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Thursday, January 22, 2009
Alabama sixth in Prestige Rankings

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

We now know where the final remaining member of the SEC fell in ESPN's Prestige Rankings, and I was wrong.

Alabama didn't crack the top 5.

The Crimson Tide came in at No. 6, which tells you how lean the last 10-15 years have been in Tuscaloosa. Alabama has suffered through three losing seasons during the BCS era, hasn't won a major bowl game since its 1992 national championship season and hasn't produced a first-round NFL draft selection since 2000.

I still believe most hardcore college football fans view Alabama as one of the top 5 programs of all time. A few more seasons like 2008, and the Tide will easily move back into that elite group.

We know that the top 5, in no particular order, will be comprised of Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Southern California. While realizing these rankings were based on statistical data, it's hard for me to believe that neither Alabama nor Michigan didn't warrant a spot in the top 5. The Wolverines were No. 8.

I also question Miami being in the top 10 when you consider that we're talking about a program's full body of work since 1936. The 1980s were as good as it gets for the 'U,' but that's only one decade.