AUSTIN, TexasNick Saban has been building one of the best football dynasties in history for more than a decade, giving Alabama the feeling that

they will win the championship every year. Alabama's title hopes have been as reliable as an annuity, just like its classic uniforms and Saban's sideline growl.

There have been ups and downs, but the Tide have made it to seven of the eight College Football Playoffs and won six of the last 13 national titles.  

Alabama's presence in championship talk has become a normal part of the sport's background music. It will stay there on Saturday after Alabama

defeated unranked Texas 20-19 despite playing sloppy and poorly.   Any idea of taking Alabama out of the running for the national title is still ridiculous,

because the internet is full of terabytes of premature obituaries for Alabama. But just putting them in the College Football Playoff based on how they did in the past seems risky,

since this weak performance takes away the aura of certainty that usually surrounds Alabama.

"Everyone thought we'd go out there and get blown out," Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said. "I don't care about perceptions."

This past weekend, Texas and the Sun Belt shook up college football's power structure. Mr. David M. Hale   Saban is important as the sloppy Tide won against the Horns.

Colt McCoy, the Texas-Alabama game, and why "What if..." is the most powerful two-word question in sports 2.d Ryan McGee

The same is true for the idea that Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State were the best college football teams and everyone else was worse.