Low: Tide always wearing a bull's-eye

Kirby Smart said he started to see a more emotional Nick Saban during the 2012 team's run to the national title led by AJ McCarron. Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports

Don't even think about uttering the dreaded "D" word within earshot of Alabama coach Nick Saban.

You know ... Dynasty.

The only thing that interests Saban less than what the Crimson Tide have accomplished to this point is what kind of legacy he's establishing at a place that already claims 15 national football championships.

"Every team stands on its own, and every team has something to prove," Saban said. "It's not a continuation. We'll find out about this team this year, and that's the only thing that any of us are concerned about."

Perhaps so, but the rest of the college football world is watching intently to see if Alabama can make it three straight national championships and four in the past five seasons.

Not since Minnesota (1934-36) has a school won three consecutive national titles in college football. None has won four outright national titles in a five-year span since Yale, which won six in seven years, from 1882 to 1888, and only a select few schools were playing football in those days.

What's more, this current run by Alabama comes at a time when college football is thriving, particularly in the SEC. Three other schools -- Auburn, Florida and LSU -- have contributed to the league's streak of seven straight national championships.

But even with the rest of the SEC flexing its collective muscle, it's difficult to see any end to Alabama's run, especially given the recruiting machine that Saban has built.

"Nobody's going to out-recruit them, and I think [Saban] could have an easy 10 more years," said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.

"So there's no telling how many more championships he could win there. You still need some breaks here and there, but he could win more of those [national titles] than anybody. Three out of four years ... that is amazing."

To read more of Chris Low's story, click here.