News Article: SI names Bama greatest of all-time

deliveryman35

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While acknowledging 1993 for ND and the post-2000 success of Oklahoma, I still find it interesting that both OU and ND—two undisputed blue bloods—have combined for only two NC’s in the last 31 years, and only three in the last 40.
 

B1GTide

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While acknowledging 1993 for ND and the post-2000 success of Oklahoma, I still find it interesting that both OU and ND—two undisputed blue bloods—have combined for only two NC’s in the last 31 years, and only three in the last 40.
Notre Dame is easily understood given their very high admission requirements. It is hard to win championships when you can't even recruit most 4 and 5 star players. And, IMO, the Sooners are only great when they have an exceptional head coach.
 

alabama mike1

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[FONT=&quot]Oklahoma 10th? If you go back to the Bud Wilkinson days, Barry Switzer, Big Game Bob and etc. OU has had very good teams with the exception of just a few years. 896 wins, 324 loses, 53 ties, 46 conference championships, 51 bowl appearances and 35 10 win seasons. They do not belong in 10th place and I am not even a Sooner fan. 5 losing seasons since the Wilkinson era: 60,65, 96,97 & 98.[/FONT]
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
[FONT="]Oklahoma 10th? If you go back to the Bud Wilkinson days, Barry Switzer, Big Game Bob and etc. OU has had very good teams with the exception of just a few years. 896 wins, 324 loses, 53 ties, 46 conference championships, 51 bowl appearances and 35 10 win seasons. They do not belong in 10th place and I am not even a Sooner fan. 5 losing seasons since the Wilkinson era: 60,65, 96,97 & 98.[/FONT]
I hate Oklahoma.

But OU is a long-term blue blood and one of the great programs of all-time.
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
While acknowledging 1993 for ND and the post-2000 success of Oklahoma, I still find it interesting that both OU and ND—two undisputed blue bloods—have combined for only two NC’s in the last 31 years, and only three in the last 40.
Yeah, it's amazing how once the national title became a HEAD-TO-HEAD game as opposed to a popularity contest, they ceased winning national titles left and right.

OU's 1950 national title is every bit as "controversial" as ours from 1964, but for some reason I never hear much about it. (And to be fair to OU, there are several other teams that won a title and then lost the bowl game).


Anyone want to guess how many actual HEAD-TO-HEAD national championships OU won?

Try two, 1985 and 2000. And they didn't even belong in the game in 1985, but "We, the writers, like Oklahoma and don't know much about Miami, so, we'll let Oklahoma play for the title despite a head-to-head loss."


How many did Notre Dame win head-to-head?

1973 and 1988 (and maybe 1/2 credit for 1977)

Here's a riot for you: in both 1946 AND 1966, Notre Dame tied the other "contender" and won the national title at the other team's expense.

Why? "Well, see, Notre Dame is just good something something."


It's no accident that the moment teams had to play head-to-head games and remove us from the days of biased voting, some teams have not done nearly so well.


Miami would have a much harder time compiling that dynasty, too. Miami won head-to-head titles in 1983, 1987, and 2001, but they lost them in 1986, 1992, and 2002.


The three titles won by Florida (1996, 2006, 2008) have more legitimacy to establishing "best team" than Miami's voted titles of 1989 and 1991.

Alabama, quite frankly, has been the only school to thrive regardless.
 

CHATTBRIT

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Dec 3, 2003
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These fool SI writers are not happy unless they are trying to rewrite college football history. Surprise, surprise, college football was played long before the AP titles were invented. FYI SI Bama will be going for 18 this season, not 12 according to you lot.
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
I will confess that it gets amusing to watch the whole thing.

There are a lot of college football teams and schools that have much to be proud of - and not only in the trophy case. Yes, even my loathed Nebraska has some good things to give to college football. While I will admit I don't quite "get" the rolling Toomer's Corner, that majestic eagle is something to behold, and I can both despise Auburn and yet give credit to them for an excellent game day tradition.


I think the feeling that much of the Alabama fan base has of being "picked on" comes out in times like these SI articles. MANY teams prior to 1964 won the national championship and then lost the bowl game.

