Following Alabama’s 52-24 victory over Ohio State Jan. 11 in the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship, Saban passed another Alabama legend, College Football Hall of Fame Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, for the most national titles in major college football history. Bryant amassed six national titles at Alabama.
“If you had to pick one person in our sport who has embodied the adage: ‘There is no substitute for victory,’ it is without question Nick Saban,” said Manning. “For all Nick Saban has accomplished and more importantly for all he represents, we salute him. We have been presenting our championship trophy for 61 years, and now one coach is responsible for seven teams on the trophy. It’s truly remarkable.”
With the win, Alabama has now claimed the MacArthur Bowl for an unprecedented 10th time. The Crimson Tide won the MacArthur Bowl in 1961, 1978 and 1979 under coach Bryant, in 1992 under College Football Hall of Fame head coach Gene Stallings, and in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and now 2020 under Saban. The win gives Saban, who also won the MacArthur Bowl as the head coach of LSU in 2003, his seventh overall national title, breaking the tie with coach Bryant for the most by a major college coach.
Saban now tops a list of former coaches who are all in the College Football Hall of Fame with four or more national titles to their credit, including Bear Bryant (6), Minnesota’s Bernie Bierman (5), Ohio State’s Woody Hayes (5), Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy (4) and USC’s John McKay (4).
The MacArthur Bowl represents the pinnacle of team achievement in college sports, and each year during its 61-year history a new name has been etched alongside the greatest teams of all time. The trophy, a replica of a football stadium, features archways with space to engrave the names of 100 teams and miniature goal posts. The trophy was the gift of an anonymous donor, who commissioned Tiffany & Co. to craft it from 400 ounces of silver in MacArthur’s honor. It took eight months to make.
Twenty-four different schools have claimed the trophy at least once during its 61-year history. Notre Dame ranks second, claiming the trophy five times while Ohio State, Miami (FL), Southern California and Texas have each etched their names four times on the iconic award. The trophy is on display at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.