College football national championships in NCAA Division I FBS

Last updated

National championships
NCAA Division I FBS
Current season, competition or edition:
AmericanFootball current event.svg 2023 NCAA Division I FBS football season
NCAA logo.svg
Sport American football
Founded1869;155 years ago (1869)
Inaugural season 1869
CountryUnited States
Most recent
champion(s)
Michigan
(2023)
Most titles Princeton (28 titles)
Level on pyramid1
Related
competitions
Division I (FCS)
Official website ncaa.com/football/fbs

A national championship in the highest level of college football in the United States, currently the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), is a designation awarded annually by various organizations to their selection of the best college football team. Division I FBS football is the only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sport for which the NCAA does not sanction a yearly championship event. As such, it is sometimes referred to as a "mythical national championship". [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Contents

Due to the lack of an official NCAA title, determining the nation's top college football team has often engendered controversy. [6] A championship team is independently declared by multiple individuals and organizations, often referred to as "selectors". [7] These choices are not always unanimous. [6] In 1969 even President of the United States Richard Nixon made a selection by announcing, ahead of the season-ending "game of the century" between No. 1 Texas and No. 2 (AP) Arkansas, that the winner would receive a presidential plaque commemorating them as national champions. [8] Texas went on to win, 15–14. [8]

While the NCAA has never officially endorsed a championship team, it has documented the choices of some selectors in its official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records publication. [7] [9] In addition, various analysts have independently published their own choices for each season. These opinions can often diverge with others as well as individual schools' claims to national titles, which may or may not correlate to the selections published elsewhere. Historically, the two most widely recognized national championship selectors are the Associated Press (AP), which conducts a poll of sportswriters, and the Coaches Poll, a survey of active members of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). [10] [11] [5]

Since 1992, various consortia of major bowl games have aimed to invite the top two teams at the end of the regular season (as determined by internal rankings, or aggregates of the major polls and other statistics) to compete in what is intended to be the de facto national championship game. The current iteration of this practice, the College Football Playoff, selects four teams to participate in national semifinals hosted by two of six partner bowl games, with their winners advancing to the College Football Playoff National Championship.

History

National championship trophies
The Sun was among the first to publish year-end college football rankings First ever year-end college football ranking from The Sun newspaper (1901).jpg
The Sun was among the first to publish year-end college football rankings

The concept of a national championship in college football dates to the early years of the sport in the late 19th century. [12] Some of the earliest contemporaneous rankings can be traced to Caspar Whitney in Harper's Weekly , J. Parmly Paret in Outing , [13] Charles Patterson, [14] and New York newspaper The Sun . [15]

"Football, however, is not a game where a great national championship is possible or desirable. The very nature of the sport would forbid anything like such a series of contests as are played in baseball."

Walter Camp, 1919 [16]

Claimed intercollegiate championships were limited to various selections and rankings, as the nature of the developing and increasingly violent full-contact sport made it impossible to schedule a post-season tournament to determine an "official" or undisputed champion. [16] National championships in this era were well understood to be "mythical". [13]

Beyond rankings in newspaper columns, awards and trophies began to be presented to teams. In 1917 members of the 9–0 Georgia Tech squad were given gold footballs with the inscription "National Champions" by alumni at their post-season banquet. [17] The Veteran Athletes of Philadelphia put up the Bonniwell Trophy for the national championship in 1919 [18] under the stipulation that it was only "to be awarded in such years as produces a team whose standing is so preeminent as to make its selection as champion of America beyond dispute." Notre Dame was the first to be awarded the trophy, in 1924. [19]

Professor Frank G. Dickinson of Illinois developed the first mathematical ranking system to be widely popularized. Chicago clothing manufacturer Jack F. Rissman donated a trophy for the system's national championship in 1926 onward, first awarded to Stanford prior to their tie with Alabama in the Rose Bowl. A curious Knute Rockne, then coach of Notre Dame, convinced Dickinson and Rissman to backdate the Rissman Trophy two seasons; thus Notre Dame is engraved on the trophy for 1924 and Dartmouth for 1925. [20] The Rissman Trophy was retired by Notre Dame's three wins in 1924, 1929, and 1930; the Knute Rockne Memorial Trophy was put into competition for 1931 following the untimely death of the legendary coach. The popularity of the Dickinson System kicked off a succession of mathematical rankings carried in newspapers and magazines such as the Houlgate System, Azzi Ratem rankings, Dunkel Power Index, Williamson System, and Litkenhous Ratings. [13]

