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History Not Kind to Returning Champs: 'Bama Would Be First to Repeat

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Members of the Ohio State Buckeyes dump gatorade on head coach Jim Tressel in the final moments of the Buckeyes 26-17 win over the Oregon Ducks in the 96th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Charlie MillsonCorrespondent INovember 11, 2016

Based on a review of the season immediately following BCS championships from the inception of the series in 1998 to today, history may not be kind to returning champ Alabama in 2010.

Of the 11 National Champions before Alabama, none has repeated as champion the following season.  However, some teams, such as Florida State, the loser to first BCS champ Tennessee, and 2001 champ Miami, managed to claw their way back to the championship game the next year.  Miami would go down to the Ohio State University. The Seminoles won on their return trip.

Oklahoma made it twice in a row to the game only lose both times.  Ditto Ohio State. USC followed up a championship with a loss the next year to Vince Young and Texas.  So following up a championship with another championship hasn't happened.

In fact, the average record of BCS champion teams in the season following a team's championship is a relatively anemic 10-3.  Specifically, the stats show a 10.36 average win season with 2.54 losses for those post-championship seasons.

The average ranking the next year?  Almost ninth (based on the Associated Press rankings).

The best follow up year was, obviously, those teams that returned to the BCS championship game.  For example, Miami posted a 12-1 year in 2002, and USC's 2005 season was perfect at 12-0 before the Longhorns spoiled it.  

Florida, this past season, holds the record for best season after a championship without returning to the title game. The Gators' 13-1 sits at the top of the heap.  On the other hand, the 2006 Gators came in at 9-4 and ranked 13th at years end.

The worst showing for a returning champion?  Les Miles's Bengal Tigers in 2007, a team which followed up with an unranked 8-5 squad.

Thus, we wait for a first champion that can repeat the following year.  As stated, it has not happened.



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