How Many National Championships Has Alabama Won?
Alabama is among the best college football programs of all time, with 16 National Championships officially recognized by the NCAA. The Crimson Tide claim 18 National Championships, which would tie them with Yale for the most in history, although there are some disputes in the official record book. This is because there were various ways of determining a champion in the Pre-BCS era.
Pre-BCS Era (1869-1997)
Alabama won 10 or 12 National Championships in the Pre-BCS era, depending on who you ask. Their first title came in 1925, under coach Wallace Wade. The Crimson Tide’s 1934 and 1941 titles are not recognized by the NCAA but are recognized by the university. These seasons were coached by Frank Thomas. In 1992, Alabama won the National Championship with Gene Stallings as head coach. They finished a perfect 13-0 and defeated Miami in the Sugar Bowl to solidify them as National Champions.
Legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant won six championships from 1961-1979 in this era. In the 287 games Bryant coached the Crimson Tide, they went 232-46-9, including 12 bowl victories. Bryant won National Coach of the Year three times for Alabama, and in 1988, the Paul W. Bryant Museum opened to display the sport’s history of the university.
BCS Era (1998-2013)
Alabama captured three National Championships in the BCS era. Alabama’s modern dominance began when they hired coach Nick Saban in 2007, which revitalized the program. Their first National Championship in this era came in 2009 when they finished a perfect 14-0. They defeated Texas in the National Championship Game, marking their first National Championship since 1992.
In 2011, the Crimson Tide defeated LSU to capture their second National Championship in three seasons. This was significant for Saban, as he previously coached at LSU. The next season, Alabama defeated Notre Dame 42-14, making it three championships in four seasons.
College Football Playoff Era (2014-Present)
Alabama has won three National Championships in the College Football Playoff Era. Since 2014, when the College Football Playoff replaced the BCS National Championship Game, Alabama has made the playoff seven times. They captured their first championship in this era in 2015, beating Clemson. In 2017, they won the National Championship again, defeating Georgia in overtime. Their most recent National Championship came in 2020, where they dominated Ohio State 52-24. No other team has three National Championships titles in the College Football Playoff era.
With three National Championships in both the BCS and College Football Playoff eras, Nick Saban tied Paul “Bear” Bryant with six National Championships, which is the most all-time for a college football coach.
How many times has Alabama won the National Championship in college football?
The University of Alabama recognizes 18 college football National Championships in its history, although the NCAA only recognizes 16 National Championships. Their 18 National Championships would tie for the most of all time with Yale, and 16 would give them the second most. Alabama won the National Championship in 1925, 1926, 1930, 1934*, 1941*, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2020.
When was Alabama’s last National Championship in football?
The last time Alabama won the National Championship was in the 2020-2021 season. The Crimson Tide defeated Ohio State 52-24. The game took place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith won offensive MVP and defensive tackle Christian Barmore won defensive MVP.
Who has coached Alabama to the most National Championships?
Both Paul “Bear” Bryant and Nick Saban have won six National Championships as the coach of Alabama. Bryant won six National Championships in the pre-BCS era. These occurred in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979. Nick Saban won three National Championships in the BCS era and three in the College Football Playoff era. These occurred in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2020.