In 1943, Notre Dame won an absolutely absurd national championship despite losing their last game against Great Lakes. How often have you heard anyone complain about this? Try never. What's even more ridiculous, Purdue was the nation's lone unbeaten against a full schedule and actually dropped from 4 to 5 in the final poll despite shutting out Indiana, 7-0.

In 1946, Notre Dame won the AP national title despite trailing in the poll to Army (the two had tied).....because Army "only" beat a low rent Navy team by three points.

In 1950, Oklahoma was given the national championship and then lost by a touchdown to Coach Bryant's Kentucky team.

In 1951, Tennessee was given the title and then lost their bowl game to Maryland.

In 1953, Maryland did the same thing except their bowl loss was to OU.


There was never any sort of national outcry or outrage that those teams "gamed the system" or "didn't deserve those titles." You won't hear anyone today argue that they did.

But it gets worse because in 1960, Minnesota was voted the champion and then lost the Rose Bowl to 9-1 Washington.
Let's see......head-to-head win and one more game played should have led to some outrage and demands to "include the bowl games," right?

Nope. Minnesota still holds that year's title.

But then in 1964, Alabama backs into the title when Notre Dame blows a big lead on USC in the final two minutes. And by God, all of a sudden when Alabama loses to Texas, all hell breaks loose.

Not one damned word when it was Notre Dame or Oklahoma or Tennessee or Maryland. Not one word when Minnesota lost to a team with a resultant better record and head-to-head win. But Alabama? Oh, screw those rednecks, they sleep with their sisters, have a letter in lynching, and no teeth.

So SI writes and pulls the old "well, we're not gonna count their 1973 title because head-to-head something."

Well, Alabama's 1973 UPI title was voted on before the bowl games.

Just like Notre Dame's undeserved titles in 1943 and 1946.
Just like Oklahoma's in 1950.
Just like Tennessee, Maryland.....and ESPECIALLY like Minnesota.


(But for some reason, you never hear SI lowering Minnesota's total.......)
 

GP for Bama

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I will confess that it gets amusing to watch the whole thing.

There are a lot of college football teams and schools that have much to be proud of - and not only in the trophy case. Yes, even my loathed Nebraska has some good things to give to college football. While I will admit I don't quite "get" the rolling Toomer's Corner, that majestic eagle is something to behold, and I can both despise Auburn and yet give credit to them for an excellent game day tradition.


I think the feeling that much of the Alabama fan base has of being "picked on" comes out in times like these SI articles. MANY teams prior to 1964 won the national championship and then lost the bowl game.

In 1943, Notre Dame won an absolutely absurd national championship despite losing their last game against Great Lakes. How often have you heard anyone complain about this? Try never. What's even more ridiculous, Purdue was the nation's lone unbeaten against a full schedule and actually dropped from 4 to 5 in the final poll despite shutting out Indiana, 7-0.

In 1946, Notre Dame won the AP national title despite trailing in the poll to Army (the two had tied).....because Army "only" beat a low rent Navy team by three points.

In 1950, Oklahoma was given the national championship and then lost by a touchdown to Coach Bryant's Kentucky team.

In 1951, Tennessee was given the title and then lost their bowl game to Maryland.

In 1953, Maryland did the same thing except their bowl loss was to OU.


There was never any sort of national outcry or outrage that those teams "gamed the system" or "didn't deserve those titles." You won't hear anyone today argue that they did.

But it gets worse because in 1960, Minnesota was voted the champion and then lost the Rose Bowl to 9-1 Washington.
Let's see......head-to-head win and one more game played should have led to some outrage and demands to "include the bowl games," right?

Nope. Minnesota still holds that year's title.

But then in 1964, Alabama backs into the title when Notre Dame blows a big lead on USC in the final two minutes. And by God, all of a sudden when Alabama loses to Texas, all hell breaks loose.

Not one damned word when it was Notre Dame or Oklahoma or Tennessee or Maryland. Not one word when Minnesota lost to a team with a resultant better record and head-to-head win. But Alabama? Oh, screw those rednecks, they sleep with their sisters, have a letter in lynching, and no teeth.

