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Mark Edwards: Tide should appreciate how good these days are

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Alabama wide receiver Robert Foster and other Alabama players swamp Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith after his catch. The Alabama Crimson Tide played the Georgia Bulldogs for the CFP National Championship Monday inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Alabama won the game 26-23 in OT. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

It's hard to fathom the amount of success Alabama has had in college football in recent years.

You know the details, but we'll spell them out anyway: national titles in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017, and in 2008, 2013, 2016 and 2018, Alabama was either in the national title game or in the hunt on the last weekend of the regular season.

In nine of the last 10 years, Alabama either won it all or was with a win or two from winning it all.

Conversely, let's look at Tennessee, which seems as far from a national title as Republicans and Democrats do from each other. The Vols won one in 1998. They went undefeated. They even won their second straight SEC title.

Since then? They haven't even won the league since 1998. Tennessee probably would've made the national title game in 2001 but needed to win the SEC title game to advance. The Vols lost.

That's 21 years of frustration, and the Vols' terrible start is just adding to it. Way back in 1998, do you think they were saying, "We should enjoy this; it may be a long time before we return."

They should have. And, so should Alabama. No matter how good it looks now, it can change. It always changes.

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.