It's always been a running joke about how Alabama's dubious claims to national championships. But the reality of those claims is even more ridiculous than what you imagine.
While most schools claim only consensus national championship years, Alabama is the only major program to claim multiple titles in years in which another school received consensus or near-consensus national championship consideration. The Alabama media guide currently claims 14 titles, including the years 1930, 1934, 1941, 1964 and 1973. Let's have a look at these particular seasons, shall we?
In 1930 Notre Dame was the consensus #1 in all major polls. Alabama is full of molasses. The end.
In 1941 Minnesota was the consensus #1 and had an 8-0 record, while Alabama was 9-2 and finished #20 in the AP poll. I really don't get this one at all. Alabama isn't just full of shit, they invented the term. They were there at the beginning of time when Adam first pinched a loaf and said, "What the hell is that?" and they said to Adam, "I think we'll call that molasses."
In 1934 Minnesota was not just a consensus #1 and 8-0, but in the first year of an historical national championship "three-peat" in which they would compile a 23-1 record. These teams are widely regarded as one of the great collegiate football dynasties of the first half of the 20th century, but apparently not in the Alabama media guide.
In 1964 Alabama ended the season with an Orange Bowl loss to Texas, but for whatever reason the AP poll was conducting a one-year trial run of giving the trophy before the bowls and so gifted Alabama the title even though #2 Arkansas won their bowl game and finished a perfect 10-0.
1973 was of course the year of Bear Bryant's legendary Sugar Bowl loss to Ara and the real '73 national champions, although the UPI was still two years away from giving out its trophy after the bowl games, and so Bama got another cheapie.
You will hear the media claim anywhere from 12 to 14 national championships for Alabama over the next month--the actual number is nine--while Notre Dame officially claims 11*. Realize that the NCAA officially credits the Irish for 13, and if ND applied the same litmus test that Alabama does, they could claim 21 national championships. Heck, if they applied the '73 standard, the Irish already are this year's champion.*John Gaski points out that the McArthur Bowl went to ND in 1964, giving us some claim to a 12th’ Consensus title.