Led by 2012 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy recipient and Alabama center Barrett Jones, the Crimson Tide has now won the award two more times than any other team in history.
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 8, 2013 - The National Football Foundation (NFF) today presented the NFF MacArthur Bowl Championship Trophy to Alabama (13-1) as their prize for their 42-14 victory against Notre Dame (12-1) yesterday in the Discover BCS National Championship Game before 80,120 fans, a record crowd for Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell, handed the national championship trophy to Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who accepted the prize on behalf of the Crimson Tide at today's 10 a.m. (EST) press conference at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
"On behalf of the National Football Foundation, our 12,000 members and our board of directors, and Chairman Archie Manning, we are really proud to present this trophy to Coach Saban and the Crimson Tide, for the school's seventh time," said Hatchell. "This trophy was started in 1959 by General Douglas MacArthur, Grantland Rice, the great sports writer and legendary coach Red Blaik, and etched on the side of this stadium replica in all silver are all of the subsequent national champions. Presenting this award to Coach Saban is really special because he has done such a marvelous job in promoting excellence in the classroom as well as on the field, including this year’s winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy Barrett Jones and 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Greg McElroy. As the keepers of the history and the legacy of the sport of football, we are exceptionally pleased to again etch another Alabama team on its walls."
With the win, Alabama becomes the first school to win the trophy seven times, extending its lead by two over the school with the second most claims on award, Notre Dame with five. Saban ties Hall of Fame inductee John McKayfrom USC as the head coaches to accept the trophy the most with four titles each. With this year’s win, he eclipses College Football Hall of Fame coaches Paul "Bear" Bryant, Ara Parseghian and Darrell Royal, who each claimed the trophy three times.
Coupled with the Crimson Tide's 2009 and 2011 national championships, yesterday's title victory marks the third for Alabama during the BCS era, which began in 1998, and the fourth for Coach Nick Saban who led the LSU Tigers to the BCS crown in 2003. Saban is the only coach in the AP Poll era, which began in 1936, to win national titles with two different schools, and he is the only coach to win more than two titles during the BCS era. In addition to the 2012, 2011 and 2009 championships, Alabama claimed the MacArthur Bowl in 1961, 1978, 1979 under Hall of Fame Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and in 1992 under Hall of Fame Coach Gene Stallings. The national title represents seventh straight for the Southeastern Conference.
Representing the pinnacle of team achievement in college sports, the trophy was the gift of an anonymous donor, who commissioned Tiffany & Co. to craft it from 400 ounces of silver, in honor of NFF founder General Douglas A. MacArthur. It took eight months to make, and the trophy features MacArthur's famous quote: "There is no substitute for victory." The 2012 Alabama team will now have its name etched on the silver trophy, which will visit Tuscaloosa, Ala., until the 2013 champions claim it. Last year, more than 500,000 people saw the trophy while it was on display in Tuscaloosa, Ala., after the Crimson Tide’s victory in the title game.
With the advent of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in 1998, the national championship game determines which team will be presented the MacArthur Bowl and have their named engraved on the sparkling archways aside the greatest teams of all time. The National Football Foundation, as an impartial arbiter, tabulates and releases the weekly BCS standings during the college football season.
First presented in 1959, previous NFF National Champions and MacArthur Bowl recipients include: Syracuse 1959, Minnesota 1960, Alabama 1961, Southern California 1962, Texas 1963, Notre Dame 1964, Michigan State 1965, Michigan State/Notre Dame 1966, Southern California 1967, Ohio State 1968, Texas 1969, Ohio State/Texas 1970, Nebraska 1971, Southern California 1972, Notre Dame 1973, Southern California 1974, Oklahoma 1975, Pittsburgh 1976, Notre Dame 1977, Alabama 1978, Alabama 1979, Georgia 1980, Clemson 1981, Penn State 1982, Miami (FL) 1983, Brigham Young 1984, Oklahoma 1985, Penn State 1986, Miami (FL) 1987, Notre Dame 1988, Miami (FL) 1989, Colorado 1990, Washington 1991, Alabama 1992, Florida State 1993, Nebraska 1994, Nebraska 1995, Florida 1996, Michigan 1997, Tennessee 1998, Florida State 1999, Oklahoma 2000, Miami (FL) 2001, Ohio State 2002, Louisiana State 2003, Vacated 2004, Texas 2005, Florida 2006, LSU 2007, Florida 2008, Alabama 2009, Auburn 2010, and Alabama in 2011.
*Photo Courtesy of Alexander Gort for the Orange Bowl