Talk:List of NCAA schools with the most Division I national championships

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Information about football-related content in this article[edit]

Here is some information on the football-related content of this article for new editors who may not be familiar with what is a reasonably controversial topic.

A primary point is that there is not now, nor has there ever been, an "official" NCAA national champion in FBS/D1A football. Therefore, there is no "official" source beyond those of the individual independent selectors (of which the current AP and Coaches' polls are only two) listing yearly national championships. The closest the sport has ever come to a true championship was the modern BCS Championship game, which began with the 1998 football season. However, the BCS Championship Game was a BCS Championship, not an NCAA one, and the winner of the BCS was contractually awarded the title of National Champion only for the Coaches' Poll and the National Football Foundation.

Throughout college football history, each national championship selection in actuality has represented only individual opinions (or the tabulation of opinions). Because Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that depends on the major tenets of No Original Research and Neutral Point of View, it is not appropriate for a Wikipedia article to include comments on the validity of one selection over another.

Wikipedia relies on expert reliable sources. The column of "Recognized National Titles" in the first table has information reproduced from College Football Data Warehouse, which is arguably the most heavily trafficked, popularly utilized, and widely cited historical college football resource on the internet. The content of CFDW is in part contributed by well-respected college football historian Tex Noel. The column included in the table reproduces College Football Data Warehouse's singular opinion on the most legitimate national championship selections for each season and provides a more selective all-time opinion/list than other more expansive lists.

Whether you or your school's official count agrees with the listings, the totals in this table are duplicated from reliable sourced material. The numbers do not in any way reflect the opinions of the editors of this article, but rather of the college football historians that have compiled this information.

It is recognized that the football titles column in this table represents only one opinion on this topic. The CFDW information was included because it is a widely cited "selection of yearly selections" with a seemingly neutral "expert" opinion. It is also beneficial that it is available on-line, which permits the easy verification of edits to this article.

Again, the information on football in this Wikipedia article represents no statement as to the legitimacy or authoritativeness of the CFDW list. As opinions will differ with this resource, the reader is directed to the articles on individual football teams for alternative national championship claims and counts. This article rightfully contains no comment as to which totals are more legitimate. Any such respectful discussion or comments may, however, be appropriate for this "Talk" page. (Adapted from a contribution by CrazyPaco (talk) )

Jeff in CA (talk) 02:33, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Well-stated. Thanks for laying this out so nicely. -Kgwo1972 (talk) 17:01, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Number of recognized Princeton football titles[edit]

College Football Data Warehouse included Princeton's teams of 1874, 1875, 1881, 1898, 1899, 1920, 1933 and 1935 on its "recognized" list of national champions in football ( This is troubling. According to the pre-1935 criterion established by CFDW (, the selection of a team by just one of three major selectors (HAF, NCF, CFRA – all retroactive) is needed for recognition. However, for these 8 years, none of the major selectors, upon which CFDW based its list, selected Princeton. Yet Princeton appears on CFDW's "recognized" list for those 8 seasons.

In addition, the retroactive selections by HAF, NCF and CFRA also did not include Princeton for 1877, 1884 and 1886. Thus, under the CFDW criteria, those three Princeton teams should also not be recognized, and yet they are on its list. However, I do not begrudge the CDFW listing for those years, because a contemporary source circa 1894 (, IFRA, "The College Football Historian," Special Edition, November 2008, p. 14.) lists Princeton as national champion or co-champion in those years. It should be without controversy for us in the present time to concur with such a decision made by the pioneers of football regarding the champions of their day. Despite the CFDW criteria, those 1877, 1884 and 1886 Princeton teams belong on a list of national champions. (For the sake of completeness, note also that CFDW properly excluded the titles claimed by Princeton for 1894 and 1950, under its own criteria.)

Therefore, according to its own criteria, a more appropriate number for CFDW's "recognized" Princeton national champions in football would be no more than 18. Note: Only when and if CFDW revises its reported number on its website should the number in this article be changed (see discussion above).

