The top 5 current dynasties in sports

After seeing the 38-17 dismantling of LSU on Saturday, Alabama remains the undisputed top team in college football. The Crimson Tide have carried over their form from game to game and year to year for a good while now.

It is rare for a college football team to display the dominance that Alabama has shown for such a sustained period of time. Saturday night’s showing epitomizes the machine the team has become. It is obvious the Tide are a dynasty, but where do they rank among other sports dynasties?

As dynasties go, it is usually the definition that gets sports fans hung up. For me, I am looking at the trophies and consistent performances from year to year. Also, I consider individual performance to count equally as team performance.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team deserves consideration on this list as they have strung together many championships over the years. When his career is over, Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma will go down in American history as one of the greatest coaches of all time. Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Tina Charles and Swin Cash were instrumental in the team’s run of championships. UConn is undefeated in NCAA Finals, appearing in seven out of the last 14 finals (including three out of the last five).

I’m keeping UConn off the list of current dynasties though because they have won only one title in the last three seasons.

I’m also keeping the LA Galaxy off the list. The Galaxy from Major League Soccer would have had a chance for the list if they could have kept themselves alive in this year’s playoffs. Unfortunately for Galaxy fans, they lost their conference semifinals series to Real Salt Lake and will be searching for a new spark for next season. They had won the last two MLS Cups.

With that out of the way, here’s my list of the top five current dynasties in sports.

5. Serena Williams

I’m starting my list with Serena Williams. Her whole career could really be called a dynasty. Williams has had several parts of her career where she was winning consecutive majors. But, right now, as one of the oldest women on tour, she’s on a roll having won four out of the last six majors.

The 2012 and 2013 seasons were completely dominated by Williams and sometimes she has won with ease. The 32-year-old has 17 career major titles, to go along with 13 doubles and two mixed doubles titles at major championships.

4. Rafael Nadal

Nadal’s French Open run is unbelievable, as he has won eight of the last nine titles. Even more amazing, not one of the finals had to go five sets.

He has thoroughly dominated the red clay of Roland Garros. He beat Roger Federer in four of those eight finals and topped Novak Djokovic in one of them. Nadal is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all-time, and with good reason.

3. Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt gets the nod for his consecutive wins in the 100- and 200-meter sprints at the Olympics. Bolt will be going for a third Olympic title in the 100 and 200 at the Rio de Janeiro Summer games in 2016. He won at both Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

Bolt is considered the fastest man alive and fastest ever. To top it off he also anchored Jamaica’s 400-meter relay team’s gold medal efforts in both London and Beijing.

2. Miami Heat 

At number two, the Miami Heat are showing how a team grows from defeat. They have the Dallas Mavericks to thank for that.

The Heat were humbled when they lost to the Mavs in the 2011 NBA Finals. They have been able to come back and win two consecutive championships since then, overcoming difficult challenges from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 and a miraculous series against the San Antonio Spurs in 2013.

With most of the roster intact, including future Hall of Fame players LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Heat are looking for a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance this season and third straight championship.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide football

This leaves the University of Alabama’s football team at No. 1. The team did not suffer a “60 Minutes” jinx this week, after the news program highlighted the career of head coach Nick Saban last Sunday. Alabama has won three out of the last four BCS national championships and is going for four out of five and three in a row if it win it all this season.

Alabama and the Heat have made their respective sports more interesting. When a team dominates like they are doing, there is a consensus top achiever that all sports fans appreciate or loathe. As Mark Cuban said recently, “Hating the Heat is good for the game.”  Alabama and the Heat are the bad guys of sports for winning so often.

Television ratings go up thanks to dynasties and girlfriends of college quarterbacks become household names. Just ask Katherine Webb how her career is going.

In case you missed any of the Nick Saban 60 Minutes feature, you can check it out here.

Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of

About Howard M Alperin

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  1. Howard,
    as much as I appreciate your column I must say you have made a huge error, you have missed altogether the greatest dynasty of today and what will probably go down in history as unequaled. Jimmy Johnson #48 had 5 consecutive championships 2006 – 2010, in 2005 prior to his first of the five he came in 5th (only because of he wrecked in the final race of the season and could have won that year), 2011 finished 6th in points, 2012 3rd in points. This year he could win his 6th title which is only one short of the record holders Richard Petty and Dale Sr. and he is not even close to retirement age. For a driver to finish one time outside the top five of appx. 43 cars/drivers since 2005 is simply amazing. I look forward to you response.

    Thanks for your time,

    P.S. thank you for not mentioning the Patriots, cheaters should never be given attention.

    • I am glad to watch you ramble about NASCAR .. however please refrain from calling a talented franchise ‘cheaters’ because they filmed signals – like every other team has done , and from other angles is still quite legal in the NFL. If you say cheaters should never be given attention you likely have never rooted for anyone in ‘professional’ sports

  2. Ironic that he would point out the Patriots as cheaters, disregarding the number of times that Johnson, his team members, and crew chief have been suspended by NASCAR for cheating infractions.

  3. I am surprised you mentioned college football, but never mentioned the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders. Granted, it is a D3 program, but (unlike their D1 counterparts) actually earn their titles on the field in a playoff. Over the course of the past twenty years, their average final game has been the championship game, where they are 11-5. Over the course of the past 20 complete seasons (1992-2012), they lost 12 games. They own the two longest winning streaks in college football at any level (54 and 55 games, split by one loss).

    Guys who were on the ’92 squad could have kids on the current and previous rosters.

    • Gary The Raider says:

      Alabama you have a long way to go to match what Mount Union has done…winning 11 titles using a playoff system…22 consecutive conference championships and as said above winning 109 of 110 games. DIII or not give Mount their due!

  4. Really? How exactly are individual athletes “dynasties” instead of people in the midst of a great career? That is stretching the definition of the term to the point that it means absolutely nothing, given that one of the core aspects of a dynasty is that it involves more than one person. None of your last three really should fit this list.

  5. @Joe, I was linking titles together over multiple years. there is no question that Nadal, Serena and Usain Bolt have created dynasties within their sport. The Bolt dynasty, for example, will be remembered for hundreds of years. The better question was why didn’t I include Barcelona from soccer. I didn’t because I was looking at the category from an American point of view. I only included sports in which Americans can participate. An American could be on the Barcelona team, but I mean–like no American team competes with Spanish Liga teams. Americans compete in tennis and track and field.

  6. Joseph Icenogle says:

    You know who had a great run? Jesus. Amen to that brother.

  7. Dave Holmgren says:

    Have you checked out the University of Minnesota Womens’s Hockey team?

  8. Frank Shulock says:

    Lets not forget The Penn State Wrestling Team! The last 3 National Championships and BIG10 Championships (Note: The BIG10 is to Wrestling what the SEC is to Football). And they are poised to do it again!!!!!!!!

  9. Seraphique Vox says:

    The Heat have won 2 titles… that hardly makes them even legitimately considered a dynasty… let alone the second best in all of sports… even without winning titles recently I would put the Spurs ahead of the Heat for the most dominant “dynasty” in the modern NBA… but you can go ahead and keep dry humping LeBron like all the other writers

  10. Sebastian Vettel of RBR racing Formula One. Fourth straight drivers and constructors title. He has also just won his 8th straight race today. He averages a 7 second lead to second place at the end of all his wins. Oh yeah, he is only 26. Ridiculous he’s not on this list. Same for Jimmie Johnson in NASCAR.

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