So SI writes and pulls the old "well, we're not gonna count their 1973 title because head-to-head something."

Well, Alabama's 1973 UPI title was voted on before the bowl games.

Just like Notre Dame's undeserved titles in 1943 and 1946.
Just like Oklahoma's in 1950.
Just like Tennessee, Maryland.....and ESPECIALLY like Minnesota.


(But for some reason, you never hear SI lowering Minnesota's total.......)
I AGREE!!!! And you can add 1966 Notre Dame who wouldn't even play a bowl game!
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
These fool SI writers are not happy unless they are trying to rewrite college football history. Surprise, surprise, college football was played long before the AP titles were invented. FYI SI Bama will be going for 18 this season, not 12 according to you lot.

I realize this is one of the cherished "let's claim a bunch of titles that nobody prior to the mid-1980s recognized" stories, but I don't personally have any problem if they want to say 11.

It's not a hill we need to die on, particularly when the school's own student newspaper in 1961 said it was the "first."


It's still substantially more than other schools - and we most assuredly have more undisputed legitimate ones (post-1991 or post-1997).

My polemic has always been to get the critic to commit to a consistent method of counting FIRST.


Once upon a time, Oklahoma fans were fond of counting "only" AP titles - at least the method was/is consistent.
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
I AGREE!!!! And you can add 1966 Notre Dame who wouldn't even play a bowl game!
The 1966 injustice was preposterous, but it's hardly fair to blame Notre Dame for doing what many schools at the time did and was their standard practice.
The Irish played in the 1924 Rose Bowl, and they didn't play in any others up through that time.

The disgrace, however, wasn't even Notre Dame, it was the pollsters. My study of ties previous to 1966 shows that a team that played to a tie could expect to DROP in the polls unless
the team that earned the tie was substantially lower ranked and not "the favorite" to win the game.

Ara Parseghian's claim that a team that ties doesn't drop suggests he didn't remember his own team dropping after a tie just four years earlier.
 

BamaInBham

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Feb 14, 2007
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(My method of counting NCs is to count all and only wire service (AP 1936-, Coaches 1950-) selections from 1936 and forward. Prior is a bit more open, but I count only from 1916 when the Rose began it's annual game - have to start somewhere :smile:. All (25, 26, 30, 34) of Bama's claims in were undefefated/untied seasons playing a decent schedule and winning the only, or most important, post season game in the country vs an undefeated team (2 had a tie), with one exception, a tie vs undefeated/untied Stanford, the primary challenger to Bama's claim. That year I give it to both.) So, IMO, Bama has 16 legitimate claims, excluding the 1941 claim.

Another bogus whine against Bama's claims is split NCs.

Year AP Coaches
2003 USC & LSU
1997 Michigan & Nebraska
1991 Miami (FL) & Washington
1990 Colorado & Georgia Tech
1978 Alabama & USC
1974 Oklahoma & USC
1973 Notre Dame & Alabama
1970 Nebraska & Texas
1965 Alabama & Michigan State
1957 Auburn & Ohio State
1954 Ohio State & UCLA

Bama has 3, USC 3, OSU 2, Neb 2, half of AU's 2 are split. But no one ever mentions that USC or OSU or Neb have multiple splits. In fact, every blueblood has at least 1: Alabama, ND, OSU, OU, USC, Mich, UTx, Neb. Bama is almost the sole target of such whiners, IMO, mostly because of AU's incessant and obsessive complaints about Bama's claims. Also, Alabama fans have probably been the loudest in their claims.