Jeff in CA (talk) 03:20, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Number of recognized Yale football titles[edit]

According to a contemporary source circa 1894 (, IFRA, "The College Football Historian," Special Edition, November 2008, p. 14.), Yale won the 1890 national football championship and was recognized as such in its own time. However, Yale's 1890 title does not appear on the CFDW list. For the same reason as stated above for recognizing Princeton's titles for 1877, 1884 and 1886, Yale should also be recognized for its 1890 national championship. Thus, a more appropriate number for recognized Yale national champions in football would arguably be 19 (one more than the number given by CFDW). Note: Only when and if CFDW revises its reported number on its website should the number in this article be changed (see discussion above).

Jeff in CA (talk) 03:39, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Number of recognized University of Pennsylvania football titles[edit]

The inclusion of the 1907 Penn team in the CFDW list of recognized national champions is questionable. There were no major selectors who chose Penn ( Penn erroneously claims Billingsley for 1907 in its media guide, but Billingsley selected Harvard in 1907. Furthermore, CFDW did not utilize Billingsley's selections in its criteria. This is at odds with CFDW’s stated recognition criteria.

The inclusion of the 1894 Penn team as co-champion with Yale in the CFDW list of recognized national champions does not satisfy the CFDW criteria ( Although Penn had an excellent undefeated record, Yale also was undefeated with more wins, and was selected by HAF and NCF. Yale alone met the CFDW retroactive criteria. (Personally I am in favor of co-champions for 1894.)

Thus, a more appropriate number for CFDW's "recognized" University of Pennsylvania national champions in football would be 4 (two less than the number given by CFDW). Note: Only when and if CFDW revises its reported number on its website should the number in this article be changed (see discussion above).

Jeff in CA (talk) 03:37, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Men's rowing[edit]

I am uneasy about the listing of the Ten Ecyk winners (overall points trophy) in the IRA regatta from 1952 on as national champions in men's rowing.

Rowing is unlike most sports in that the winner of just one of the contested series of races, rather than an overall winner, is considered to be the national champion team. Typical of statements that one sees around the web is this one at :

  • "The IRA National Championship features the top crews in the country and crowns the winner of the Varsity 8 Grand Final as the National Champion."

For example, the California Golden Bears athletic article shows Cal as having won 16 national championships (not seven), corresponding to its varsity 8s wins at the IRA regatta. In fact, I don't think I've seen a rowing-related website state or imply that the Ten Ecyk winners were anything other than the Ten Ecyk winners.

In addition, the article at College rowing says the following with regard to the National Collegiate Rowing Championships that were held from 1982 to 1996:

  • "Given Washington's return to the IRA in 1995 and the demise of the National Collegiate Rowing Championship, the IRA again was considered to be the national championship."

That the NCRC was "quasi-official" was actually an upgrade from all the men's racing up until that time, as nothing was considered to be an "official" national championship event; rather, the IRA Grand 8s winner was considered the de facto champion. That the IRA race was not "official" I think stemmed largely from the fact that the Harvard and Yale varsity 8s, two of the perennially best crews in the nation, did not participate in the IRAs from 1898 through 2002. In fact some historians point to the Henley Regatta in England in certain years when Harvard, Yale and Washington were all present as being a more important US college race.

The fact that the Harvard/Yale winner and the Pac 10 winner (usually Washington) and whichever team won the IRA (often another Ivy) raced head-to-head made the NCRC important as a championship event.

I would favor listing the IRA heavyweight 8s winner as the national champion for each year, except for 1982-96, for which I would list the NCRC winners. What do others think?

Jeff in CA (talk) 16:51, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Effect of this on the number of men's rowing titles as currently listed:

          minus  gain net-change
Cornell      1     2     1
Navy         9     1    -8
Penn         5     1    -4
Princeton    1     1     0
Washington   4     2    -2
Wisconsin   12     4    -8
Brown        0     4     4
California   0     9     9
Harvard      0     6     6
Syracuse     0     1     1
Yale         0     1     1

Jeff in CA (talk) 02:45, 31 May 2014 (UTC)