Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Football Season Rankings

Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Football Season Rankings

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Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Football Season Rankings

Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Football Season Rankings


Which Alabama football seasons turned out to be the best and which ones the worst? They’re the Alabama All-Time Football Season Rankings, analyzing which years were the best – and worst – in Crimson Tide history.


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In the long and storied history of Alabama football, which seasons turned out to be the best – at least in terms of accomplishments and schedule difficulty – and which ones weren’t so great? Going by the CFN Historical Season Formula, we rank all the Crimson Tide seasons.

To start, these are the rankings of the seasons, not the actual teams themselves. If you think one team is more talented than another, or one team could’ve beaten another, that’s up to you. The season rankings are based on what actually happened against the schedule the team played. Here’s the formula, put together a long, long time ago to compare and contrast teams from various eras – and to settle arguments.

For the breakdown of the CFN Historical Formula, please scroll to the bottom.

Three interesting tidbits before diving in …

The lack of “bad” losses

The “bad” loss in the formula is a loss to a team that finished with three losses or fewer – or to an FCS/D-IAA team. Over the 113 years of Alabama football, the program has a Bad Loss Score – a 0.5 is added to losses at home to “bad” teams – of a ridiculous 16. The 2006 24-16 home loss to a Mississippi State team that went 3-9 is the lone blip since 1981’s bizarre 24-21 stunner to a Georgia Tech team whose only win all year came against the Crimson Tide. Those are the only two since 1958.

The all-time ranking score is a joke

Put together all 113 seasons of Alabama football – and the average season score is 13.34. To put this into perspective, ranking all the Alabama teams off all-time would put them around 33 among all the teams in 2016. Remember, that’s factoring in a slew of down years, too. The program has been at a consistently high level for a very, very long time.

Ten losing seasons

Instead of the Bama iconic helmet with the number of national championships on it, the just-as-impressive number is ten – that’s how many losing seasons Alabama football has had in 113 – not counting the two years it didn’t play in 1913 and 1943.

Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Football Season Rankings: Top Ten

1. 2015, Season Score: 32.42

Even with the shootout loss to Ole Miss to start the SEC season, this turned out to be one of the most amazing seasons of all-time – and not just in Alabama history. A ridiculous 12 of the 14 Crimson Tide wins came against teams that finished with a winning season, beating Florida 29-15 in the SEC Championship and destroying Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl before handing Clemson its only loss of the season in the College Football Playoff national title.

2. 2016, Season Score: 29.41

Obviously, this is just a rental spot. Beat Clemson for the national title, and move up into the No. 1 season in Alabama history. Lose, and get knocked down a few pegs. No matter what, it’s been a special year with no close calls outside of the shootout vs. Ole Miss and the 10-0 dogfight with LSU. The win over Washington was the lone elite win over the year – at least so far – but the biggest key is the ridiculous point differential. Bama has outscored teams by an average of 39 to 11.

3. 2009, Season Score: 29.10

There’s a massive chasm between the No. 3 team and the rest of the pack, mainly due to all the quality wins. Ten of the 14 wins in the national title run were against teams that finished with winning record, closing out with elite wins over Florida in the SEC Championship and Texas in the BCS title game. Auburn pushed hard in a 26-21 Crimson Tide win, and Tennessee mounted a challenge, but that was about it. This was the lone unbeaten year in the Nick Saban era – at least until getting to the CFP National Championship unscathed in 2016.

4. 2012, Season Score: 27.32

Yeah, Johnny Manziel tagged the Tide, but that was it. Alabama overcame it to destroy Auburn, survive a late charge by Aaron Murray and Georgia in the SEC Championship, and then roll past Notre Dame 41-14 for the BCS Championship. It wasn’t the greatest offense in the Nick Saban era, but the 542 points weren’t far off, finishing with a massive point differential of 391 points.

5. 1971, Season Score: 25.38

The season ended with a resounding thud, getting waxed by a historic Nebraska team 38-6 in the Orange Bowl, but the Tide rocked and rolled over the first 11 games with elite wins over Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn. Houston and LSU were the only two teams that didn’t get blown away before the Nebraska debacle.

