Why we do:
The 1941 Alabama team was named the National Champion by the Houlgate System in it's final ranking.
Why they say we shouldn't:
In 1941 Alabama ranked #20 in the AP Poll and held a 9-2 mark for the season.
Why they should shut their whore mouthes:
The 1941 AP poll was only the seventh poll distributed, while the Houlgate System had been around since 1927 and was syndicated in newspapers across the country, besides also being published in Illustrated Football and the Football Thesaurus. As opposed to the subjective selections of the AP poll, the Houlgate System was based on a mathematical rating system like the current BCS system and also took into account a team's post season performance, whereas the AP poll was issued before the bowl games. In comparison, the AP poll was a fly by night operation run by a handful of sportswriters with no accountability in their selections. The fact that a 5-3 Northwestern wound up ranked #11 and a 6-4 Washington State came in at #19 in the AP Poll for that year should tell you something about it's reliability.
Further, Alabama played four of the teams ahead of it in that year's AP Poll. The Tide bested Georgia (ranked at 14 with a 9-1-1 final record), Tennessee (ranked at 18 with a 8-2 final record), and Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl (ranked at 9 with a 9-2 final record). The only team ahead of us in the AP poll that we played and lost to was Mississippi State, who finished with an 8-1-1 mark and a #16 ranking.
When it comes down to it, a legitimate, systematic poll selected the Tide as it's champion for that year, and Alabama has every right to claim it.