Texas A&M is (deservedly) taking a lot of shit for deciding over the summer to add two very questionable national titles to their history. But they're far from the only school to count championships awarded by obscure polls or retroactively applied formulas. Why, their new conference-mate Alabama is one of the worst offenders. How many titles do the Crimson Tide have? Fourteen, but only if you don't ask anyone who isn't Alabama.
After we wrote about the Aggies this morning, a reader pointed us to this Birmingham News piece from 2010, detailing how a former SID spontaneously added five debatable crowns to Bama's media guide in 1986, and therefore into the school's own history. These titles were awarded by such luminaries as the the Dunkel System, the Houlgate System, and the Sagarin Ratings.
"I tried to make Alabama football look the best it could look and just make it as great as it could possibly be," [Wayne] Atcheson said. "I was a competitor myself with the other schools, and what they bragged about and boasted about, I wanted people to know the best about my school."
Asked why 12 [at the time] is the right number, [Taylor Watson, curator at the Bryant Museum] replied: "I don't know that it is the right number. But that's the great thing about college football. I hope we never have a playoff. I'll be going to my grave arguing that we should have won a national championship in 1966."
Don't get all high and mighty over Texas A&M. Every school does this. You're all terrible.