Alabama Football: No question Tide-Saban Dynasty the greatest ever

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: DeVonta Smith
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: DeVonta Smith /
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Alabama football celebrates national championship
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: The Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime and winning the CFP National Championship (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

College Football’s biggest debate can end. The results are conclusive. The Alabama football ‘Saban Dynasty’ is the greatest in college football history.

College football dynasty claims suffer from lack of consensus over standards. What does or does not qualify for dynastic status will long remain in contention. What should no longer be a subject of disagreement is college football’s ‘Greatest Dynasty.’ It belongs to Alabama football and Nick Saban.

How far back to measure dynasties is debatable. Ivy League fans and Michigan Wolverines will argue dynasties should be measured back to the start of the 20th century or even earlier. Most educated college football opinion has settled on the ‘Poll-Era’ which began in 1936 as the appropriate starting point. A reasonable compromise is to measure national championships since World War I. Before that point, the rules of the game (particularly the passing rules) were so different from the modern game, achievements are not comparable.

College Football’s Greatest Dynasty Programs

There are seven college football programs whose achievements warrant recognition over lesser dynasties. Those programs are Notre Dame, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Miami and of course, Alabama football.

Admittedly, the above claim could be challenged by other schools, Pittsburgh would be one example. In compiling the above list, we did not tabulate every claimed national championship. Remember, until the BCS, all the national championships were claimed. That is why they were sometimes referred to as ‘mythical’ national championships.

There is an easy solution that resolves this dilemma. The NCAA acknowledges only national championship chosen by Major Selectors. The simplest explanation of the ‘Major Selectors’ is that it excludes a large number of national championships that are historically suspect. For example, the NCAA does not give Alabama football credit for national championships in 1934 or 1941.

A complete list of the NCAA non-sanctioned titles is lengthy. Here are few: Michigan, 1925, 1926 and 1932;  Southern Cal, 1928 and 1929; Pittsburgh, 1929 and 1931; Florida State, 1992 and 1994. If all the ‘claimed’ titles were included, each of these schools could be added to our list of greatest dynasties.