Alabama Football: National Championship Club Top 10 CFB Programs

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Alabama Football
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football: Top Ten National Championship Club

No. 2 – Notre Dame Fighting Irish

13 Notre Dame National Championships

Going back to the ‘Missing Ring’ season of 1966, Alabama football fans hated Notre Dame more than any other program. Even more than the Tennessee Vols and the Auburn Tigers.

After four losses to the Fighting Irish between 1973 and 1980, the Crimson Tide won its first game ever, over Notre Dame in 1986. The curse finally lifted, another loss to the Irish in 1987 was nowhere as painful as the ones before. The 2012 National Championship bludgeoning of the Irish healed most of the old wounds.

Crimson Tide hate did not mean a lack of respect for the Irish. Across the decades of college football history, Notre Dame was the program to be most admired – after the Crimson Tide.

  • 1919 – Knute Rockne’s team was 9-0 in an era when post-season play was rare.
  • 1924 – Rockne’s team was 10-0, beating Stanford in the Rose Bowl. After the 1925 Rose Bowl, Notre Dame decided post-season games were an unneeded distraction to students. The Irish would not compete in another bowl game until 1969.
  • 1929 – It was another undefeated season for Rockne at 9-0, the last game being a victory over Army.
  • 1930 – Rockne’s last Championship came in 1930 after a 10-0 season, closing with a defeat of USC.
  • 1943 – Frank Leahy would become the greatest Notre Dame coach before the end of the decade. His 1943 team was 9-1, losing its last game to Great Lakes Navy.
  • 1946 – Leahy’s team was 8-0-1, losing its final game to USC.
  • 1947 – Undefeated at 9-0, the Irish closed the season with a win over USC.
  • 1949 – The last of Leahy’s four Championship titles came from a 10-0 season, closing with a win over SMU.
  • 1964 – Ara Parseghian led the Irish to 9-1 season, losing to USC in the final game. The Irish shared titles with Alabama and Arkansas.
  • 1966 – This is one Notre Dame season, Crimson Tide fans will never forget. In the second-to-last game of the season, Notre Dame and Michigan State were tied. With the ball and over a minute left in the game, the Irish played for a tie. The Irish and the Spartans shared Championship titles.
  • 1973 – Another title for Ara and another painful dagger to Crimson Tide chests. The Irish were 11-0, closing the season in the Sugar Bowl and winning the title 24-23 over the No. 1 Crimson Tide.
  • 1977 – Dan Devine led the Irish to the Championship, from an 11-1 season and a Cotton Bowl win over Texas.
  • 1988 – Lou Holtz gained a Championship with the 12-0 Irish, beating West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl. The Irish finished the season with wins over teams ranked No. 2 and No. 3.