Alabama Future Power Rankings 

June, 18, 2013
6/18/13
1:36
PM ET
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- If you're an Alabama fan still basking in the glory of consecutive BCS National Championships, take a second to forget the here and now. You should be well acquainted with that line of thinking, thanks to UA head coach Nick Saban and his borderline obsession with avoiding all talk of the past, but in case you aren't, pay attention.

Rather than revel in yesterday's success, let's take a look forward at ESPN's Future Power Rankings, which has Alabama ranked No. 1, and see what lies ahead for Alabama's dynasty:

The Tide will rise if ...

[+] EnlargeNick Saban
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesEven at 61, Nick Saban's tenacity is as evident as ever.
There's not a lot of room to improve upon back-to-back national championships and three titles in four years, but so long as Nick Saban is at the helm, Alabama fans have to feel good about the trajectory of the program moving forward. Even at 61 years old, the Crimson Tide's domineering head coach hasn't shown any signs of slowing down, whether that's on the football field or on the recruiting trail.

It should be no secret by now, but Alabama's success in recent seasons can be traced directly back to its dominance in recruiting. Since Saban's first full year recruiting for UA in 2008, the Tide has never finished outside the top three of ESPN's class rankings, and this past February, Alabama completed back-to-back No. 1 signing classes. No other program in the country can claim either such feat.

But unlike some top signing classes that haven't panned out elsewhere, Alabama has found a way to avoid the big bust, thanks in large part to Saban's methodical style of coaching. Every piece of the puzzle, down to physical build and specific traits like pad level and fluid hips, is mapped out. If a player doesn't fit the scheme, he doesn't get signed. If he then doesn't understand the playbook, he doesn't play. The rules, in Saban's way of coaching, are not meant to be broken. And it's the biggest reason why Alabama is an annual championship contender. So long as Saban is keeping the Tide on track by sticking to his guns, the opportunity to win titles will be part of life in Tuscaloosa.

Drive Through: On The Line In Week 4
Heather Dinich explains who has the most to gain, and who has the most to lose when it comes to the drive to the national championship this weekend.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

SEC SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 9/18
Saturday, 9/20