Two short-lived national championship trophies were contemporaries of the Dickinson System awards. The Albert Russel Erskine Trophy was won twice by Note Dame in 1929 and 1930, as voted by 250 sportswriters from around the country. [21] [22] The large silver Erskine trophy was last awarded to USC on the field in Pasadena following their "national championship game" victory over Tulane in the 1932 Rose Bowl. [23] The Toledo Cup [24] was meant to be a long-running traveling trophy, but was promptly permanently retired by Minnesota's threepeat in 1934, 1935, and 1936. [25] [26]

College football's foremost historian Parke H. Davis compiled a list of "National Champion Foot Ball Teams" [27] for the 1934 edition of Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide. [13] Davis selected national champions for each year dating back to college football's inaugural season in 1869, for which he selected the sole competitors Princeton and Rutgers as co-champions. [13] Similar retrospective analysis was undertaken in the 1940s by Bill Schroeder of the Helms Athletic Foundation and in Deke Houlgate's The Football Thesaurus in 1954. [28] [13]

The Associated Press (AP) began polling sportswriters in 1936 to obtain rankings. Alan J. Gould, the creator of the AP Poll, named Minnesota, Princeton, and SMU co-champions in 1935, and polled writers the following year, which resulted in a national championship for Minnesota. [20] The AP's main competition, United Press (UP), created the first Coaches Poll in 1950. For that year and the next three, the AP and UP agreed on the national champion. The first "split" national championship between the major polls occurred in 1954, when the writers selected Ohio State and the coaches chose UCLA. [29] The two polls have disagreed 11 times since 1950. [29]

Both wire services originally conducted their final polls at the end of the regular season and prior to any bowl games being played. [13] This changed when the AP Poll champion was crowned after the bowls for 1965 and then in 1968 onward. The Coaches Poll began awarding post-bowl championships in 1974. National champions crowned by pre-bowl polls who subsequently lost their bowl game [30] offered an opportunity for other teams to claim the title based on different selectors' awards and rankings, [13] such as the post-bowl FWAA Grantland Rice Award [31] or Helms Athletic Foundation title. [32]

Post-bowl polls allowed for the possibility of a "national championship game" to finally settle the question on the gridiron. [33] But a number of challenges made it difficult to schedule even the season's top two teams to play in a single post-season bowl game, [34] let alone all of the deserving teams. [35] Calls for a college football playoff were frequently made by head coach Joe Paterno of Penn State, whose independent teams finished the 1968, 1969, and 1973 seasons unbeaten, untied, and with Orange Bowl victories yet were left without a single major national title. [36] [37]

The 1980s were marked by a succession of satisfying national championship games in the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, [34] but the 1990s began with consecutive split AP Poll and Coaches Poll national titles in 1990 and 1991. The Bowl Coalition [38] and then Bowl Alliance [39] were formed to more reliably set up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in a bowl game on New Year's Day, but their efforts were hampered by the Rose Bowl's historic draw and contractual matchup between the Big Ten and Pac-10 conference champions. [39]

The Bowl Championship Series in 1998 succeeded in finally bringing the Big Ten and Pac-10 into the fold with the other conferences for a combined BCS National Championship Game rotated among the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, and Rose bowls and venues. [20] BCS rankings originally incorporated the two major polls as well as a number of computer rankings to determine the end of season No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. [40] Although the BCS era did regularly produce compelling matchups, the winnowing selection of the top two teams resulted in many BCS controversies, most notably 2003's split national championship caused by the BCS rankings leaving USC, No. 1 in both human polls, out of the Sugar Bowl. [41] The BCS victors were annually awarded The Coaches' Trophy "crystal football" on the field immediately following the championship game.

In 2014 the College Football Playoff made its debut, facilitating a multi-game single-elimination tournament for the first time in college football history. Four teams are seeded by a 13–member selection committee rather than by existing polls or mathematical rankings. [42] The two semifinal games are rotated among the New Year's Six bowl games, and the final is played a week later. The competition awards its own national championship trophy. [43]

NCAA records book

Although the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has never bestowed national championships in college football at the topmost level, it does maintain an official records book for the sport. The records book, with consultation from various college football historians, [44] contains a list of "major selectors" [7] of national championships from throughout the history of college football, along with their championship selections. [9]

Major selectors

While many people and organizations have named national champions throughout the years, the selectors below are listed in the official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book as being "major selectors" of national championships. The criterion for the NCAA's designation is that the poll or selector be "national in scope, either through distribution in newspaper, television, radio and/or computer online". [7] Former selectors, deemed instrumental in the sport of college football, and selectors that were included for the calculation of the BCS standing, are listed together. [7]

The NCAA records book divides its major selectors into three categories: those determined by mathematical formula, human polls, and historical research. The BCS is additionally categorized as a hybrid between math and polls, and the CFP as a playoff system.

