I would like to thank my opponent for posting this debate. Since my opponent has allowed for arguments in the first round...I will jump in.
My opponent is saying that the Alabama football program is the best in college football history. I will be arguing that the Oklahoma football program is the best all time. I will also prove that the Alabama football program most likely falls somewhere between four and seven all time.
Let's talk National Championships
Before I start comparing programs I want to talk about college football national championships. There is no NCAA football championship for Division I FBS football. It is the only sport that does not have a NCAA sanctioned championship. The championship is awarded by various selectors.
This is the reason we have multiple schools claiming a national championship for the same year. It is also why Alabama can claim a national championship in 1941. despite the fact they went 9-2. Did not win the conference championship. And finished Number 20 in the AP.
The point being that the NCAA does not sanction a championship game for Division I FBS.
To compare teams I think we should compare the winning ways and the players that are produced. To do this I will be using overall records, bowl records, conference championships, national championships, Heisman winners, consensus all Americans, and NFL player production.
Alabama is definitely a good football program. Their overall record is 838-323-43 (.714). Their bow record is 34-23-3 (.594). The Crimson Tide have won 27 conference titles. They claim 15 national championships and leave 4 unclaimed. They have produced one Heisman winner, 55 consensus all Americans and have produced 314 NFL football players.
"OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain."
Oklahoma has an overall record of 842-312-53 (.720). A bowl record of 28-18-1 (.606). Interestingly enough their last bowl win was over the Crimson Tide. They have 44 conference titles. Oklahoma claims 7 national championships and have 10 more unclaimed. They have produced 5 Heisman winners, 75 consensus all Americans and have produced 346 NFL players.
Who's Number 1?
Oklahoma not only has a better overall record, but they also have a better bowl record. When we combine both the claimed and unclaimed national championships Alabama does have 2 more than Oklahoma. However, Oklahoma's 44 conference championships against Bama's 27 speaks for itself. Oklahoma has produced more Heisman winners, consensus all Americans and NFL players.
It is easy to see that Oklahoma is clearly the dominant program.
Bama vs the others
I will be comparing Alabama to other all time power houses : Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas and USC
Bama's overall record falls behind not only Oklahoma, but also Notre Dame, Michigan , Ohio State and Texas. Their impressive bowl record stands up against the others except for USC. Their 27 conference titles also fall behind Michigan, Ohio State, Texas and USC. Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Notre Dame and USC have all produced more Heisman winners. Only Texas has produced less consensus all Americans. And all have produced more NFL players than Alabama.
Alabama is clearly a storied football program. But to say they are the best in history is a stretch. Oklahoma has more wins, a higher bowl win percentage, more conference titles, more Heisman winners, more consensus all Americans and has produced more NFL players. Clearly when it comes to winning and producing players....Oklahoma has surpassed Alabama.
Let's look at the rest of the pack. We will use the eight criteria we named before USC is ahead in 6, Michigan - 5, Ohio State - 5, Notre Dame - 5 and Texas tied with 4. Alabama is not the best football program of all time. And it is easy to see they fall behind several other teams.