoodie. Mic drop.

Winner: New England


Deflategate and Spygate vs. an occasional player issue and having a few wins vacated under a previous regime

Winner: New England


Peyton Manning, John Harbaugh, Roger Goodell, and the media vs. Johnny Manziel, Urban Meyer, Deshaun Watson, and the media

Winner: New England


The New York Giants vs. mobile quarterbacks

Winner: New England


David Tyree and Mario Manningham vs. the Kick Six, and a Hunter Renfro catch on a pick play that should’ve been called a penalty

Winner: Alabama

No, really. Heartbreak

How close have the two come to doing even more? New England lost four AFC Championships and two Super Bowls, with both of those losses desperately close to going the other way. There might have been the lost perfect season, but …

A very, very reasonable case could be made that Alabama is the Auburn Kick Six in 2013, one Deshaun Watson drive to end the 2016 season, and one great Tim Tebow fourth quarter in the 2008 SEC Championship away from winning eight of the last ten national championships.

Winner: Alabama

Dumbass Luck

Seattle’s all-timer of a decision to throw in XLIX rather than hand it off to Marshawn Lynch vs. not even winning the division in 2011 and 2017 and getting a monster break to still play for the national title.

Winner: New England 

Consistent Greatness

New England has done it for longer. It won the Super Bowl in 2001, and since then has won the AFC East 15 times in the last 17 years, has played in six straight AFC Championships, is now going to its eighth Super Bowl under Belichick, and already has five Super Bowl wins and will probably get a sixth. However, there was a long stretch from 2005 to 2013 without a Super Bowl.

Saban at Alabama doesn’t have the longevity of Belichick at New England – it’s the same Bear vs. Nick argument in terms of GOAT Bama coaches – but it’s all packed into an amazing run with just one misfire – 2010 going 10-3 – after his first year.

Think of it this way. New England had some disasters against Kansas City – most notably in 2014 and to start this season – and everything turned out fine. Alabama can never, ever, ever suffer a blowout loss – ask Ohio State this season – or else it’s almost certainly sunk.

Because Bama and Saban have to be almost perfect all season, every season, and almost always have been …

Winner: Alabama

Championship Moments

Yeah, the last three Alabama national championship appearances have been all-time classics, but there were also the ugly blowouts vs. Texas to win the 2009 national title, the defensive dominance over LSU in the 2011 season and the blowout over Notre Dame to finish up 2012.

All seven New England Super Bowl appearances under Belichick could arguably belong on any list of the ten greatest games in NFL history.

Winner: New England


Five Super Bowls in the last 16 years, and likely about to be six in the last 17 vs. five national championships in the last nine seasons …

There have been other amazing runs of national titles in college football history. There’s never been anything like this in the Super Bowl era of the NFL.

Winner: New England

The best dynasty is …

The New England run is better – it’s the NFL.

And then there’s Brady.

Whether it was Jordan with the Bulls or Jeter with the Yankees, one of the keys to every major dynasty is an iconic player attached to it. There isn’t one with Alabama, while Brady is the one of ones in terms of American sports royalty now.

As amazing as Alabama has been, and as unbelievable as Saban has been, there’s a difference between pushing out Vince Lombardi in a Greatest of All-Time debate and being in the discussion with Bear Bryant.

Fortunately, all that matters is that we’re getting to witness all of it.

Brady will eventually start playing like a 40+-year-old, Saban will eventually retire and move on, this will all end.

And we’re not going to see anything else like it.


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