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Can anyone stop the Tide from a playoff rerun?

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Legacies will be determined in CFP playoff (0:55)

As the College Football Playoff gets set to begin, legacies for players, coaches and teams will be up for grabs. (0:55)

ATLANTA -- SEC teams aren't the only ones tired of hearing about how good Alabama is.

So are Clemson, Ohio State and Washington, the other College Football Playoff participants.

Call it Alabama fatigue. It doesn't matter the sport, professional or collegiate, when a team enjoys a run of dominance like the Crimson Tide have in college football in recent years, neutral observers develop a rooting interest in seeing the king fall.

Few teams have dominated the sport like defending national champion Alabama. The Crimson Tide have won 25 consecutive games, 15 straight against ranked foes and four of the last seven national titles.

No. 1 Alabama is two victories away from finishing 15-0 and winning another national championship, starting with Saturday's game against No. 4 Washington in a College Football Playoff semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in the Georgia Dome (3 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN App).

Will we see Alabama's reign finally come to an end?

"Going around town, I feel like people don't like Alabama," Washington cornerback Sidney Jones said. "They'll ask me, 'You play for Washington? Just do me a favor: beat Alabama.' They've been dominant and people want somebody to take them out."

Such is the nature of the reign of terror Alabama coach Nick Saban has wrought on college football. The Tide not only have the most five stars, the most coaches and the most resources, but they also have a psychological edge on their competition. "Roll Tide" feels like a foregone conclusion, and there's an inevitable feeling that national championship No. 17 in Tuscaloosa is coming.

On Dec. 4, when Chris Petersen learned his Washington team would face the Crimson Tide, he joked, "Sometimes you've got to be careful what you wish for." On Thursday, he joked about trying to find a deficiency in Alabama's juggernaut.

"We've gone as deep as their equipment staff and their maintenance crew, and I think they've got the best there, too," Petersen said. "They're ranked No. 1 for a reason. I don't think they do have a weakness playing the kind of football they play."

Even at the other CFP semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, where No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State will face off on Saturday night (7 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN App), talk of the Tide's dominance can't be avoided.

"They've been dominating," Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson said. "They've been very consistent. If I really had to pick, they are top of the crop. That's where everyone wants to be. If you're honest, that's the team everyone is chasing."

That has been the most impressive thing about what Saban has built. No matter how long the Crimson Tide have been ranked No. 1 and how many games they're expected to win, they've somehow avoided complacency.

"[Saban's] got the formula to be able to take these guys who were recruited by the world -- they're the best of the best -- and then get them to buy into the team process and get them to play and practice like he wants them to," Petersen said. "That's a hard trick to do. He's got a great method to that as well."

Will this year's playoff be different? On paper, at least, the Crimson Tide appear to be head and shoulders above the other three teams.

Alabama's defense ranks No. 1 in the FBS in scoring defense (11.8 points), run defense (63.4 yards) and total defense (247.8 yards) and scored an FBS-high 14 non-offensive touchdowns. The Crimson Tide didn't allow a single touchdown in November (none of its opponents that month -- LSU, Mississippi State, Chattanooga and Auburn -- even drove inside the Tide's 10-yard line).

At least six Alabama players, including defensive end Jonathan Allen, linebackers Tim Williams and Reuben Foster and cornerback Marlon Humphrey, are expected to be picked in the first round of next spring's NFL draft, which would tie the record set by Miami in 2004.

The Tide's noticeable advantages aren't only on their roster, either. Alabama's coaching staff includes two former head coaches, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, who coached at Tennessee and USC and was recently hired by Florida Atlantic, and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Mario Cristobal, who was Florida International's head coach. Even Saban's special assistant, Bobby Williams, is a former Michigan State head coach.

Alabama's off-field analysts include former New Mexico coach Mike Locksley and Dean Altobelli, a Yale Law School graduate, who owned a share of Michigan's oldest law firm before he left to join Saban's staff. Former Washington and USC coach Steve Sarkisian joined the Alabama staff as a special assistant in September and will replace Kiffin as the offensive coordinator next season.

Saban's annual salary of $6.9 million is nearly twice as much as Petersen's salary of $3.6 million, and the Crimson Tide spent nearly three times as much ($1.3 million) as the Huskies ($452,610) on recruiting in 2014-15, according to the schools' most recent NCAA financial reports.

"They've got the best players, great coaching and they're at a school that is more committed to football than any other place in the country," said Colorado State coach Mike Bobo, a former Georgia assistant.

With so much success, there's no question Alabama is in the heads of its opponents. But strip away the veneer of invincibility and there might be at least a sliver of hope for the other three teams in the playoff.

What if the red elephant is actually a paper tiger -- this season, at least? It has been a down year in the SEC, so maybe the Tide haven't really been tested. Alabama has a freshman quarterback, Jalen Hurts, and a true freshman hasn't led his team to a national championship in 30 years. Will Hurts be able to handle the pressure that comes with playing on the sport's biggest stage?

And there's reason to believe that the other three teams in the playoff are capable of pulling off an upset and beating Alabama for the first time in more than a year. Petersen made his reputation by guiding Boise State teams to upsets of the sport's bluebloods. Watson looked like the best player on the field when Clemson nearly beat the Tide in last season's CFP National Championship, before falling in a 45-40 thriller, and he and many of his teammates from that game are back.

And don't forget that Alabama's biggest nemesis -- Ohio State coach Urban Meyer -- is waiting on the other side of the CFP bracket. In the inaugural College Football Playoff, No. 4 Ohio State stunned No. 1 Alabama 42-35 in a semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Buckeyes then defeated Oregon 42-20 to win a national championship.

"We were trying to prove we were the best team in the nation," Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan said. "And we were."

The CFP will be the ultimate test as to how much Alabama has widened the gap between itself and the rest of the sport. If the Crimson Tide win again, it will be time to talk about how Saban has built the sport's greatest dynasty, whether he wants to admit it or not.

If Alabama finally falls, college football fans around the country can finally rejoice.

Of course, that's a lot easier said than done.

"Until someone beats them, that's what everyone is talking about," Watson said. "Our goal is to change the narrative, the whole story, and have everybody talking about us out there."