Math

Litkenhous Ratings Championship trophy, 1934-1962 Litkenhous Ratings Championship trophy.jpg
Litkenhous Ratings Championship trophy, 1934–1962

Many of the math selection systems were created during the 1920s and 1930s, beginning with Frank Dickinson's system, or during the dawn of the personal computer age in the 1990s. Selectors are listed below with years selected retroactively in italics.

SelectorNameSeasonsTrophy
A&H Anderson & Hester [n1 1] 1997–present
ASAlderson System1994–1998
B(QPRS) Berryman (QPRS) 1920–1989, 1990–2011
BR Billingsley Report [n1 2] 1869–1969, 1970–2019
BS Boand System [46] 1919–1929, 1930–1960 Boand trophy [47]
CCRCongrove Computer Rankings1993–present
CM Colley Matrix 1992–present
CW Caspar Whitney 1905–1907
DeSDeVold System1939–1944, 1945–2006
DiS Dickinson System 1924 [48] [49] –1940 Rissman trophy (1924–1925, 1926–1930)
Rockne trophy (1931–1940)
DuS Dunkel System 1929–2019
ERSEck Ratings System1987–2005
HS Houlgate System 1885–1926, 1927–1958 [50] Foreman & Clark trophy [51]
L Litkenhous Ratings 1934–1978, 1981–1984 Litkenhous trophy [45] (1934–1962)
MCFR Massey College Football Ratings 1995–present
MGRMatthews Grid Ratings1966–1972, 1974–2006
NYT The New York Times 1979–2004
PS Poling System 1924–1934, 1935–1984
R(FACT) Rothman (FACT) 1968–c.1970, [52] c.1971–2006
SR Sagarin Ratings 1919–1977, 1978–present
WWolfe1992–present [n1 3]
WS Williamson System 1932–1963
Notes
  1. The NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book shows Anderson & Hester listed as "Seattle Times."
  2. The NCAA records books have contained four distinct sets of Billingsley Report national champions since the system's inclusion as a "major selector" in 1995. Billingsley made several changes to his system's formula over the years, most notably eliminating "Margin of Victory" as a BCS ranking component prior to the 2001 season. The details of the changes can be found at the system's dedicated article; all four sets of champions are included in the table below.
  3. Wolfe did not provide rankings for the 2020 season, stating that there were not "enough games played to allow meaningful analysis," due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [53]

Poll

The poll has been the dominant national champion selection method since the inception of the AP Poll in 1936. The National Football Foundation merged its poll with UPI from 1991 to 1992, with USA Today from 1993 to 1996, and with the FWAA since 2014.

For many years, the national champions of various polls were selected before the annual bowl games were played, by AP (1936–1964 and 1966–1967), Coaches Poll (1950–1973), FWAA (1954), and NFF (1959–1970). In all other latter-day polls, champions were selected after bowl games. [54] :112–119

During the BCS era, the winner of the BCS Championship Game was automatically awarded the national championship of the Coaches Poll and the National Football Foundation.

Selectors are listed below with years selected retroactively in italics. Poll selections that constitute a "Consensus National Championship" [55] in 1950 or later, as designated by the NCAA, are listed in bold. [55]

