Crimson Kicker8, on 17 January 2014 - 11:05 AM, said:
Just because the AP or BCS weren't around back in those days doesn't mean college football didn't have national champions. Yes, there were SEVERAL champions back in those days, and they were determined before bowl games were played (why Bama claims 1973), but it isn't a case of Alabama saying "oh, well, this year we did swell, so ALABAMA alone is claiming a national title". As I said before, all 15 nattys recognized by the university were also recognized by some title-issuing agency.
Now, from 1936 until 1997, the AP was seen as the gold-standard of champions, and the BCS took over from 1998 until 2014. It is what it is, but just like USC claims a national title in 2003 (AP), it was LSU who raised the crystal football that year. Auburn didn't even have an AP endorsement for 2004.
But that basically IS what it meant.
Back in the teens, 20's, and 30's, you literally had "polls" that consisted of one guy ranking his top teams and that was it. There were 20-30 of these and if any one person named you number 1, you could claim a national championship? I'm sorry, but that doesn't qualify as a set standard. The Pre-bowl AP thing is weak, but I do at least understand it because it was an established standard. At least five of your claimed NC's (1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, and 1941) follow no such established standard, and they certainly don't follow any higher of a standard than the proposed Auburn claims listed in this thread.