The Alabama dynasty will not end.

Auburn has tried to end it. Clemson has tried to end it. Georgia has tried to end it. And yet Nick Saban's Crimson Tide are showing no signs of slowing down. On Monday, Alabama won its second national title in three years and fifth in nine years by erasing a 13-point deficit with backup true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who threw a walk-off 41-yard touchdown to beat Georgia in overtime.

Alabama fielded an excellent team in the 2017 season, but by no means was it an all-time great college football team, despite its national championship. However, this Crimson Tide squad added more strength to the argument that Alabama is in the midst of the most impressive era of single-team dominance in college football history.

Defining the word "dynasty" in sports can be tricky, but in putting together the list of the 10 best, we're using the following criteria:

  • The list begins in 1900.
  • To be considered, teams must have had a period in which they won two national championships in three years, with at least one more championship around the same period of time.
  • There must have been a clear period of sustained top-10 success, with few or no down years.
  • There has to be minimal overlap with another team that might have a claim to the "dynasty" label in the same period of time. It's not a dynasty when another team had similar success at the same time.

1. Alabama, 2008-present

Duration: 10 years
National titles: 5
Top 10s: 10

There have already been several natural endings, points in time that would have been an appropriate punctuation to mark the end of Alabama's era of dominance. It could have been the Kick Six in November 2013. It could have been Deshaun Watson finding Hunter Renfrow in the end zone with one second left a year ago. All college football dynasties come to an end; sustaining such a high level of success for a decade, uninterrupted, is nearly impossible and nearly unprecedented. And yet Alabama continues to adapt and thrive. Its future is questioned every time it loses, but every time it loses it reasserts itself as college football's alpha dog.

After one rebuilding season, Nick Saban led Alabama to the Sugar Bowl in 2008. He followed that by winning three national championships in four seasons in 2009, '11 and '12, a feat matched only by Nebraska in the '90s and Notre Dame in the '40s since the AP poll began. The Crimson Tide missed the national championship game two years in a row in 2013-14, but now they've won two of three after Monday's dramatic win over Georgia. And they were one stop away last year from three in a row.

Saban has staked his claim to the title of best college football coach ever by doing this at a time in which there is a bit more parity than there used to be. There's an 85-scholarship limit, and all the power conference teams are on TV every week and bring in a lot of TV money. Saban has managed to adapt to changes in the way football has played, he has created stability despite constant turnover among his assistant coaches (who often get bigger jobs elsewhere) and he regularly signs the best recruits. Alabama has reached No. 1 in the AP poll at some point in each of the past 10 seasons, and it has won the national title in five of those seasons. Nobody in nearly 150 years of college football has had a more impressive run atop the sport, given the success and given the context.

2. Notre Dame, 1941-49

Duration: 9 years
National titles: 4
Top 10s: 9

Some schools struggled to field a team during the World War II era, and some stopped playing altogether. Others amassed staggering amounts of talent. That included the military academies, of course, and Notre Dame's status as one of college greatest dynasties is challenged a bit because it had to share national supremacy with Army for a few of these years. (Army won back-to-back national titles in 1944-45 with back-to-back Heisman winners.) Still, Notre Dame remained prominent on the field during the war, and after the end of the war, star players flocked back to campus to build a juggernaut. Most of this happened under the watch of Frank Leahy, who went undefeated at Boston College and quickly rebuilt Notre Dame, going 8-0-1 in his first season in 1941.

In '43, an all-time great Notre Dame team won the national title despite losing to the Great Lakes Navy team in the last game of the season, and quarterback Angelo Bertelli won the Heisman despite leaving the team after six games upon being called up to active duty. Army won the national title in 1944-45, when Leahy also left for military duty, but Leahy returned to lead the Fighting Irish to three national titles in four years (and finished second in the AP poll behind Michigan in 1948) with two more Heisman winners in Johnny Lujack and Leon Hart. From 1946-49, Notre Dame went 36-0-2.

3. Oklahoma, 1948-58

Duration: 11 years
National titles: 3
Top 10s: 11

Given that Oklahoma put together the longest winning streak in FBS history at 47 games, it's almost surprising that the Sooners won only three national titles under Bud Wilkinson. The Sooners went undefeated but weren't recognized as champions in 1949 thanks to Notre Dame's dominance. The next year, they were 10-0 and voted No. 1 to win the title, before losing the Sugar Bowl to Kentucky, a result that had no effect on the polls at the time. After starting the 1953 season with a loss and a tie, the Sooners ended the campaign on a nine-game winning streak, upsetting No. 1 Maryland in the Orange Bowl. They went 10-0 in 1954 but finished No. 3 in the AP poll behind Ohio State and UCLA, then went 11-0 and 10-0 the next two years, capturing championships in both. The winning streak stretched to 47 games before Notre Dame upset Oklahoma 7-0 on Nov. 16, 1957. In this 11-year period, Oklahoma won three national titles with four undefeated records (two unrecognized as champions) and 10 AP top-10 rankings.

4. Miami, 1983-92

Duration: 10 years
National titles: 4
Top 10s: 9

Irrelevant nationally for much of the 1970s, Miami emerged as a powerhouse unlike anything college football had seen before in the '80s. No team has ever had more personality than The U. It began under Howard Schnellenberger, who led the Hurricanes from obscurity to the national title in his fifth season in 1983, with a dramatic win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl on a stopped two-point attempt. Schnellenberger left and was replaced by Jimmy Johnson, who, after going 18-7 in his first two seasons, went 22-2 in his last three seasons. The Canes were stunned by Penn State in the 1986 national title game but went a perfect 12-0 to win the title in '87. Johnson left for the NFL after the 1988 season, when the Canes finished No. 2. Dennis Erickson then went 44-4 in his first four seasons with two more national titles. Over the course of a decade, Miami won four titles under three coaches -- which makes the dynasty different from many on the list -- finished in the AP top three in eight of 10 years and produced Heisman winners in Vinny Testaverde and Gino Torretta. No team relished destroying opponents quite like these Miami teams.

