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Bama and their illegitmate titles. Fun read


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Ok here is a cool article I saw a long time ago but saved it. Add the 2009 championship as well. I only disagree with the article with the 1973 year. Something I like Bammers to read.


Glad you asked. Alabama claims national titles for the following years: 1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992. Other than the first three, we'll go over each season individually.

1925, 1926, 1930. All back-dated titles. These titles were awarded years after the fact. Four teams could claim a back-dated title in 1925, eight teams in 1926, and two in 1930. See how inconsistent back-dated titles were? Doesn't matter. They don't really exist. Pure and simple resume embellishment. Some Bama fans try to justify these years by pointing out that they were awarded following Alabama wins in the Rose Bowl. Sorry. Even had there been an established MNC poll system during that time, the polls would continue to declare national champions BEFORE the bowls for the next 40 years. Nice revisionist try, but strike 3 titles from Bama's record.

1934--The first year for the AP poll, given to Minnesota. Alabama received 11 selectors choosing them, but I'm sure most of them were back-dated--impossible to know for sure. Minnesota had 29 selectors, most of them probably back-dated, but they got the only one that counted--the AP. Strike another title from Bama's record.

1941--The most egregious of Alabama's bogus titles. Alabama finished the season with 2 losses and ranked #20 in the final AP poll. But one of the minor selectors out of over 30 chose Alabama, and evidently, that's the only excuse they needed. Five other teams that year would have a superior claim over Alabama's if you counted minor selectors, but we don't. I'm not really sure how many years after the fact Bama raised this banner, but you can bet it was many--so that not many people might notice. Strike another title from their record--we're on a roll--up to five gone now!

1961--Ahh, the beginning of the Bear era, and the golden age of Tide football. Alabama was pretty much a consensus champion, with both of the major polls, the AP and UPI went their way. Some minor selectors chose Texas and Ohio State, but this title is solid. Score one legitimate title!

1964-- A 10-1 Alabama team claims a national title in 1964 in spite of an 11-0 Arkansas team having a better claim. Here, an instance of both the AP and UPI, which voted Alabama # 1 that year, still voting prior to the bowl game. Had the polls been conducted after the bowls, then I'm sure it would have been a consensus Arkansas pick because Alabama lost to Texas in the Orange bowl, but Arkansas beat Texas during the regular season. I recognize Alabama's title because that was the rules that were in place at the time. Chalk up another legitimate title for the Tide, although a modern-day jury would probably confer it on Arkansas.

1965--The first of Alabama's supposed two back-to-back titles. It was a split decision between the 9-1-1 Tide, who dropped the first game to Georgia and tied Tennessee, winning the AP title, and Michigan State, 10-1, dropping the Rose Bowl, winning the UPI crown--again, bestowed BEFORE the bowl games, while the AP that year was done afterwards. Two other teams, Arkansas and Dartmouth, also got a few minor selectors to choose them, but an AP title is gold, so score another legitimate title for the Tide, now up to three.

1966--Okay, Alabama does not claim this year as a national title, but here's the really strange part: Curiously, Alabama got shafted in 1966 by both the AP and UPI despite going 11-0 but finishing behind in both polls to Notre Dame and Michigan State, both who were 9-0-1 (yes, they tied each other) What's even stranger is that Alabama didn't claim a title anyway, considering that some minor selectors did choose them as national champs and that's seemingly all you need if you're Alabama. Yea, I think they may claim this one on a T-Shirt or ball cap, but the university doesn't officially recognize it. A book, The Missing Ring, commemorates that year. The team can probably blame George Wallace and the state of the civil rights struggle in Alabama at that time for being shunned.

1973--Alabama goes 11-1 and is chosen by the UPI. Notre Dame goes 11-0 and is crowned by the AP as NC. Who did the Irish beat in the Sugar Bowl? Why, Alabama--for their only loss. Why in the hell did Alabama get a national championship after losing their bowl game to the real national champion? Because the UPI was still choosing their champion BEFORE the bowl games. How crazy is that? Pretty crazy, by today's standards. If Alabama had any sense of decency, they would refuse to claim 1973 as a title year since they lost the de facto national championship game to the real champions, but since those were the rules at the time, I begrudgingly recognize this MNC. One good thing did come out of this fiasco though: the UPI quit choosing their champ before the bowl games after this one. Score four.

1978--Split title year, AP going to Alabama, and the UPI going to USC. A funny thing happened on the way to Legion Field, however. Alabama LOST to USC at home during the regular season. But alas, USC lost a regular season game too, and the two teams did not meet in a bowl game. So be it. Chalk up title number five to Bama, even if they did share it with a team they lost to at home.

1979--The goal-line stand title, against Penn State in the Sugar Bowl. Most of us remember watching that game. Alabama was 12-0 and took all the marbles and most of the selectors. No argument here. Score number six in legitimate titles!

1992--Alabama's only 'modern' day title, complete with all the 24 hour media attention afforded 'national championship' bowl match-ups, in this case a beat-down of Miami in the Sugar Bowl. Absolutely no doubt. Final tally to date, seven legitimate MNCs.


Yes, in this man's opinion. Any of the facts I give can be readily checked. Know this though: If you try to throw all of this in some Bammer's face, you're not going to accomplish anything. Denial is too strong a sentiment and this is way too much evidence to the contrary of their status quo. It has to sink-in on them. Just like you can't give starving people a steak dinner suddenly, you have to work on your favorite Bammer gradually. But chances are, most of them have little idea of the history of their team and the true facts of their self-appointed accolades.

We'll never straighten this mess out. The NCAA will never touch it. They may sanction a playoff one day, but they will never go back and declare retroactively what titles can be claimed by what teams. Some years in the past, 5-7 teams claim a national championship for a given year. There's just too much ambiguity in all this.


True, we only claim one, but know this: If we used the University of Alabama method of determining MNCs, which is claiming back-dated titles and claiming titles awarded by minor, inferior selectors, we could claim six--1913, 1914, 1957, 1983, 1993, 2004. Thankfully, we take the high road and do not! The university officially recognizes only ONE--1957.

by War Eagle Atlanta on Nov 23, 2008 11:15 PM CST

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I don't talk about bama football because there is only one 4 hour period a year where I care what they do, and it is only because they are playing Auburn. It really pisses off my bama friends, nothing gets a bammer madder than telling them you don't care about bama. They always have something to say about Auburn though. It just proves where their real obsessions lie.

However one of my Auburn friends sent me this pic from the 1983 bama game day program. I did show this to my bama buddies once and asked them where their "13" titles came from if they had only won 2 since 1983. Needless to say they didn't have an answer. After all this isn't some website claiming they only had 6 titles, this is a university publication.

By the way it really does show how times have changed when they list the number of TV games in the program.

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