Is Oregon's dynasty in danger?

Alabama, Ducks had off seasons, but who's at greater risk for a repeat?

Originally Published: August 22, 2014
By Brad Edwards | ESPN Insider

Nick Saban and Mark HelfrichGetty Images, USA TODAY SportsNick Saban and Mark Helfrich are staring down uncertain seasons.

All runs of dominance eventually come to an end. It's a truth of human history -- not just sports or college football.

Another truth is that we rarely recognize the downturn at the moment it begins. Usually, the slide is well underway before we realize that it's not just a temporary slump.

Only two teams in the FBS have won at least 10 games in each of the past six seasons -- the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Oregon Ducks. Both were undefeated entering November 2013, but both finished with two losses.

When a dominant program ends a season with a couple of late setbacks, it usually raises the question: "Is this the beginning of the end?" Let's take a closer look at those teams through the prisms of on-field play, coaching and recruiting to attempt to find an answer.

• Analyzes college football and the CFB Playoff as part of ESPN's Stats & Information Group
• Analyst for both College GameDay on ESPN Radio and the ESPN College Football app