Alabama Football: Tide leads ‘awarded’ and ‘won’ National Championships

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football fans are well familiar with a long, circulating complaint the Alabama Crimson Tide claims more National Championships than it deserves. The false dispute is old and tiresome but it is resilient. The frequency of its use always spikes in the months after another Alabama Football National Championship.

Its use is also popular during summer offseasons when college football fans are desperate for anything upon which to opine. The 2021 offseason is a double-dose for the whiners with the Alabama Crimson Tide now deservedly claiming 18 National Championships.

Another tired attack circulated on social media this week, crowing how the Crimson Tide is not college football’s national championship leader. The so-called proof was the 28 and 27 National Championships claimed by Princeton and Yale. Never mind those ‘titles’ go back to 1869 and were mostly won in the 19th century when there were far fewer teams playing the sport. Also never mind that almost all those titles were determined retroactively, many decades after the games were played. A sound response from Alabama football fans would be to ignore such nonsense, but when the integrity of the Crimson Tide program is being impugned, it is hard to look away.

Alabama Football
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

There might be a way to stymie those who want to tarnish the Alabama Football reputation. The Crimson Tide could lead the way by no longer ‘claiming’ national titles. Counting only titles won on the field and those awarded by the AP and Coaches Polls might be the solution. Call these the ‘Won and Awarded’ National Championships.

Every National Champion before 1936, along with those chosen by ‘other selectors’ since 1936 would be the ‘Claimed’ National Championships. Going back to 1936, 33 schools have won or been awarded 97 college football National Championships. The 97 number includes shared championships when the AP and the Coaches picked different National Championships. With the exception of an oddly shared championship in 2003, the AP and Coaches Polls are not included in the 97 count, after the start of the BCS in 1998.

How does Alabama Football rank?

A quick and easy answer is at the top – of course. In the 97 National Championships, 10 schools have won four or more for a total of 63 of the National Championships.

  • Four National Championships – Minnesota (last in 1960); Texas (last in 2005); LSU (last in 2019)
  • Five National Championships – Nebraska (last in 1997) and Miami (last in 2001)
  • Six National Championships – Ohio State (last in 2014)
  • Seven National Championships – Oklahoma (last in 2000) and Southern Cal (last in 2004)
  • Eight National Championships – Notre Dame (last in 1988)
  • 13 National Championships – Alabama Crimson Tide

Next. Not being a Crimson Tide fan must be so hard. dark

As Aaron Sorkin wrote – these are the facts and they are not in dispute. Every other college football program and every, not Crimson Tide fan, should quit whining about ‘claiming’ National Championships.