There is no question whatsoever which university has the preeminent college football program of the 21st century: The Alabama Crimson Tide.
True, Alabama was hammered by arch rival Georgia in last season’s NCAA Championship Game. However, the Tide has captured 18 NCAA Championships, including six with head coach Nick Saban, who holds the NCAA record overall with seven National Titles (he captured the other at LSU). Saban can pass Alabama legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant in terms of titles by a single coach this coming season.
The total number of National Championships for the Crimson Tide varies: early in the NCAA, confusion and debate reigned because early titles centered around the polling and ranking systems. Alabama claims it has won national titles in 1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2020.
If you’re a betting individual, take a look at NCAAF spreads.
William G. Little is credited as the father of Alabama football. He was introduced to the sport and chose to then organize a 19-person team and begin teaching it to fellow students in Alabama in 1892.
In Birmingham, at the 1907 Iron Bowl, Alabama held the Auburn at a 6-6 tie. The game was played in crimson mud and by the end of the game, the players’ white uniforms were stained with crimson.
After this game, a Birmingham Age-Herald sports editor called Hugh Roberts used the term “Crimson Tide” to describe the events that had just taken place. Sportswriters then took the name and popularized it – and it’s remained firmly in place ever since.
The team truly began to ascend to national prominence when the university’s president – George H. Denny – hired horse-racing journalist Xen Scott as head coach in 1919. The odd choice paid off and Alabama had its best season.
Since Scott, the team has seen many Hall of Fame coaches – each of whom has taken the team to new heights — Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Ray Perkins, Gene Stallings, and Nick Saban, who has remained the head coach of the Crimson Tide since 2007.
Alabama has also had multiple Heisman Trophy winners — Mark Ingram (running back, 2009), Derrick Henry (running back, 2015), DeVonta Smith (wide receiver, 2020), and Bryce Young (quarterback, 2021).
Since 2009, the Crimson Tide has produced 111 draft picks, the most that any college football team has produced in such a short period.