As the number-two-ranked Crimson Tide prepares to play number-one-ranked LSU this weekend, a look at what's made the program so successful
We all know it's silly and immature to seek self-esteem through identification with your college football team. We all know that football is far from the most important thing that any university should be judged by.
Or rather, we say that we know these things, but deep down we know that all of the above is a lie. And University of Alabama fans know something even more profound, namely that everyone else in the country, whether they admit it or not, is jealous of us because the Crimson Tide has the greatest program in college football history.
You could make a very good argument that Notre Dame or Michigan or Southern Cal or Oklahoma or Nebraska has a gridiron history as glorious as Alabama's. You can make a good argument, but you'd be wrong. There are schools that can claim more national titles than Alabama, who have finished number one more times in somebody's rankings. Princeton, for instance, can claim 28 national championships, including the first one in 1869 when Walter Camp, the father of college football, deemed the Tigers the best after a spectacular 1-1 season. (Yale, by the way, has 27 national titles.)
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You can go up and down the Internet and find many bogus ranking systems that don't place Alabama at the top. (That's how you know they're bogus—if they don't rank Alabama first.) Notre Dame finishes at the top of several of these polls, and for 80 years or so, the Fighting Irish and the Crimson Tide were indeed neck-and-neck. But Notre Dame's glory is of the past; it's been more than two decades since the Irish have been a major factor in the race for number one.