6. 1930, Season Score: 24.33

The 10-0 team beat Vanderbilt 12-7 and Tennessee 18-6. That’s it for the scores on the 1930 Alabama defense. The Tide handed Tennessee its only loss of the year, and shut out Washington State for its only loss of the season in the 1931 Rose Bowl. It was one of the team’s toughest schedules of the 1930s beating seven straight teams that closed out with winning seasons.

7. 2011, Season Score: 24.14

How amazing were the two big boys in 2011? LSU won the first matchup 9-6, and Alabama still finished off the national title season with a massive 347-point differential overall. No one else – including LSU in the BCS Championship – came closer than 17 points.

8. 2014, Season Score: 23.95

Not all the of the best seasons – at least according to the numbers – resulted in a national title. The 2014 team came up with a whole slew of amazing wins in the greatest pre-bowl season ever by one division – remember, this was the year of the No. 1 Mississippi State Daks – with the Tide finishing with nine quality wins. The blowout over Missouri in the SEC Championship was the end of the fun, with Ohio State coming up with the playoff win in the Sugar Bowl.

9. 1992, Season Score: 23.94

The national champs went 13-0 with an SEC Championship win over Florida and a stunning Sugar Bowl victory over Miami for the national title. However, as good as the team was and as great as the national championship win was, there weren’t quite enough wins over quality teams to get higher on the list. The point differential – 244 points – is the lowest of any of the teams in the top ten.

10. 1966, Season Score: 22.57

The 11-0 Crimson Tide ripped through the season, outscoring teams 301-44 finishing off with a dominant Sugar Bowl win over Nebraska. Tennessee came up with a fight in a, 11-10 Bama win, but that was it in terms of close calls. The D didn’t allow a point .17ver the last four games of the regular season, and allowed a touchdown or less in nine games.

Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Football Season Rankings

For the breakdown of the CFN Historical Formula, please scroll to the bottom.