SelectorNameSeasonsTrophy
AP Associated Press 1936–present Associated Press Trophy
  Williams Trophy (1941–1947)
  O'Donnell Trophy (1948–1956)
  Bryant Trophy (1957–1965)
  AP Trophy (1966–1977) [56]
  Bryant Trophy (1978–1989)
  AP Trophy (1990–present)
COACHES
  BRC
  UP
  UPI
  USAT/CNN
  USAT/ESPN
  USAT
AFCA Coaches Poll
   Blue Ribbon Commission
   United Press
   United Press International
   USA Today/CNN
  USA Today/ESPN
  USA Today
1950–present, 1922–1949
  1922–1949 [n2 1]
  1950–1957 [n2 2]
  1958–1990 [n2 2]
  1991–1996 [n2 3]
  1997–2004 [n2 3]
  2005–present [n2 3]
United Press Cup (1956–1958)
UPI Trophy (1959–1985)
The Coaches' Trophy (1986–present)
CFRA College Football Researchers Association 1919–1981, 1982–1992, 2009–present
FN Football News 1958–2002
FWAA
  FWAA
  FWAA-NFF
Football Writers Association of America
  FWAA
   FWAA-NFF Super 16
1954–present
  1954–2013
  2014–present [n2 4]
Grantland Rice Award (1954–2013)
HICFP Harris Interactive 2005–2013 [n2 5]
HAF Helms Athletic Foundation 1883–1940, 1941–1982
INS International News Service 1952–1957 [n2 2]
NCF National Championship Foundation 1869–1979, 1980–2000
NFF
  NFF
  UPI/NFF
  USAT/NFF
  NFF
  FWAA-NFF
National Football Foundation
  NFF
   United Press International/NFF
   USA Today/NFF
  NFF
   FWAA-NFF Super 16
1959–present
  1959–1990
  1991–1992 [n2 2]
  1993–1996 [n2 3]
  1997–present [n2 6]
  2014–present [n2 4]
MacArthur Bowl [61]
SN Sporting News 1975–2006
TOP25
  USAT
  USAT/CNN
Top 25
   USA Today
  USA Today/CNN
1982–1990
  1982 [n2 3]
  1983–1990 [n2 3]
Top 25 trophy [62]
UPIUnited Press International1993–1995 [n2 2]
Notes
  1. At the request of several schools, the AFCA established a "Blue Ribbon Commission" in 2016 to begin retroactively selecting Coaches' Trophy winners for 1922 through 1949. [57] The trophy is awarded upon application by individual schools. [58] Trophies have been awarded to TCU for 1935 and 1938, Texas A&M for 1939, and Oklahoma State for 1945.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 United Press first published their poll of coaches in 1950. International News Service published a separate poll between 1952–1957. In 1958 the two news agencies merged, and the Coaches Poll was published by United Press International from 1958–1990 until it was taken over by USA Today in 1991. UPI then published the National Football Foundation poll from 1991–1992 until it too was taken over by USA Today. Finally, UPI published a poll from 1993–1995 that was unaffiliated with either the Coaches Poll or NFF.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 USA Today published its own Top 25 college football poll when the national magazine launched in 1982. In 1983 the poll took on CNN as a voting and broadcast partner. In 1991 USA Today / CNN took over the Coaches Poll from UPI. Between 1993–1996 USA Today additionally published the National Football Foundation poll. USA Today has published the Coaches Poll since 1991, with partners CNN from 1991–1996 and ESPN from 1997–2004.
  4. 1 2 Since the beginning of the College Football Playoff era in 2014, the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation have partnered to conduct the weekly FWAA-NFF Super 16 poll. [59] The final FWAA-NFF poll is taken at the end of the regular season with the intention of influencing the CFP Selection Committee's playoff team selections. [59] No poll is taken after the bowl games or CFP National Championship game and the FWAA-NFF poll does not award or name a national champion. The FWAA's Grantland Rice Award was retired following the 2013 season and the end of the BCS era. [59] The NFF's MacArthur Bowl is awarded after the season to the CFP national champion.
  5. The Harris Interactive College Football Poll was contracted by the BCS to help formulate its standings. It did not conduct a final poll following the BCS National Championship Game or award or name a national champion on its own, so is not included in the table of national championship selections. [7]
  6. From 1998–2013, the MacArthur Bowl was presented to the Bowl Championship Series national champion. [60] Since 2014, it has been presented to the College Football Playoff national champion. [60]

Research

College football historian Parke H. Davis is the only selector considered by the NCAA to have primarily used research in his selections. [54] :117 Davis published his work in the 1934 edition of Spalding's Foot Ball Guide, [27] naming retroactive national champions for the years 1869 to 1932 while naming Michigan and Princeton (his alma mater) contemporary co-champions for the 1933 season. In all, he selected 94 teams over 61 seasons as "National Champion Foot Ball Teams". [27] For 21 of these teams (at 12 schools), he was the only major selector to choose them. Their schools use 17 of Davis' singular selections to claim national titles. His work has been criticized for having a heavy Eastern bias, with little regard for the South and the West Coast. [63]

SelectorNameSeasonsTrophy
PD Parke H. Davis 1869–1932, 1933

Hybrid

The Bowl Championship Series used a mathematical system that combined polls (Coaches and AP/Harris) and multiple computer rankings (including some individual selectors listed above) to determine a season ending matchup between its top two ranked teams in the BCS Championship Game. The champion of that game was contractually awarded the Coaches Poll and National Football Foundation championships.

SelectorNameSeasonsTrophy
BCS Bowl Championship Series 1998–2013 The Coaches' Trophy

Playoff

Unlike all selectors prior to 2014, the College Football Playoff does not use math, polls or research to select the participants. Rather, a 13-member committee selects and seeds the teams. [64] The playoff system marked the first time any championship selector arranged a bracket competition to determine whom it would declare to be its champion.

