Alabama's unquestionably the #1 all-time cfb program. Your #2 through #5?

Blueguitar

3rd Team
Nov 19, 2017
210
93
47
Based on who is talking big these days, I would say Clemson by a mile. Then Jawjaw and Bama neck and neck, with Michigan and Nasty Dame in show position, and UCF bringing up the rear. You be the judge as to which of these can back up their big talk this year.

Based on tradition, fan following, success over the years, etc., and assuming we are talking the last 60 years or so, not the geological era when Yale and the mighty T-Rex ruled the Jurassic world, I'd say 1. Bama by a good margin, 2. Ohio State, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Oklahoma, 5. Southern Cal or Texas -- too close to call. Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Florida State and Florida are in the next tier. Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Auburn and Miami are the next bracket. Wisconsin, Michigan State, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas A&M are sitting in a corner sulking.
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
32,838
21,075
287
52
Four all beef patties, 6 feet under: the McCPR
Where do you rank bowl wins and bowl winning percentage in your factors of ranking determination? Totally agree with you about Heisman trophies. When you think how many decades Alabama went without a Heisman trophy winner. Louisville's had one Heisman trophy winner. Big deal.

Bowl games matter, but they don't matter "much."

For starters, Big Ten teams (and N Dame and some others) will have a low bowl total because back in the days of limited bowl games, they had things like the "no repeat" rule and the Irish didn't even really compete in them until the AP said that the bowl game counted for the national title.

But nowadays, 5-7 teams make bowl games, too. So a team like, say, Alabama could conceivably reel off fifty straight bowl seasons given that 5-7 and 6-6 teams can go.

Furthermore, prior to 1965, they were nothing but exhibitions anyway. While it's something we can be proud of, the reality is that we were a draw and sometimes teams with better records were not.

It matters more than Heismans, but less than overall wins and pct.

It would take microanalysis to determine the degree to which a team was good.
 

crimbru

3rd Team
Sep 15, 2011
249
416
87
Brussels, Belgium
1. Alabama (recent Saban run leaves no argument)
2a. Ohio State (Been relevant at some point in almost every decade other than maybe the 80s)
2b. USC (Cheerleaders, recent and past history)
4. Oklahoma (Mostly relevant with fewer down periods compared to other programs)
5. Notre Dame (Historical name recognition significance plus playing across the country rival game with another top program (historical) USC plus rivalry with (a top 10 historical program) Michigan and hype from that history edges out other contenders for 5)
 

DawgByte

1st Team
Dec 21, 2017
461
98
47
Who you got two through five?
2. Princeton
3. Yale
4. Notre Dame
5. USC

You did say "All time". Princeton has 28 National Championships and Yale 27.
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
32,838
21,075
287
52
Four all beef patties, 6 feet under: the McCPR
Who you got two through five?
2. Princeton
3. Yale
4. Notre Dame
5. USC

You did say "All time". Princeton has 28 National Championships and Yale 27.
Princeton and Yale won national titles when there were two or three teams, and they played 2-3 games a year amongst a bunch of all-white frat boys who
wouldn't make their jr high flag football teams nowadays.

It does NOT follow that 2017 Alabama is automatically better than 2003 USC.


But there's no disputing the reality that 2017 Alabama would skull drag the 1961 Alabama team, and it wouldn't even be much of a battle.

(And not just because those guys from the 61 team are all in their late 70s, either).
 

saturdaysarebet

Scout Team
Jul 26, 2018
188
4
37
Thus far, if going by a 4-3-2-1 point system for teams #2 through #5 for those that specifically listed their choices, the order would be: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC.
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
32,838
21,075
287
52
Four all beef patties, 6 feet under: the McCPR
If based solely on number of NCs then.

1. Alabama 17
2. Notre Dame 13
3. Southern Cal 11
4. Michigan 11
5. Ohio State 8

Yeah, but we can't "really" do this because - if we're honest with ourselves - a lot of those early selections were "most popular team with an undefeated record."

