Before game week officially begins for the Alabama Crimson Tide, let’s get ahead of ourselves. The ‘let’s’ being Alabama football fans. Alabama Crimson Tide players can not and will not look past the next challenge; winning the CFB Playoff semi-final against Cincinnati.
Some Tide fans might be wary of publicly looking ahead. Admit it, almost all of us are anticipating a National Championship game. The Bearcats are a good football team. They are well-coached and will play hard, having gained the greatest game opportunity of their football playing careers. But, Cincinnati cannot beat the Crimson Tide on their own. For a Bearcats’ upset, Alabama will have to mostly beat itself.
That will not happen to a Nick Saban team that will not be outmatched in talent or scheme. So, of course, most of us are already thinking about the Tide in another National Championship game against Georgia or Michigan.
Especially exciting in looking ahead, is what two more wins will mean to the Alabama Crimson Tide program and Nick Saban. Two more Crimson Tide wins in the next few weeks will bring two major milestones and an opportunity to do what no team has ever done.
Two Wins Brings Two Alabama Crimson Tide Milestones
Measuring National Championship records is made difficult by claimed titles and titles awarded retroactively. Fans often make a mistake of considering too many sources. A few months ago we published an alternative that would end the ‘claimed’ debate. The suggestion was only Won and Awarded National Championships should be counted. Counted would be those won on the field in the BCS and CFB Playoff eras, plus those awarded by the AP and Coaches Polls – and no others.
Though it should, the college football world will never embrace such a national championship recommendation. Instead, only one source should be used to count the championships. It is provided by the NCAA and can be found here.
For at least once, the NCAA is correct. Everything that follows in this post is based on the NCAA-published records.
In the poll era, college football teams have won back-to-back National Championships 11 times. In those 11 repeats, one or both of the paired years had shared national titles. For example, the Alabama Crimson Tide shared the national title with USC in 1978. So the Tide’s 1979 repeat is not equal to the Tide’s 2012 repeat with no shared titles in 2011 or 2012.
Following that logic; only six times in the poll era have teams won repeat and unshared national titles. Those six times were:
- Minnesota – 1940 and 1941
- Army – 1944 and 1945
- Notre Dame – 1947 and 1947
- Oklahoma – 1955 and 1956
- Nebraska – 1994 and 1995
- Alabama – 2011 and 2012
Two more wins and the Crimson Tide becomes the only college football program to have multiple, repeat, and unshared National Championships. That’s a major milestone.
Another milestone would also be achieved. Nick Saban is the college football GOAT with seven National Championships. Two more wins take him to eight and more significant to Alabama fans, gives him seven Crimson Tide National Championships, surpassing Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant.
If the Tide wins it all again on Jan. 10, a follow-up result is certain. Before the clock hits midnight in Indianapolis, the college football world will already be talking about a potential Crimson Tide three-peat. In the poll era, no program has ever done it.