2012 College Football National Championship Power Rankings

Jake WestrichSenior Writer IJanuary 10, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 07:  The Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a score of 42-14 to win the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Using our college football simulation engine, we placed Alabama in a round-robin tournament featuring every national champion from the BCS era. Every team in the tournament played every other team 101 times. The simulation generated each team's winning percentage (Win%) and average points per game (Avg. PPG).

2012 Alabama vs. Last 15 NCAA Football Champions
Rank Team Win% Avg. PPG Simulate vs. Alabama
1 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide 83.5 29.0 SimMatchup >
2 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide 72.6 33.7 SimMatchup >
3 2004 USC Trojans 70.9 32.6 SimMatchup >
4 2001 Miami (FL) Hurricanes 68.5 33.4 SimMatchup >
5 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide 68.2 31.1 SimMatchup >
6 2008 Florida Gators 59.6 30.8 SimMatchup >
7 2005 Texas Longhorns 58.2 29.1 SimMatchup >
8 1999 Florida State Seminoles 46.9 27.0 SimMatchup >
9 2000 Oklahoma Sooners 40.2 25.2 SimMatchup >
10 2006 Florida Gators 36.0 23.3 SimMatchup >
11 2003 LSU Tigers 35.5 24.3 SimMatchup >
12 1998 Tennessee Volunteers 34.3 24.2 SimMatchup >
13 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes 28.1 22.8 SimMatchup >
14 2007 LSU Tigers 26.0 23.6 SimMatchup >
15 2010 Auburn Tigers 21.4 25.3 SimMatchup >


Nick Saban has created a dynasty at Alabama, winning three BCS National Championships in the last four years, and the 2012 edition may be the school's best yet. The Crimson Tide began the season 9-0, including wins over ranked opponents Michigan, Mississippi State and LSU, before falling to Heisman winner Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. A win over Georgia in the SEC Championship secured a BCS National Championship berth, where Alabama routed Notre Dame.

But how does Alabama compare to past champions? Using our college football simulation engine, we placed the Crimson Tide's 2012 team in a round-robin tournament against every team of the BCS era, dating back to 1998.

Alabama romped through the simulation, placing three teams in the top five. The current squad claimed top honors by winning 83.5 percent of simulated games despite averaging the seventh-most points.

The simulation engine, which takes into account the statistical makeup of each team, was impressed by Alabama's offensive effectiveness and defensive prowess. A dominant offensive line enabled the Crimson Tide to average 5.6 yards per rush as a team, sixth nationally this year. Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon combined for 2,430 yards on the ground and 29 end-zone excursions.

While A.J. McCarron threw for just 209.5 yards per game in 2012, his 175.3 quarterback rating led the country. McCarron was ultra-efficient, completing 67.2 percent of passes with 30 touchdowns and three interceptions.

The real catalyst for Alabama's most recent national championship run was a suffocating defense that surrendering just 10.9 points and 250 yards per game, both the fewest in the nation. Opposing rushers averaged 2.4 yards per carry, while opposing quarterbacks completed 54.7 percent of passes and combined to throw eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

To simulate these games or any other theoretical matchups of your choosing, try the WhatIfSports.com College Football SimMatchup tool.


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