Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Florida is a 1984 National Champion

I’ve written on this topic before, in fact it was one of my first major posts for Saurian Sagacity back in December 2006.

Anyone who has followed my writing here knows that I don’t really believe in the existence of a single “National Championship” per se. Any system based on voting, with a seemingly limitless number of self appointed selectors, isn’t worthy of full recognition. The NCAA itself states that it is not involved in the process. At best any “national championship” title in Division I-A college football is merely a claim to supremacy. Although the BCS title system has improved the narrowing of the process, but it still remains far from perfect.

But in the current system, based as it is on claims, it’s time the University of Florida to make the claim for the 1984 season. Simply put, other universities would claim it, and have claimed national titles based on far less supporting evidence than Florida had in 1984.

I’ve written before on the absurdity of Alabama’s claim of 12 national championships as well pointing out other dubious claims.

However it was a recent comment by poster “Tommy” that really got me thinking. “Tommy” pointed out that Georgia “claims” the 1942 National Championship, so I decided to do a little research into the claim. Sure enough if you go to the Georgia Football website there it is.

According to the Georgia athletics site–

“In more than 100 years of Georgia football history, five Bulldog teams have actually been declared national champions at season's end by at least one of the national polls recognized by the National College Football Hall of Fame and included in the official NCAA Football Record Book. Both 1980 and 1942 teams were consensus champions, being chosen by at least half of the recognized polls.”

OK then, fair enough. Turning then to the best authority I know for information of this type, the College Football Data Warehouse, we find that there are TWO claims of national championship in 1942, Georgia and Ohio State. The selectors choosing each are broken out as follows –

Georgia

Bill Libby
Billingsley Report
Century Football Index
Cliff Morgan
Clyde Berryman
Edward Litkenhous
Harry DeVold
Houlgate System
James Howell
Loren Maxwell
Mel Smith
Montgomery Full Season Championship
Nutshell Sports Football Ratings
Poling System
Sagarin Ratings
Williamson System

Ohio State

1st-N-Goal
Angelo Louisa
Associated Press
Bernie McCarty
Boand System
Bob Kirlin
Bob Royce
College Football Researchers Association
College Football USA
David Wilson
Dunkel System
Earl Jessen
George Trevor
Harry Frye
James Whalen
Jim Koger
National Championship Foundation
Patrick Premo

Obviously the most prestigious of these names is the Associated Press, and they chose the Buckeyes.

A quick count here shows 16 selectors for Georgia to 18 for Ohio State. There were also 5 other selectors that chose either Georgia Pre-Flight Navy (it was 1942), Tulsa or Wisconsin.

Ohio State also, quite naturally, claims the 1942 national title. In fact they count it as their first.

And a Wikipedia post on the same topic lists the Buckeyes as number one, and Georgia as the runner-up.

Anyway the point of this post really isn’t about the validity of Georgia’s claim to the 1942 title. In fact, I support it.

But if that claim is valid, so is Florida’s 1984 national championship claim.

After the 1984 season selectors were torn between BYU and Florida as to who deserved number one. The AP chose BYU, but overall the number of selectors between the two schools was equal.

Florida

Angelo Louisa
Annual Football Predictions
Bob Kirlin
David Wilson
Dunkel System
Football by the Numbers
Foundation for the Analysis of Competitions and Tournaments
Harry DeVold
Jeff Self
Loren Maxwell
Massy Ratings
Matthews Grid Ratings
New York Times
Nutshell Sports Football Ratings
Sagarin Ratings
Soren Sorensen
Sparks Achievement Ratings
Steve Eck
SW!-TECH Computer Ratings
The Fleming System
The Sporting News

BYU

ARGH Power Ratings
Associated Press
Billingsley Report
Bob Royce
Century Football Index
Cliff Morgan
College Football Researchers Association
DKC Ratings
Football Writers Association of America
Harry Frye
James Howell
Mel Smith
National Championship Foundation
National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame
Poling System
Quality Champions
Sports Illustrated
Thomas Jech
United Press International
USA Today/CNN
Washington Touchdown Club

BYU had the AP, but Florida had the New York Times and The Sporting News.

Both BYU and Florida had 21 selectors in 1984.

Also, in common with Georgia’s 1942 claim, UF was chosen by Harry DeVold, Loren Maxwell, Nutshell Sports and Jeff Sagarin. If those selectors are strong enough to support a claim for a Georgia title in 1942, they are strong enough for Florida in 84’.

Many people are comfortable with the “co-championship” situation in college football that arises from time-to-time. Obviously Georgia is comfortable making the claim in 42’, as well as Miami in 91’ and USC in 03’. I submit that Florida, in 1984, has every right to claim the same with BYU.

If not, there are a host of schools that probably ought not to be claiming what they are.

2 comments:

GatorInChicago said...

According to the NCAA Division I FBS National Football Championship wikipedia entry, UGA was ranked #1 by at least one poll recognized by CFB HoF and the NCAA in the following years:

-1927 BS, PS
-1942 B(QPRS), BR, DeS, HS, L, PS, SR, WS
-1946 WS
-1968 L
-1980 AP, B(QPRS), BR, FN, FWAA, HAF, NCF, NFF, PS, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI

Funny enough, 4 other teams were ranked #1 by a respected poll in 1980.

Why don't they claim all of those titles?

UF can claim:
-1984 DeS, DuS, MGR, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR
-1985 SR
-1996 AP, B(QPRS), BR, CCR, DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, USAT/CNN
-2006 A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, DuS, FWAA, MCFR, MGR, NFF, R(FACT), SN, SR, USAT, W
-2008 AP, BCS, BR, CCR, SR, CM, OS, R(FACT), FWAA, NFF, USAT

SecondSon said...

My first exposure to this blog was reading your 6 part National Chamnpionship post and I have been hooked ever since. Agree with your position on this issue 100%.