5. Minnesota, 1934-41

Duration: 8 years
National titles: 5
Top 10s: 5, but would be 7 had the AP poll existed in 1934-35

It's college football's forgotten dynasty, led by college football's most underrated coach, Bernie Bierman. Bierman went 93-35-6 in 16 seasons at Minnesota from 1932-41 and 1945-50. While his post-war run wasn't nearly as successful, Bierman went 9-3-4 in his first two years, then went on a remarkable right-year run that had one down season (3-4-1 in 1939) but is unquestionably among college football's best dynasties ever. Minnesota went 16-0 in 1934-35, winning national titles in the last two seasons of the pre-poll era. The Golden Gophers then claimed three of the first six AP national championships in 1936, '40 and '41, the last of which featured Bruce Smith winning the Heisman. Beyond the one down season, Minnesota's run closely resembled Alabama now, with three straight national championships from 1934-36, then back-to-back titles to start the '40s.

6. Nebraska, 1993-2001

Duration: 9 years
National titles: 3
Tops 10s: 8

When Tom Osborne was promoted to head coach in 1973, he had just won back-to-back titles as offensive coordinator under Bob Devaney in 1970-71. Osborne went on to two decades of impressive success, never finishing a season outside the AP poll. But thanks to an ill-fated decision to go for two in the 1984 Orange Bowl, a national championship eluded him. That changed in the 1990s. After four straight nine-win seasons, Nebraska went 11-0 in the 1993 regular season before losing a heartbreaker to Florida State in the Orange Bowl with the national title on the line, its seventh straight bowl loss. The Cornhuskers bounced back to claim three of the next four championships, with the era headlined by the all-time great 1995 team quarterbacked by Tommie Frazier. The heart of this dynasty was under Osborne, but after he retired, Frank Solich went 12-1 in 1999 and, behind Heisman winner Eric Crouch, took the Huskers to the 2001 national game, where Miami effectively ended Nebraska football as we know it.

7. Michigan, 1901-05

Duration: 5 years
National titles: 4
Top 10s: N/A

The competition was weak, the polls didn't exist and the forward pass hadn't yet been legalized, but Fielding Yost nevertheless delivered the West its first football powerhouse. In Yost's first five seasons, the last five years without the forward pass, Michigan went 55-1-1 and outscored its opponents 2,821 to 42 -- or an average score of 50.4 to 0.8. Yost's Point-a-Minute Wolverines didn't allow a point in 1901 and won the first Rose Bowl against Stanford 49-0. They allowed 12 points in 1902, six points in '03 and 22 points in '04. They are recognized as national champions each of those four seasons. The unbeaten streak (with one 6-6 tie against Minnesota in 1903) finally came to an end at 56 games on Thanksgiving Day, 1905, when Michigan lost to Amos Alonzo Stagg and Michigan by a 2-0 final score.

8. Alabama, 1959-67

Duration: 9 years
National titles: 3
Top 10s: 9

The 1960s and '70s are tricky. The '70s especially became a time of little parity, with national power concentrated around a handful of marquee programs that won multiple national championships in short periods of time, including Alabama, Notre Dame, USC, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Ohio State. The lack of a single, clear-cut lead program makes it hard to bestow the "dynasty" label on anybody. The best case belongs to Alabama just at the end of single-platoon football, the first of two dominant periods for Bear Bryant as head coach. He returned to his alma mater in 1958 and, after one down season, had nine straight top-10 teams from 1959-67. The Crimson Tide were crowned national champions in 1961, '64 and '65, and they went undefeated but unrecognized, third in the AP poll, in 1966. After a brief downturn, Alabama again entered a period of dynasty-like play in the 1970s, although there were clear challengers for national supremacy then.

9. California, 1920-24

Duration: 5 years
National titles: 3
Top 10s: N/A

Andy Smith brought football prominence to the West Coast in Berkeley, with California's Wonder Teams of the early 1920s. From 1920-24, Cal went 44-0-4, with two undefeated, untied campaigns in 1920 and '22. The Golden Bears beat Ohio State 28-0 in the Rose Bowl in the 1920 season, then tied Washington & Jefferson 0-0 in Pasadena the next season. Cal outscored opponents 1,564 to 139 over these five years. Again, like Michigan in the early 1900s, the competition wasn't exactly steep in many cases, and the win over Ohio State is the only real out-of-region accomplishment. Cal is nevertheless credited with three straight national titles from 1920-22, the latter two shared.

10. Harvard, 1908-16

Duration: 9 years
National titles: 3
Top 10s: N/A

Harvard has claims to 19th-century national championships, but Yale was the most dominant force of the time over Harvard, Princeton and Penn. Although Yale won another pair of titles in 1907 and '09, it was the dawn of an era of Crimson dominance under Percy Haughton. From 1908 through 1916, before the United States entered World War I, Harvard went 72-7-5 under Haughton, with perfect 9-0 seasons in 1912-13. The Crimson also went 9-0-1 in 1908, 9-01 in '10 and 7-0-2 in '14. Harvard is credited with national titles in 1910 and 1912-13. Haughton went 5-2-2 against Yale.

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Contact Matt at matt.brown5082@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @MattBrownCFB and Facebook.