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 –


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

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.


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


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
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.


remy_s 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

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

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%.

Unknown said...

Bro, you are so wrong. BYU won the national championship in 1984 and that is final. It doesn't matter how many times they were voted No. 1 or how much recognition they got, BYU was the only undefeated team that season, and deserved the win. Remember, at the time, BYU had some of the best quarterbacks in college football history. Each year when Lavell Edwards was around, they were either No 1 or No 2 in passing. So, with your logic, BYU should have had a national championship in 1996, when they went 13-1. Back then, nobody had ever won 13 games in a season. So, too bad. Stop wanting what your team didn't earn. BYU earned it fair and square. It doesn't matter that they were in the WAC, they upset No 3 Pitt to start the season. It doesn't matter they only got 3 wins, I bet you anything Pitt could have contended for the national championship if they had beaten BYU. It's all about confidence. BYU also had 4 4th quarter comebacks. And a goal line stand at Hawaii, when they were literally inches away from the goal line. You tell me that doesn't deserve a national championship. That is still one of the greatest defensive plays in college football history. Just give it up. What is in the past is in the past. You cannot change it. BYU are the 1984 national champions, you guys have already won 3 national championships. That is enough. Let other teams get the chance. Oh wait, BYU already did. Florida is a good team, but they weren't good enough to be voted national champions. Remember, back then, it was all based off voting. Stop trying to get something that was never yours. It's BYU's, and that's final.

Unknown said...

I've run into people who want to take credit from BYU, I'm not sure why that's the case. Here's something I just learned. In 1983 Missouri beat a pretty respectable Oklahoma St football team not long before the Holiday Bowl.
That was the WAC championship (title).

As far as what constitutes a NC. Its 100% relative proficiency. Its something I use. A team is a national champion if their cumulative score is 100. BYU's I think was 90. Give or take. Insufficient in itself. I think Washington had a higher score.

They were good enough for third place.
BYU actually only merited second place.
I'm not good at predictions, who is?
They beat the 2nd ranked Oklahoma. Won convincingly and as I said have a cumulative proficiency sufficient to trump BYU as the #1 team. But that isn't how a NC is determined. Winning is. When they played BYU (following year) they lost 31-3. I think that should remove UW from consideration.
Not because I don't think UW wasn't capable, but because they opted out!
I think to win it you have to be in it.
I'm sure people will try to argue the Orange Bowl might be more reflective.
But Oklahoma was 9-1-1. An also-ran.
Really the NC was always between BYU and Washington. That's the game that shoukd have decided it, bit Washington passed on BYU. We should award their indiscretion? Same with UF. Their being ineligible shouldn't apply to the NC?
That doesn't award misbehavior?
Also Florida tied L.S.U. L.S.U. was 8-3-1. Respectable I suppose. Played Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl, lost 28-10.
That survey I did (1983-84) had BYU/UF (tied for second) behind UNL.
Seems to me the Sugar Bowl loss properly interpreted removes UF, entirely. As they were a co-champion.
BYU again is second, behind UNL.
Does anything put BYU #1? UNL isn't claiming 1984. They were 10-2. Like Oklahoma St. (UNL defeated Oklahoma St). But like I said preliminary to the Holiday Bowl Missouri defeated Oklahoma St. Oklahoma St. (1984) was ranked #5.
Season's end. Pretty sure BYU was a better team than they were. People have asked which team(s) BYU beat that were exceptional in 1984, well I think that's opinion but AFA was respectable, as were many of the other WAC teams.
What separates BYU? Well I think it might be simply that Miami,FL secured the NC after beating Auburn 20-18.
That was similar to how a NC is decided now, similar procedure, anyway.
Was anything like that applicable to 1984? Well if you look at how the following year went, you'll see that BYU played U.C.L.A. in a CFP (Belt) NC.
But lost! That's the disappointing thing but other teams in the same situation have done the sane thing.
Ohio St defeated Oregon in 2014. Clemson beat Alabama in 2016.
It doesn't remove those two teams (Oregon, Alabama) as a BCS national champion it simply passes the torch along. And CFP is a new way of doing it, but its apparent BYU didn't unify it, they lost CFP to the Bruins.
Ultimately that allowed Alabama to beat USC in the Aloha Bowl, a CFP pairing.
But again the BCS NC was Oklahoma.
So a fair rendering might have given the NC (BCS) to Brigham Young. CFP went to U.C.L.A. They're separate titles.
One last thing, something I think might make further comparisons unnecessary.
If I'm allowed to include Iowa then there is evidence of a co-championship.
Its a way of settling it without being partisan. BYU and Iowa jointly claim 1984, might sound ridiculous but its the yin/yang approach to the championship. They have a comparable track record, the title actually (anyway) more appropriately applies to two teams. And Iowa fits the bill. Yes at 8-4-1 they serve as leverage. Sufficient to warrant (jointly) a NC.
BYU and Iowa played to a tie in the 1991 Holiday, therefore there's evidence to support it as a valid title. Without prejudicing it.
Its actually the most logical way to remove prejudice, and UF still claims a measure (4%). Third place.
But there really shouldn't be further controversy. Its simply shared.

Unknown said...

Sorry my last post wasn't succinct. As I stated BYU was admitted to the following year's championship (CFP).
That's how the championship is applied.
BYU needed to beat U.C.L.A. They lost, 24-27. The Bruins therefore won a measure of college football's championship. Retroactively applied, obviously. But U.C.L.A. was 'only' 9-3.
That's not really reflective of a national championship. The title therefore must be compared against teams U.C.L.A. were defeated by.
That's Nebraska, Oregon and Stanford.
An interesting fact, Washington St defeated those two teams (Oregon, Stanford). Those teams were decent as they usually are. So Washington St was decent at 6-5. There's plenty of evidence to support that position.
Utah and Washington St were comparable, both in record (6-5-1) and pedigree.
Utah lost at W.S.U. 40-42. Is it wrong to suggest a neutral site might have favored the Utes? Regardless its a comparable team to the one Washington beat to win the Apple Cup.
As I previously stated a NC likely pairs BYU and Utah. Washington passed.

The bottom line, really, seems to be both the CFP (Belt) pairing BYU against U.C.L.A. (a game U.C.L.A. won) but also the previous week's result of Oklahoma St defeating Washington 31-17.
BYU simply had to beat Washington. They dud, 31-0. I think that has relevance to who won the preceding year's national title. I think it's relevant, its applicable to the year-in-question.