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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Old Alabama football foe, Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, IN – SEPTEMBER 16: A general view is seen as the Michigan Wolverines run an offensive play against the defense of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish September 16, 2006 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images) /


Notre Dame has three college football dynasties spanning seven decades. The Irish are very conservative in their national championship claims. Notre Dame does not claim 1919 when they along with Harvard, Illinois and Texas A&M were named national champions by ‘major selectors.’

Notre Dame Dynasty (1919-1930) – Four National Championships

Under Knute Rockne, the Irish have ‘major selector’ titles in 1919, 1924, 1929 and 1930. Also, in 1920, Notre Dame was chosen national champion by two other selectors.

Notre Dame Dynasty (1943-1949) – Four National Championships

Frank Leahy’s Irish teams won national championships in 1943, 1946, 1947 and 1949, all chosen by major selectors.

Notre Dame Dynasty (1964-1977) – Four National Championships

Notre Dame has four national championships chosen by major selectors during the coaching tenures of Ara Parseghian and Dan Devine. Those seasons were 1964, 1966, 1973 and 1977. Other selectors also named the Irish national champions in 1967 and 1970.


Minnesota has one dynasty period that began before the poll-era in 1934.

Minnesota Dynasty (1934-1941) – Five National Championships

The Gophers, under Bernie Bierman, were chosen national champion by major selectors in 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940 and 1941. Not only does the total match the five national championships won by Alabama under Nick Saban but it was accomplished in a shorter span. It took the Gophers eight years compared to nine for the Crimson Tide.

However, there is a significant blemish in Minnesota’s eight season record. In 1939, the Gophers were 3-4-1. Were it not for that non-dynastic performance in 1939, the Gophers would have a strong claim as college football’s greatest dynasty. That one losing season does not erase the five national championships but it does not equal the Alabama-Saban dynasty.