Alabama Championships Lost: Crimson Tide, SEC Owes BCS a Debt of Gratitude

Kevin KingSenior Analyst IIAugust 11, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 10:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide stands next to The Coaches' Trophy which signifies the national champion after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game during a press conference on January 10, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Why should Alabama or its fans feel they owe the BCS anything? The Tide has earned the trophies they won during the BCS era. Likewise, why should the SEC feel beholding to the BCS? 

Glad you asked—here is why.

What happened to the Crimson Tide in 1966 is no big secret to Alabama fans. There are even books published about how a 10-0 Alabama team was denied the national title to Ara Parsghian's 9-0-1 Notre Dame squad, who was tied by Michigan State, 10-10 late in the season.

You can study who played who and the win-loss records of opponents, the points scored and on and on. Once done, you will see the only fair answer is Notre Dame was voted national champion when Alabama should have been.

That's one—but it is far from the end of the story.

There are two other obvious instances in modern college football history—1960 to present—where Alabama was treated unfairly in the voting by the AP.

You may think, "They have 14 national championships in football. Seems they do fine, so why the fuss?" That isn't the point. The point is they should have at least 17. Here is why the other two lost rings at Alabama.


In 1975, Alabama lost their season opener to Missouri, 20-7. Missouri went 6-5 that year. Alabama went on an 11-0 tear after that loss. They outscored opponents 367-52 after that game.

Oklahoma also finished that year 11-1. Their single loss came late in the season to Kansas, 23-3. Kansas finished 7-5.

Oklahoma won five games by no more than a single score and conversion, while Alabama rolled over their opponents. Oklahoma won over No. 4 Michigan 14-6 in their bowl. How Michigan was still ranked No. 4 just before that bowl with a 7-1-2 record just doesn't make sense.

Alabama beat a two-loss Penn State team in their bowl and finished No. 2. Oklahoma was voted the No. 1 spot by the writers.

That's two—but there is more.

In 1977, Notre Dame lost to Mississippi, 13-20. Mississippi lost to Alabama, 34-13 and finished the season 5-6. Notre Dame went on to finish the year 11-1.

Alabama lost their second game of the season to Nebraska, 31-24. Nebraska finished the year 9-3. Alabama won out and finished 11-1. Guess who was voted No. 1?

That's three.


Now, why should Alabama fans feel a debt of gratitude toward the BCS? Since the inception, the BCS system has always assured No. 1 and No. 2 met to play for the title. 

Though the system isn't perfect, it cannot have done anything but help in keeping all fair. Being certain, a group of writers—some possibly with an agenda—has not voted someone in who didn't deserve to be there.


It is important that I also add here: There may have never been any intent of doing wrong by any voter. But the human element, by itself, seldom makes choices without any emotion involved. It is human nature. And when emotion gets in the mix, fairness often suffers.

The BCS system allows us to have the human element but not rely solely on it. That's the best of both worlds.

As for the SEC, there is little doubt that this conference would not have played for six national titles in a row—let alone win them—without the BCS. No telling how many millions of dollars in revenue that has meant to the conference and the schools.

So, a hardy THANK YOU to the BCS on behalf of being fair. The system has assured fairness for the time it has been in place and what is coming will be even better still.