One of the things that helped Alabama in the early 60s was the SEC voters in the polls would "block vote" for the SEC team(s) near the top, especially the best one.
Rather than having, say, USC and UCLA or Notre Dame and Michigan St splitting voters almost evenly, the Southern portion of the nation would generally stick together.

So we got a lot of votes from folks in 1961, 1964, and 1965 that one can argue.

Now - I'm NOT saying that somehow renders those titles meaningless or those were not the best teams in a particular year. I just want us to be faithful to history as it was and not how we
revise it.

There's no shame in admitting that Alabama's own student newspaper listed the 1961 title as the first football national title ever won by the school.
There's no shame in admitting Wayne Atcheson went back and revised our title recognition in the 1980s, either.

Of course, there's also no shame in us pointing out that whichever consistent way anyone wants to count it, we have more national titles than anyone - well, in the modern era.

(Again, I hesitate to put a lot of stock in the ancient stuff. Not to rip on our seasoned citizens here, but in all honesty, pre-1950 or so football was.........not as good as what came later).

I mean, should Notre Dame "really" boast about those titles won in the 40s, when all the good players were off at war?

(This reminds me of the late Tim Wilson's standup saying he hated Steve Spurrier and saying, "He's the guy who won the Heisman Trophy when all the black players were off fighting in Vietnam").
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
32,838
21,075
287
52
Four all beef patties, 6 feet under: the McCPR
Thus far, if going by a 4-3-2-1 point system for teams #2 through #5 for those that specifically listed their choices, the order would be: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC.
What separates Notre Dame and Ohio State - TO ME - is we're talking ALL-TIME.

Post-1965, Ohio State takes it.

A lot of people forget that Ohio State's 1980s were a lot like our 1980s - good teams on the field, tough schedules, just not quite enough to be the very best - and angry fan bases over just coming up
short over and over again.
 

B1GTide

TideFans Legend
Apr 13, 2012
42,155
34,182
187
What separates Notre Dame and Ohio State - TO ME - is we're talking ALL-TIME.

Post-1965, Ohio State takes it.

A lot of people forget that Ohio State's 1980s were a lot like our 1980s - good teams on the field, tough schedules, just not quite enough to be the very best - and angry fan bases over just coming up
short over and over again.
That was a very frustrating decade for Alabama and Ohio State fans.
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
32,838
21,075
287
52
Four all beef patties, 6 feet under: the McCPR
That was a very frustrating decade for Alabama and Ohio State fans.
What's funny is that was the decade of my teens, and I thought Ohio State was sorta out of their minds about going bonkers on Earle Bruce.

Then I looked in our back yard and realized we were doing the same thing. LOL!

I mostly thought it was different because I didn't personally recall a time of Ohio State being dominant.
 

teamplayer

Hall of Fame
Jul 31, 2001
6,864
1,044
282
cullman, al, usa
That was a very frustrating decade for Alabama and Ohio State fans.
It is funny that we Bama fans talk about the 80s as very frustrating because we didn't win any national titles, but from 80-89 we still won 85 games overall and six bowl games. Many schools would celebrate that as the best decade they ever had. We are truly spoiled and wouldn't have it any other way. Roll Tide!
 

Imdone

BamaNation Citizen
Mar 18, 2019
49
16
27
In my lifetime...since 1955....
1. Bama
2. Ohio State
3. Oklahoma
4. Nebraska
5. Miami

The 1969 Ohio State team with Jack Tatum and Rex Kern at QB was one of the greatest college football teams of all time.

The 1966 "Missing Ring" Bama team was the best football team I've ever seen.

The Oklahoma wishbone teams with Greg Pruett were beyond description.

Coach Bryant said the Nebraska team of 1970 with Johnny Rogers, Rich Glover etc was the best college team he ever saw.

The Miami teams under Jimmy Johnson were incredible....

All of these schools have produced consistently winning programs over a number of years in my era.

A way subjective subject.....but I'll go with these five....
 

