People in the state of Alabama care more about their football than most people do about, well, anything. They care so much, that they are willing to claim national championships through any means necessary.
At an Alabama Senate hearing on Monday, Sen. Tom Whatley from Auburn proposed a bill urging Auburn University to claim nine national championships in football, according to Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brian Lyman.
Auburn currently only claims two national titles, 1957 and 2010, but has been considering recognizing an additional six national championships from 1910, 1913, 1914, 1983, 1993 and 2004.
The University of Alabama increased their title claims during the ’80s, jumping from six national titles to twelve.
Just how did they make such a leap?
Former Alabama Sports Information Director Wayne Atcheson decided to add five national championships from before the Bear Bryant-era into the school’s media guide before the 1986 season.
In a 2010 interview with Jon Soloman of AL.com, Atcheson was asked if twelve was the correct number.
“I don’t know that it is the right number. But that’s the great thing about college football,” Atcheson remarked.
Now it appears that Auburn wants to add seven more national championships to its trophy case, and is taking the matter to the Senate floor.
The closing sentence of the bill states: “We call upon Auburn University 18 to officially claim nine national championships in football to 19 rightfully reflect the esteemed achievements and success of 20 the Auburn University football program.”
Assuming that there are a fair number of Alabama and Auburn graduates in the state Senate, this might be as intense a fight as the Iron Bowl itself.
It’s too soon to know if this venture will prove to be successful, but while they’re at it, they might as well bite the bullet and claim 123 championships: one for each season that Auburn has fielded a football team.