Could Auburn's listed total of national championships suddenly increase?
Athletic director Jay Jacobs says that the school is looking into recognizing more titles. Currently, the school lists the 1957 and 2010 seasons as its only two championship years. The possibilities to be added to the list are the 1910, 1913, 1914, 1958, 1983, 1993 and 2004 teams. All of them went undefeated and/or won a conference title.
“If other schools are using these same polls to declare a national championship, we should at least consider it,” Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said. “I don’t think there’s a better time for the Auburn family to consider it than right here at the end of the BCS era.
“As we transition into another playoff format for the national champion, I just think we need to look hard at it.”
Why would Auburn be looking into doing this? Well, Alabama claims 14 national titles. In nine of those seasons, championships are also claimed by other teams. In one of those seasons, 1941, Alabama lost two games but was declared the national champion by Deke Houlgate, a college football statistician. Thus, it's a national title. Given the rivalry between the schools, it only makes sense that Auburn has to inflate its listed totals too.
Given the historical morass of determining a college football national champion, other schools have retroactively added national championships too. Adding titles "officially" to Auburn's resume is something that Jacobs has been thinking about for the better part of January.
The 2004 team would be an interesting case. Undefeated Auburn was left out of the 2005 Orange Bowl in favor of undefeated USC and Oklahoma. However, the 2004 title is now officially vacated per NCAA rules because of USC's violations. We played the what-if scenario a week ago, and had Auburn losing to USC. Maybe that stoked Jacobs' fire.
“The 2004 team are national champions,” Jacobs said. “I just find it hard for us to not recognize teams in the same manner that sister institutions have given the same criteria.”
Let's be honest, schools listing national titles is an arms race that is an exercise is self-congratulation and nothing more. The perception of Auburn doesn't change much if the school does or doesn't call the 1913 team "national champions," does it?
“We’re so competitive. We compare ourselves to other schools,” Jacobs said. “If they’re counting something that we’re not counting, and we’re on equal footing, wouldn’t it be wise to count it.
“I think it’s something we need to consider right now. It’s been talked about here and there, but lets get it out there now and look at it and see what we should do.”
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