Bama never makes a claim for 1945 or 1966, two of Bama's greatest teams (though IMO, Army deserved 1945, and a case can be made for ND or MSU. At least according to wikipedia Bama did not play one ranked opponent in either regular season. Army played 4 top 10 teams, 5 total ranked. ND played 4 top 10 teams and MSU played 2 top 10 teams. None of those 3 teams played in a bowl. IMO, there was some bias in favor of northern teams in the polls but it was not as bad as I had once thought since there were often many Southern teams included in the AP from the very beginning.). Both Bama teams were unblemished and demolished their bowl opponent. Other selectors chose them those years, but since no wire service did, Bama does not claim either. IMO, they shouldn't.
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
(My method of counting NCs is to count all and only wire service (AP 1936-, Coaches 1950-) selections from 1936 and forward. Prior is a bit more open, but I count only from 1916 when the Rose began it's annual game - have to start somewhere :smile:. All (25, 26, 30, 34) of Bama's claims in were undefefated/untied seasons playing a decent schedule and winning the only, or most important, post season game in the country vs an undefeated team (2 had a tie), with one exception, a tie vs undefeated/untied Stanford, the primary challenger to Bama's claim. That year I give it to both.) So, IMO, Bama has 16 legitimate claims, excluding the 1941 claim.
I think one of the REAL questions concerns a rather obvious problem: how in the world do we boast about (or does anyone) national championships that the teams AT THE TIME didn't even consider a big deal or (in some cases) know they won them?

The UA student newspaper for 1961 has Coach Bryant taking a call from President Kennedy congratulating them on what the paper itself said was Alabama's first football national title.

I'd be more inclined to listen to our foes if they'd simply show enough awareness to be consistent in THEIR thoughts.
But I also hope we're consistent in our own.



Another bogus whine against Bama's claims is split NCs.

Year AP Coaches
2003 USC & LSU
1997 Michigan & Nebraska
1991 Miami (FL) & Washington
1990 Colorado & Georgia Tech
1978 Alabama & USC
1974 Oklahoma & USC
1973 Notre Dame & Alabama
1970 Nebraska & Texas
1965 Alabama & Michigan State
1957 Auburn & Ohio State
1954 Ohio State & UCLA

Bama has 3, USC 3, OSU 2, Neb 2, half of AU's 2 are split. But no one ever mentions that USC or OSU or Neb have multiple splits. In fact, every blueblood has at least 1: Alabama, ND, OSU, OU, USC, Mich, UTx, Neb. Bama is almost the sole target of such whiners, IMO, mostly because of AU's incessant and obsessive complaints about Bama's claims. Also, Alabama fans have probably been the loudest in their claims.

Bama never makes a claim for 1945 or 1966, two of Bama's greatest teams (though IMO, Army deserved 1945, and a case can be made for ND or MSU. At least according to wikipedia Bama did not play one ranked opponent in either regular season. Army played 4 top 10 teams, 5 total ranked. ND played 4 top 10 teams and MSU played 2 top 10 teams. None of those 3 teams played in a bowl. IMO, there was some bias in favor of northern teams in the polls but it was not as bad as I had once thought since there were often many Southern teams included in the AP from the very beginning.). Both Bama teams were unblemished and demolished their bowl opponent. Other selectors chose them those years, but since no wire service did, Bama does not claim either. IMO, they shouldn't.
Whining about split national titles is beyond absurd. In fact, I think in many cases it's justified since teams could not meet on the field.
 

owenfieldreams

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1 think the key here relative to OU is "entire" history. We did not become the program considered a blue blood until after WWII. Alabama, ND, Nebraska, Michigan, TOSU, etc. Were highly successful well before the start of the AP poll. I mean, OK wasnt even a state until 1907. Since WWII we certainly belong in the discussion of a top 5. Since the start of the Wilkinson era our claim to fame has been consistency. We have been a dominant program in the 50's, 70's, 80's, and since 2000. The 60's we were ok but inconsistent. Only the 90's were we truly abysmal. We have actually won around 15 NC's but other than the 7 we boast the others were from minor ratings serves. My godfather was our first consensus A.A. Waddy Young was a TE on our Orange Bowl team in '39 that lost to Tenn. He was the pilot of B-29 "Waddy's Wagon" that went down over the Pacific in 1945. That Orange Bowl was our first real national exposure and obviously well later than other schools notariety in football.
 