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
32,838
21,075
287
52
Four all beef patties, 6 feet under: the McCPR
It is funny that we Bama fans talk about the 80s as very frustrating because we didn't win any national titles, but from 80-89 we still won 85 games overall and six bowl games. Many schools would celebrate that as the best decade they ever had. We are truly spoiled and wouldn't have it any other way. Roll Tide!
If you look at the top teams in:
a) college football
b) the SEC

it isn't difficult to determine why the 1980s were considered so frustrating.

Who was better than we were?

Note: while I'm a firm believer in counting only ranked wins on the basis of season-ending rankings, for simplicity's sake, I reviewed them based on rank at the time of the game played. In other words, Miami was unranked in 1985 when they beat OU, so that counts as a win over a ranked team for Miami but not as a loss for OU. BYU gets credit for a win over #3 Pitt in 1984 despite the Panthers being awful.

Here's the data.

Miami 99-20, .832, 3 national titles (31-16 against ranked teams, including 2-0 against Nebraska), 5-3 bowl record
Nebraska 103-20, .837, 0 national titles, 5 Big Eight titles (22-17 against ranked teams), 4-6 bowl record
Florida State 87-29-3, .744, 0 national titles (20-22 against ranked teams, started 10-19 in early decade), 7-1-1 bowl record

Oklahoma 91-26-2, .773, 1 national title, 5 Big Eight titles (17-18-2 against ranked teams), 4-4 bowl record*
Michigan 90-29-2, .752, 0 national titles, 5 Big Ten titles (22-19 against ranked teams), 5-5 bowl record
Alabama 85-33-2, .717, 0 national titles, 2 SEC titles (18-19-1 against ranked teams) - 1 losing season, 6-3 bowl record

Notre Dame 76-39-2, .658, 1 national title (25-23 against ranked teams, started poorly but ended spectacularly) - 3 losing seasons, 3-3 bowls
UCLA 82-30-6, .720, 0 national titles, 4 Pac Ten titles (21-11-3 against ranked teams) - 1 losing season, 7-1 bowl record
Auburn 86-31-2, .731, 0 national titles, 4 SEC titles (19-19-2 against ranked teams, started 0-8) - 2 losing seasons, 5-2-1 bowl record

Georgia 89-27-4, .758, 1 national title, 3 SEC titles (13-14-1 against ranked teams), 4-4-2 bowl record
Florida 76-38-3, .662, 0 national titles, 0 SEC titles (17-24-1 against ranked teams), 3-4 bowl record, 2 NCAA probations
USC 78-36-3, .679, 0 national titles, 4 Pac Ten titles (22-17-1 against ranked teams), 2-5 bowl record, 1 losing season

Penn St 89-28-2, .756, 2 national titles (22-17-1 against ranked teams), 6-2 bowl record, 1 losing season
BYU 102-27-0, .791, 1 national title, 7 WAC titles (6-8 against ranked teams), 5-5 bowl record
Clemson 87-25-4, .767, 1 national title, 5 ACC titles (18-10-1 against ranked teams), 5-1 bowl record
Ohio St 82-35-2, .697, 0 national titles, 3 Big Ten titles (13-17-1 against ranked teams), 5-3 bowl record, 1 losing season


=============================

So let's see where we rank:
2nd in bowl wins (behind UCLA)
At least 11 teams above us in winning pct
At least 11 teams with more wins

Auburn and Georgia BOTH were better than Alabama overall in the 1980s.
Georgia won a national title and 3 SEC titles.
Auburn got robbed of a title and won 4 SEC titles.

CLEMSON had a better decade than we did in the 1980s. More wins, higher pct, and a national title.

But how would you rank these teams overall? Here's my ranking (and not every team is ranked). Discussion in next post.

1) Miami
2) Penn St
3) Oklahoma
4) Nebraska
5) UCLA (shocked the hell out of me)
6) Clemson
7) Michigan
8) Georgia
9) Auburn
10) Florida St
11) Alabama

(I'm sorry, but the mere fact BYU was 6-8 against ranked teams and had several years they didn't face any or only in the bowl game shows me that despite a national title, they're not top ten).
 