YEAR Wins Losses Ties PF PA TOTAL
1 2015 14 1 0 526 227 32.42
2 2016 14 0 0 551 160 29.41
3 2009 14 0 0 449 164 29.10
4 2012 13 1 0 542 153 27.32
5 1971 11 1 0 368 122 25.38
6 1930 10 0 0 271 13 24.33
7 2011 12 1 0 453 106 24.14
8 2014 12 2 0 517 258 23.95
9 1992 13 0 0 366 122 23.94
10 1966 11 0 0 301 44 22.57
11 1941 9 2 0 263 85 22.35
12 1974 11 1 0 329 96 21.75
13 1978 11 1 0 345 168 21.69
14 1975 11 1 0 374 72 21.44
15 1925 10 0 0 297 26 21.21
16 1979 12 0 0 383 67 21.16
17 2008 12 2 0 422 200 21.08
18 2010 10 3 0 464 176 20.65
19 1994 12 1 0 305 190 20.57
20 1973 11 1 0 477 113 20.56
21 1945 10 0 0 430 80 20.50
22 1934 10 0 0 316 45 19.96
23 1999 10 3 0 378 265 19.90
24 1986 10 3 0 351 163 19.65
25 2013 11 2 0 496 181 19.50
26 2002 10 3 0 367 200 19.44
27 1961 11 0 0 297 25 18.97
28 1972 10 2 0 406 150 18.89
29 1920 10 1 0 377 35 18.58
30 1964 10 1 0 250 88 18.53
31 1989 10 2 0 357 217 18.23
32 1977 11 1 0 380 139 17.83
33 1996 10 3 0 316 195 17.48
34 1980 10 2 0 352 98 17.37
35 1991 11 1 0 324 143 17.23
36 1942 8 3 0 246 97 17.22
37 1937 9 1 0 225 33 17.07
38 1932 8 2 0 200 51 17.04
39 1952 10 2 0 325 139 16.94
40 1962 10 1 0 289 39 16.66
41 1919 8 1 0 280 22 16.47
42 1926 9 0 1 249 27 16.17
43 1985 9 2 1 318 181 16.16
44 1976 9 3 0 327 140 15.87
45 1965 9 1 1 256 107 15.85
46 2005 10 2 0 263 128 15.68
47 1982 8 4 0 338 216 15.64
48 1987 7 5 0 268 213 14.88
49 1960 8 1 2 183 56 14.84
50 1931 9 1 0 370 57 14.78
51 1950 9 2 0 328 107 14.53
52 1946 7 4 0 186 110 14.40
53 1963 9 2 0 227 95 14.39
54 1947 8 3 0 210 101 14.32
55 1967 8 2 1 204 131 14.25
56 1981 9 2 1 296 151 13.99
57 1988 9 3 0 317 188 13.79
58 1983 8 4 0 366 229 13.54
59 1936 8 0 1 168 35 13.02
60 1935 6 2 1 185 55 13.02
61 1933 7 1 1 130 17 12.96
62 1968 8 3 0 184 139 12.93
63 1938 7 1 1 149 40 12.92
64 1923 7 2 1 222 50 12.47
65 1993 9 3 1 340 168 12.20
66 2001 7 5 0 318 232 11.94
67 1995 8 3 0 260 188 11.70
68 1922 6 3 1 300 81 11.59
69 1990 7 5 0 260 161 11.57
70 1970 6 5 1 334 264 11.49
71 1924 8 1 0 290 24 11.30
72 1998 7 5 0 251 287 11.22
73 2007 7 6 0 352 286 11.20
74 1928 6 3 0 187 75 11.04
75 1939 5 3 1 101 53 10.59
76 1959 7 2 2 95 59 9.59
77 1904 7 3 0 100 62 9.58
78 1912 5 3 1 156 55 9.37
79 1929 6 3 0 196 58 9.30
80 1915 6 2 0 250 51 9.24
81 1940 7 2 0 166 80 9.14
82 1916 6 3 0 156 62 8.86
83 1914 5 4 0 211 64 8.78
84 1913 6 3 0 188 40 8.65
85 1984 5 6 0 226 208 8.63
86 1944 5 2 2 272 83 8.56
87 1907 5 1 2 70 64 8.31
88 1969 6 5 0 314 268 8.26
89 1911 5 2 2 153 31 8.14
90 1908 6 1 1 108 31 8.08
91 1948 6 4 1 228 170 7.92
92 1949 6 3 1 227 130 7.87
93 2004 6 6 0 295 189 7.81
94 1909 5 1 2 68 17 7.76
95 1927 5 4 1 154 73 7.36
96 1905 6 4 0 178 113 7.00
97 1953 6 3 3 178 152 6.89
98 2003 4 9 0 331 333 6.79
99 2006 6 7 0 298 250 6.69
100 1921 5 4 2 241 104 6.67
101 1997 4 7 0 246 248 6.34
102 1906 5 1 0 97 82 6.23
103 1951 5 6 0 263 188 6.20
104 1958 5 4 1 106 75 5.61
105 2000 3 8 0 228 246 4.84
106 1910 4 4 0 65 107 4.83
107 1917 5 2 1 168 29 4.58
108 1902 4 4 0 191 49 3.67
109 1903 3 4 0 60 114 3.39
110 1954 4 5 2 123 104 2.89
111 1956 2 7 1 85 208 2.52
112 1957 2 7 1 69 173 0.96
113 1955 0 10 0 48 256 -2.58

CFN Historical Formula

1. Wins. Obviously, winning matters. Just win lots of games, and all is fine. 1 point per win.

2. Losses. Don’t lose. -1 point per loss.

3. Ties. Yeah, there used to be those. 0.5 points per tie.

4. Quality Wins. The wins over the good teams. 1 point per win over a team that finished with a winning record.

5. Elite Wins. The wins over the great teams. 1 point per home win over a team that finished with two losses or a road win over a team that finished with three losses. An extra 0.5 added to a road win over a team that finished with two losses.

6. Bad Losses. The soul-crushers. -1 point per loss to a non-FBS/D-I team, or a team that finished with three wins or fewer. An extra 0.5 is added to a home loss to a “bad” team.

7. Bad Wins. The layups. -0.25 for a win over a team that finished with three losses or fewer.

8. Elite Losses. The forgivable defeats. 0.25 added for a loss to a team that finished with two losses of fewer.

9. Point Differential. They keep score for a reason. Points scored minus points against divided by 100.

10. Winning Percentage. A sort of tie-breaker, taking into account how good the season was beyond the raw wins and loss.

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