B1GTide

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1 think the key here relative to OU is "entire" history. We did not become the program considered a blue blood until after WWII. Alabama, ND, Nebraska, Michigan, TOSU, etc. Were highly successful well before the start of the AP poll. I mean, OK wasnt even a state until 1907. Since WWII we certainly belong in the discussion of a top 5. Since the start of the Wilkinson era our claim to fame has been consistency. We have been a dominant program in the 50's, 70's, 80's, and since 2000. The 60's we were ok but inconsistent. Only the 90's were we truly abysmal. We have actually won around 15 NC's but other than the 7 we boast the others were from minor ratings serves. My godfather was our first consensus A.A. Waddy Young was a TE on our Orange Bowl team in '39 that lost to Tenn. He was the pilot of B-29 "Waddy's Wagon" that went down over the Pacific in 1945. That Orange Bowl was our first real national exposure and obviously well later than other schools notariety in football.
You make some very good points. Thank you for providing that perspective.
 

selmaborntidefan

Hall of Fame
1 think the key here relative to OU is "entire" history. We did not become the program considered a blue blood until after WWII. Alabama, ND, Nebraska, Michigan, TOSU, etc. Were highly successful well before the start of the AP poll. I mean, OK wasnt even a state until 1907.
Fantastic point.

On the other hand, OU opened and the school began playing football long before OK became a state, and you first beat Texas in 1905.

Once again, though, I'm hesitant to give a lot of credence to a time frame that virtually nobody today remembers firsthand (or even saw) regarding a differently played type of primarily REGIONAL game.


I think the first AP poll in 1936 is as good a starting point as any, but it's also likely that Alabama's third string today would wipe the floor with Davey O'Brien's TCU team, too.


Oklahoma has a long and proud winning tradition - and we also have to remember that (along with Alabama) the size of their states does not even remotely compare to the size of California or Ohio in terms of people.


Excellent post.
 

owenfieldreams

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I've seen more than one ranking using the term, " in the modern era." This is usually identified as either at the start of the AP poll ( 1936 ), or at the end of WWII...from 1946 on. OU fares well in these rankings, and has been named #1 in more than one. The strength that seems to be the thread in these rankings for OU is " consistency." Personally, since Saban's arrival and using the " modern era" parameter, I'd have Alabana #1 & OU #2. My remaining 3 in a top 5 would be ND, USC, and TOSU, in no particular order. Nebraska is close, probably 6th.
 

jashleyren2

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IMO, right now OSU is #2. If ND wins another one they would likely jump us again.
That's a really big "if". OSU will win 4 more before ND gets one. ND might get close, but they do not, and likely will not, have the horses to win it all down the stretch. The game is too fast, too big, and too athletic for their smart kids. Same with Stanford.

All the schools have smart kids. But places like Notre Dame and Stanford place academics just ahead of athletics, as they should, really. And that is what keeps them just outside of elite in sports.
 

BamaInBham

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I've seen more than one ranking using the term, " in the modern era." This is usually identified as either at the start of the AP poll ( 1936 ), or at the end of WWII...from 1946 on. OU fares well in these rankings, and has been named #1 in more than one. The strength that seems to be the thread in these rankings for OU is " consistency." Personally, since Saban's arrival and using the " modern era" parameter, I'd have Alabana #1 & OU #2. My remaining 3 in a top 5 would be ND, USC, and TOSU, in no particular order. Nebraska is close, probably 6th.
In either "modern era" you cite, I find it hard to select anyone but Alabama as number 1. They have 12 wire service (AP and/or Coaches) NCs, OU has 7 - how can OU or ND with 8 be placed above them. Bama does well in all of the other metrics as well (1 win from 1st place in total wins, 1% behind in 3rd place in %, 2nd in major bowl wins, 1 in 1 vs 2 matchups, ?tied for 1st in 10 win seasons?, etc.). But 50% more NCs than #2 ND and almost double OU's NCs. And they did this in the toughest conf in the country for much of the time (6 SEC teams in the top 15 all time, no other conf has more than 2 - PSU and Neb are late additions to B10 and past their prime), OU was in a 2 team, occasionally 3 team, conf.

OTOH, to put OU at 10 "all time" is a joke. They must be in any top 5, even "all time". Most of the national success of the "blue bloods" (Bama, ND, OU, OSU, USC, Mich, UTx, reluctantly Neb) except for Mich started in the late teens or 20s. Even OSU really didn't start til the 40s.