Last edited:

selmaborntidefan

TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
32,838
21,075
287
52
Four all beef patties, 6 feet under: the McCPR
Explaining my rankings:

1) Miami - zero explanation necessary

2) Penn St - it's not because they won the second most titles, however. Penn St had the exact same record against ranked teams as Nebraska did (though the Big Red won 14 more games), but they got it primarily because they won six bowl games (tied for 2nd in the decade) and were 2-2 against the Huskers. I thought over all this was better.

Plus, Penn St played for the title a third time in 1985 to go with two wins.

3) Oklahoma
4) Nebraska

This split was tough because Nebraska won 12 more games, resulting in a substantially better win pct, and has a better record against ranked teams. I went with OU, however, because:
a) the teams were 5-5 against each other
b) each won 5 Big Eight titles
c) OU played for the national title a second time (1987)
d) despite losing that game, OU was still better in bowl game record (where you can't pick your foe).

5) UCLA (shocked the hell out of me)

This one stunned me and might well be a case study for East Coast bias.

I had NO IDEA how good their overall record was. For awhile, I was leaning towards putting them at #2. Had UCLA not imploded for the 1989 season, in fact, I would have put them there. A blistering 7-1 bowl record, including Rose Bowl blowout wins over national title contenders Illinois (1983) and Iowa (1985) an beat Miami in a bowl between Hurricane national title runs. But Nebraska beat them three out of four, so I couldn't very well put them above NU.

6) Clemson

Another shocker given that Clemson was a 6-5 team in 1980. They not only won a title, they won consistently the rest of the decade.

7) Michigan

Better known for the games they lost. But 90 wins is more than Penn St and only one less than OU, both teams that got more hype during the decade than did UM. And they were better against the good teams than OU and just below Penn St. One can argue they should be higher, but I chose Clemson because they also won five bowl games, and it only took them six chances.

8) Georgia

UGA was another half-decade team that was dominant early and then let off towards the end. They were below .500 against the good teams, but they beat everyone else for awhile. When you recall they were 3-0 against ranked teams in 1980, you realize that in the last nine years of the 80s, they were a disappointing 10-14-1 against good teams. This might be the beginning of Jawja "Jawja-ing."

9) Auburn

A tough call to pick UGA over Auburn, but more wins/fewer losses/national title >>>> one more bowl win/one more SEC title imho.

10) Florida St

When you think of the late 1980s and Miami, you inevitably think of the rising power of FSU. I was actually surprised the Alabama's numbers for the entire decade were comparable to the Noles. But more wins, more bowl wins, better pct, and about equal against ranked teams......the nod goes to the Criminoles.


11) Alabama

And now you know why we don't care much for the 80s.

Good teams. But five teams in the region - Miami, FSU, Clemson, UGA, Auburn - were all better than a team that was the team of BOTH the 60s AND the 70s. That's a tough one to swallow, but it's the truth.
 

Jacie

New Member
Dec 7, 2018
21
0
0
But there's no disputing the reality that 2017 Alabama would skull drag the 1961 Alabama team, and it wouldn't even be much of a battle.

(And not just because those guys from the 61 team are all in their late 70s, either).
Did the players on the 61 team still play both ways or had they started platooning by then?

If they played both ways, wouldn't it be fair only if the 2017 team did the same which begs the question, would you want the 2017 offense playing defense or the 2017 defense playing offense?
 

TideEngineer08

TideFans Legend
Jun 9, 2009
31,710
20,187
187
Beautiful Cullman, AL
Selma, I had no idea what our overall record was in the 80s. I knew it was decent but figured it was worse than you've listed for some reason. But knowing that its probably Auburn's greatest decade in their history, and then seeing our records were nearly identical, I'm quite surprised. Maybe Auburn views their recent run from about 2010 until now as better than the 80s. But at least until 2010, I would think that was their best decade overall. And we look at it as one of our worst, outside of 1997-2006.
 

Latest threads

TideFans.shop - Bryce Young NIL Jersey


Your purchase through our TideFans.shop links helps support the site! Thanks!