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Notre Dame Football: It’s time to celebrate 22 national championships for the Irish

40 years is too long to wait

University of Notre Dame vs University of Michigan Getty Images

As many of you are well aware, we at One Foot Down fully recognize Notre Dame’s 21 national championships in college football. For the uninitiated — that 11 number you’ve been bouncing around is far too low and far too inaccurate.

For the record, the 21 national championships are 1919, 1920, 1924, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1938, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1953, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1988, 1989, and 1993.

Notre Dame claims 11 Consensus National Championships and publicly promotes those — but they also claim 10 others as “co-national championships.” How do we know that Notre Dame internally gives these years some type of recognition since they don’t list them in their media guides, or with banners inside the stadium. Well... they have a simple plaque:

If Notre Dame was any other school, these co-championships would be counted in the total. We are simply doing ND’s dirty work.

Memes by Brendan

Again... none of this should be news to longtime OFD readers. We have beat this subject to the brink of death on numerous occasions:

And there’s probably more than that banging around our archives.

So why are we here again? Well... it’s about that 11th title “you didn’t know about,” which gives Notre Dame its 22nd crown. We’re claiming 2012 and there’s nothing you can do about it.

You can blame the Alabama Crimson Tide for all of this (which is ridiculously ironic). Do you know how schools count national championships — they just claim them.

In the 1980’s Wayne Atcheson did exactly that.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve always felt Notre Dame had the most and it would be a long time until anybody would catch them,” said Wayne Atcheson, a former Alabama sports information director. “I have always admired their tradition and heritage. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how many they claim. I just think about ours.”

Back in the mid-1980s, Atcheson added five pre-Bryant national titles to Alabama’s media guide that continue to be claimed: 1925, 1926, 1930, 1934 and 1941.

We all know the jokes surrounding Alabama just claiming any year they please as a national championship, and if they are going to claim 1973 (which they do) then we’re claiming 2012 thanks to the #1 end-of-season ranking by the Colley Matrix — the same ranking system the NCAA counts as a selector, which is also the one that gave the #1 spot to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2011 and the UCF Knights in 2017.

Memes by Brendan

I once wrote that Notre Dame should probably wait 40 years to claim it, but now I think a decade is long enough.

Congratulations to the 2012 Notre Dame football team — the first Irish squad to win a national championship since 1993.

Don’t fight it. There is no “moral high ground” in college football, and any claim to that ground is just playing a different game than everyone else.