Link to Part 1
Link to Part 2
Continuing the discussion of years that
Alabama has a case for at least a share of the national championship but was overlooked, one additional year jumps out and that is 1977. In 1977, the Crimson Tide was ranked #3 going into the bowls when both the #1 and #2 teams lost. Surprisingly, Notre Dame was awarded the national championship by jumping from #5 to #1. Again, the Notre Dame/Northern bias took away at least a share of a well deserved national championship for the Crimson Tide. One additional item I should add about the travesty of 1977 is that both
Alabama and Notre Dame finished the season 11-1. Both lost the second game of the season, on the road, by seven points. Alabama‘s loss was 31-24 to Nebraska at Lincoln, while ND lost 20-13 to Ole Miss at
Jackson. That same Ole Miss team had been defeated by
Alabama 39-13 the previous game. Of course, this huge fact was well known at the time and it prompted the famous bumper sticker “Ask OLE MISS who is #1,” which was routinely seen throughout the South. I should note here that
Alabama was awarded the national championship by Football Research in ’77, but the University does not currently choose to claim this title. In addition to the aforementioned ’45, ’66 and ’77 seasons,
Alabama also received championship consideration by several systems during the ’36, ’37, ’62, ’74, and ’75 seasons of which the University does not currently claim.
Based on the above information one could easily lay claim to 21 NCs instead of the conservative 13 that the
Alabamacurrently claims. In fact, a quick review of the media guides produced by such schools as Notre Dame, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, Southern California, Ole Miss, etc. shows that they all follow varied approaches in the claiming of national championships. The point of the matter is that to claim only 13 national championships as
Alabama does is a reasonable and in some ways conservative approach. Even the official NCAA records credit
Alabama with as many as 18 national championships.
As I pointed out earlier, any college football national championship can be debated. When it comes right down to it,
Alabama has every right to claim the 13 national championships they do and they probably should claim a few more. So, how many should
Alabama claim? If it was up to me and as it stands today, I would claim 14 national championships (remove the ’41 claim and add the undefeated seasons of ’45 and ’66) and get ready for #15 next Fall.