After all the excitement of the last two seasons on MNC Wednesday, this week’s entry may seem like a huge letdown. For starters, there was no split vote for the mythical national championship this time around, and then … well, we don’t want to spoil it for you.

On with the fun part!

The 1992 MNC: SOS is always the deciding factor, it seems

Here is the Associated Press Top 10, including final record with key bowl results:

1. Alabama: 13-0-0 — W, Sugar, 34-13
2. Florida State: 11-1-0 — W, Orange, 27-14
3. Miami-FL: 11-1-0 — L, Sugar, 13-34
4. Notre Dame: 10-1-1 — W, Cotton, 28-3
5. Michigan: 9-0-3 — W, Rose, 38-31
6. Syracuse: 10-2-0 — W, Fiesta, 26-22
7. Texas A&M: 12-1-0 — L, Cotton, 3-28
8. Georgia: 10-2-0 — W, Citrus, 21-14
9. Stanford: 10-3-0 — W, Blockbuster, 24-3
10. Florida: 9-4-0 — W, Gator, 27-10

The Crimson Tide, who have won our MNC analysis just once hitherto, are clearly the early front runners with a perfect season as the SEC champions. The Seminoles, who lost again to the Hurricanes on a missed field goal late in the game (i.e., Wide Right II), also advance, however, as the ACC champions—because Miami was eliminated by Alabama in bowl season. Funny how that works out sometimes …

We will look at the Fighting Irish, too, as their loss came against the ranked Cardinal, and their tie was against the ranked Wolverines. Speaking of Michigan, who didn’t lose all year, either … yes, they get to move along, too, as the B1G champions and the Rose Bowl winners, too, shockingly.

The Orangemen won the Big East, but the two losses may be too much to overcome. We shall see, but for now, we can move Syracuse ahead. The Aggies could have made this more interesting with a bowl win; alas, no. Any other schools to look at? Not at all: No small schools finished within breathing room of the big boys in 1992.

That leaves us with 5 teams this year to analyze. Here are their respective SOS ratings, after sifting through all the chafe above:

  • Alabama: 13 Division I-A opponents, 2.74 SOS rating, 32nd of 107
  • Florida State: 12 Division I-A opponents, 5.08 SOS rating, 12th
  • Notre Dame: 12 Division I-A opponents, 4.71 SOS rating, 15th
  • Michigan: 12 Division I-A opponents, 3.73 SOS rating, 25th
  • Syracuse: 12 Division I-A opponents, 2.02 SOS rating, 41st

Well, well, well … what do you know? For the record, the Seminoles were the No. 1 team in the SRS, as well, while the Crimson Tide finished No. 4 there. But the relative weakness of Alabama’s schedule means that both Florida State and Notre Dame leapfrog them in the final analysis. So much for being undefeated; your schedule still needs to be better than that if you want to be the real champs.

The Seminoles obviously rank higher than the Fighting Irish, too, with the Notre Dame tie against Michigan hurting its chances in the end. Florida State played 7 ranked teams during the year, in fact, and 6 of those games were not at home. That’s an incredible slate of tough games, so the Seminoles definitely earned this MNC in our minds.

For the record, this is the fifth time the Crimson Tide won the AP title and didn’t win our analysis (1961, 1964, 1978, 1979). If there has been a more historically overrated team than Alabama, let us know. Data and facts matter, not mythology.

Congratulations to the 1992 Florida State Seminoles, the mythical national champion!

Check in every Wednesday for a new feature on the mythical national championship in college football on The Daily McPlay.