University of Alabama Recognized as 2017 NFF MacArthur Bowl Recipient
ATLANTA (Jan. 9, 2018) - The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame today recognized Alabama (13-1) as the recipient of the 2017 NFF MacArthur Bowl Championship Trophy following its 26-23 victory over Georgia (13-2) yesterday in the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship before a sold-out crowd of 77,430 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.
The 2017 Crimson Tide will be etched alongside the greatest teams in college football history for an unprecedented ninth time overall on the MacArthur Bowl Championship Trophy, which is housed at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. An event honoring the team will take place at the Hall during the spring.
"On behalf of the National Football Foundation, our 12,000 members, our board of directors and Chairman Archie Manning, we are extremely proud to recognize Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "This trophy was started in 1959 by General Douglas MacArthur, the great sports writer Grantland Rice and legendary coach Red Blaik, and etched on the side of this stadium replica in all silver are all of the subsequent national champions. As the keepers of the history and the legacy of the sport of football, we are exceptionally pleased to etch this Alabama team on its walls."
The Alabama was led by freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who came off the bench to start the second half, throwing a 41-yard touchdown to DeVonta Smith for the overtime victory. Tagovailoa went 14-of-24 for 166 yards and three touchdowns as the game's offensive MVP while also rushing 12 times for 27 yards. Alabama defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne registered six tackles, collecting Defensive Player of the Game MVP honors.
With the win, Alabama extends its record by claiming the MacArthur Bowl for an unprecedented ninth time in the school's history. The Crimson Tide won the MacArthur Bowl in 1961, 1978 and 1979 under College Football Hall of Fame head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, in 1992 under Hall of Fame head coach Gene Stallings, and in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 under Saban. Saban also won the MacArthur Bowl as the head coach at LSU in 2003. A team in the current SEC has now claimed the trophy 17 times.
Presented to every national champion since 1959, the MacArthur Bowl represents the pinnacle of team achievement in college sports, and each year during its 59-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 honor of early NFF leader General Douglas MacArthur. It took eight months to make, and the trophy features MacArthur's famous quote: "There is no substitute for victory."
Twenty-four different schools have claimed the trophy at least once during its 59-year history. Alabama has hoisted it the most, claiming it nine times. Notre Dame is second with five wins while Ohio State, Miami (Fla.), Southern California and Texas have each etched their names four times on the trophy. Florida, Florida State, Nebraska and Oklahoma each boast being three-time recipients. Clemson, LSU, Michigan State and Penn State have each won the trophy twice.
During college football's Poll Era, the NFF MacArthur Bowl Committee selected the recipient of the trophy. With the advent of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in 1998, the national championship game has determined which team claimed the MacArthur Bowl, a tradition that continues under the College Football Playoff.
First presented in 1959, 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, Alabama 2011, Alabama 2012, Florida State 2013, Ohio State 2014, Alabama 2015, Clemson 2016 and Alabama 2017.
About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include Football Matters®, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the SportsBusiness Journal, SportsManias, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at footballfoundation.org.