A breakdown of national championships claimed by Alabama
How many would that make? Depends on who's doing the math.
The Crimson Tide claims 15 national championships bestowed by various organizations - some with stronger cases than others. Those include nine Associated Press titles in a poll that debuted in 1936. The AP poll is made up of a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.
Through the years, there have been many methods used to pick national champions, which is why Alabama can claim 15 titles.
This is the second year the champion will be decided by a playoff. Before that, there was the Bowl Championship Series. It used combinations of media and coaches' polls, statistical rankings and strength of schedule to select teams to play in a national title game. The BCS was preceded by the Bowl Coalition and the Bowl Alliance. And before that, national champions were selected before bowl games.
A rundown of all 15 and what organizations crowned the Tide, as listed by the Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
-1925: Alabama went 10-0 and beat Washington 20-19 in the Rose Bowl, the first time a Southern team had played in Pasadena, California. Led by Hall of Famers Johnny Mack Brown and Pooley Hubert and coach Wallace Wade. Selected by Football Annual, Helms Athletic Foundation.
-1926: Alabama, Stanford, Navy and Lafayette - yes, Lafayette - had each been declared national champs by some group before the Tide arrived at the Rose Bowl. The game didn't settle the matter, ending in a 7-7 tie with Stanford. Selected by Football Annual, Helms
-1930: The Wade era ended with his third national title. Alabama went 10-0 and walloped Washington State 24-0 in the Rose Bowl. `Bama pitched 10 shutouts and allowed only 13 points. Selected by Davis Poll (tied with Notre Dame).
-1934: Coach Frank Thomas called this his best team. Alabama outscored opponents by an average of 31.4 to 4.5 and beat Stanford 29-13 in the Rose Bowl, led by Hall of Fame end Don Hutson. Selected by Dunkel, Williamson, Football Thesaurus.
-1961: Bear Bryant's first of six national titles at Alabama. Went 11-0 and outscored opponents 297-25 led by unanimous All-American Billy Neighbors and fellow stars Lee Roy Jordan and Pat Trammell. Selected by all but Football Writers.
-1964: Joe Namath starred in prime time in the first Orange Bowl played at night. Namath ran a sneak play at the goal line in the fourth quarter. One official ruled it a touchdown, another said Namath was stopped short. The end result: a 21-17 Texas win. Selected by AP, UPI, Litkenhous.
-1965: Alabama lost its opener to Georgia 18-17 but beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl after arriving with a No. 4 ranking. No. 1 Michigan State fell to UCLA in the Rose Bowl and No. 2 Arkansas lost to LSU in the Cotton Bowl earlier in the day. Selected by AP, Football Writers.
-1973: Notre Dame beat the Tide 24-23 in a powerhouse Sugar Bowl showdown. Alabama had finished the regular season No. 1 in both the AP and UPI polls. Selected by UPI.
-1978: Alabama went 11-1 with the only loss coming to Southern California. In the Sugar Bowl against Penn State, All-America linebacker Barry Krauss led a charge of Tide defenders stuffing Matt Guman at the goal line to preserve a 14-7 win. Selected by all but UPI, Sporting News.
-1979: Bryant's sixth and final national title team. Alabama went 12-0 and pounded future SEC West rival Arkansas 24-9 in the Sugar Bowl. Unanimous.
-1992: Alabama went undefeated but still was an eight-point underdog to Miami in the Sugar Bowl. The defense dominated Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta & Co. in a 34-13 rout. Unanimous.
- 2009: Nick Saban's first with the Tide. Went 14-0 and tailback Mark Ingram became the program's first Heisman winner. Unanimous.
- 2011: Led by the nation's best defense and seven first-team All-Americans, Alabama overcame an overtime loss to LSU and won the rematch 21-0 to capture the first of two straight titles. Won it all despite not winning the SEC West, with the 12 wins coming by an average of 29.1 points. Unanimous.
-2012: Ended with an emphatic 42-14 win over Notre Dame in the BCS championship game. Went 13-1, and the seniors capped a 49-5 run over four years. Unanimous.
AP College Football website: collegefootball.ap.org