Alabama has dominated college football in recent years, winning four of the last seven national championships and holding a 57-7 record in the SEC since 2009 - the first year the Crimson Tide won a national championship under Nick Saban.
They dominated again this season, cruising to a 13-0 regular season record while every other team in the conference had at least four losses, leading some to question whether it's Alabama and then everyone else in the SEC. Commissioner Greg Sankey sees it differently.
"My experience is that a rising tide moves all ships, and it applies not just as a metaphor," Sankey told Chris Low of ESPN. "I think every one of our teams looks at becoming champions, and to become a champion, you have to beat the reigning champion. That's a standard that helps us all. Go back and look at Kentucky basketball. There was a period of domination, and then Florida won two national championships in a row."
The SEC has won nine national championships as a conference since 2003, with LSU and Florida winning two and Auburn one, to go along with Alabama's four. However, only Auburn has won since Alabama took its first under Saban in 2009.
The conference appears to be experiencing the same effect the then-Pac-10 did when USC dominated in the 2000s, winning two national championships and seven conference championships in nine seasons. The "S-E-C, S-E-C" chants fans are famous for seem to be a bit more one-sided lately.
Given Alabama's relative dominance, it might take several years to prove whether the "rising tide moves all ships" theory is accurate.
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