With the renovations and expansion of Davis Wade Stadium being ready for the 2014 football season, and with it being our 100th anniversary in the stadium, what better time than now to re-vamp the presentation of our history than now?
Cristilmethod over at FWtCT pointed out yesterday how perhaps we have a right to claim a national championship in 1940 and 1941. Well, we should.
The inspiration for his piece was Auburn’s AD considering claiming seven additional national championships to their two officially recognized ones. It kind of goes along with some of the things Grass of DWS and I have been saying lately – instead of pointing the finger at what your rival is doing wrong, do whatever you can to make it to the top and if they are there as well it’s better than both of us lying in the gutter from being at war. Alabama and Auburn have pretty much dropped the off-the-field battle and focused on making sure they are getting better themselves – as a result the Iron Bowl champ has played in the BCS title game in each of the last 5 years.
I’ve rolled my eyes at Ole Miss’ three mythical national championships so many times they are starting to hurt. But are kids born in the 1990s that are now being recruited doing research to know none of them were crowned by the AP or the Coaches Poll? Do half the fans that go to games at Vaught Hemingway know that? But considering that all college football national championships for every year up until the BCS in 1998 are in theory “mythical” since they were not determined on the field, and never has the NCAA itself held a championship for it’s biggest sport (allowing third parties to choose them), aren’t we entitled to claim some championships just as Ole Miss or Alabama do?
As Cristilmethod correctly points out, the Howell Power Rankings list Mississippi State with the same power ranking percentage as Stanford for the 1940 national championship. The Maroons finished the year with a 10-0-1 record and Orange Bowl victory. Auburn is planning to count a national title from this same source for 1914. I’ll admit it’s about like counting one from Maroon and White Nation, but who cares. Put the banner up. (Tennessee won the SEC that year at 5-0 while MSU was 4-0-1, but State played SEC teams with a combined 33-17-1 record, UT played SEC teams with a combined 26-20-3 record – and the two did not play each other.)
Then of course, there’s 1941. The most often disputed gripe among MSU fans as that year holds our lone SEC championship, but Alabama – despite losing to us and having a worse record and not winning the conference – claims a national title. State was unable to participate in a bowl game that year due to extenuating circumstances after Pearl Harbor was bombed a few weeks prior, allowing Alabama to go to the Cotton Bowl in our place. They beat #2 Texas A&M. Mississippi State could have gone to Dallas and beat #2 A&M but we were at home instead thanks to Japan. We have every right to hanging a banner for a national championship in 1941, so hang it.
1998 Western Division champions – hang it.
Starting in 2014 college football’s national champion will finally be settled on the field in a playoff format, but the past is up for grabs…especially before the BCS. It’s a convoluted list of champions selected by a dozen or more organizations – it’s up to each school if they want to claim some titles that were handed out. Or just claim anything that you think is halfway legit. Being rational has gone out the window for many schools, so let’s join the banner-making fun and claim what’s ours.