SelectorNameSeasonsTrophy
CFP College Football Playoff 2014–present CFP National Championship Trophy [43]

Yearly national championship selections from major selectors

Below is a list of the national champions of college football since 1869 chosen by NCAA-designated "major selectors" listed in the official Football Bowl Subdivision Records publication. [7]

Many teams did not have coaches as late as 1899. The first contemporaneous poll to include teams across the country and selection of a national champions can be traced to Caspar Whitney in 1901. [14] The tie was removed from college football in 1995 and the last consensus champion with a tie in its record was Georgia Tech in 1990.

As designated by the official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records publication:

A letter next to any season, team, record, coach or selector indicates a footnote that appears at the bottom of the table.

SeasonChampion(s)RecordCoachSelector(s) [9]
1869 Princeton 1–1BR, NCF, PD
Rutgers 1–1PD
1870 Princeton 1–0BR, NCF, PD
1871 NoneNo games played
1872 Princeton 1–0BR, NCF, PD
Yale 1–0PD
1873 Princeton 2–0BR, NCF, PD
1874 Harvard 1–1PD
Princeton 2–0BR, PD
Yale 3–0NCF, PD
1875 Columbia 4–1–1PD
Harvard 4–0NCF, PD
Princeton 2–0BR, PD
1876 Yale 3–0BR, NCF, PD
1877 Princeton 2–0–1BR, PD
Yale 3–0–1BR, [65] NCF, PD
1878 Princeton 6–0 Woodrow Wilson [27] BR, NCF, PD
1879 Princeton 4–0–1BR, NCF, PD
Yale 3–0–2PD
1880 Princeton 4–0–1NCF, PD
Yale 4–0–1BR, NCF, PD
1881 Princeton 7–0–2BR, PD
Yale 5–0–1NCF, PD
1882 Yale 8–0BR, NCF, PD
1883 Yale 9–0BR, HAF, NCF, PD
1884 Princeton 9–0–1BR, PD
Yale 8–0–1BR, [65] HAF, NCF, PD
1885 Princeton 9–0BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1886 Princeton 7–0–1BR, PD
Yale 9–0–1BR, [65] HAF, NCF, PD
1887 Yale 9–0BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1888 Yale 13–0 Walter Camp BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1889 Princeton 10–0BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1890 Harvard 11–0 George C. Adams, George A. Stewart BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1891 Yale 13–0 Walter Camp BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1892 Yale 13–0 Walter Camp BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1893 Princeton 11–0BR, HAF, HS, NCF
Yale 10–1 William Rhodes PD
1894 Penn 12–0 George Washington Woodruff PD
Princeton 8–2HS
Yale 16–0 William Rhodes BR, HAF, NCF, PD
1895 Penn 14–0 George Washington Woodruff BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
Yale 13–0–2 John A. Hartwell PD
1896 Lafayette 11–0–1 Parke H. Davis NCF, PD
Princeton 10–0–1 Franklin Morse BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1897 Penn 15–0 George Washington Woodruff BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
Yale 9–0–2 Frank Butterworth PD
1898 Harvard 11–0 William Cameron Forbes BR, HAF, HS, NCF
Princeton 11–0–1PD
1899 Harvard 10–0–1 Benjamin Dibblee BR, [65] HAF, HS, NCF
Princeton 12–1BR, PD
1900 Yale 12–0 Malcolm McBride BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1901 Harvard 12–0 Bill Reid BR, PDa [27]
Michigan 11–0 Fielding H. Yost BR, [65] HAF, HS, NCF
1902 Michigan 11–0 Fielding H. Yost BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
Yale 11–0–1 Joseph Rockwell Swan PD
1903 Michigan 11–0–1 Fielding H. Yost BR, [65] NCF
Princeton 11–0 Art Hillebrand BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1904 Michigan 10–0 Fielding H. Yost BR, [65] NCF
Minnesota 13–0 Henry Williams BR
Penn 12–0 Carl S. Williams HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1905 Chicago 10–0 Amos Alonzo Stagg BR, HAF, HS, NCF
Yale 10–0 Jack Owsley CW, PD
1906 Princeton 9–0–1 Bill Roper HAF, NCF
Vanderbilt 8–1 Dan McGugin BR [65]
Yale 9–0–1 Foster Rockwell BR, CW, PD
1907 Penn 11–1 Carl S. Williams BR [65]
Yale 9–0–1 William F. Knox BR, CW, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1908 Harvard 9–0–1 Percy Haughton BR
LSU 10–0 Edgar Wingard NCF
Penn 11–0–1 Sol Metzger BR, [65] HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1909 Yale 10–0 Howard Jones BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1910 Auburn 6–1 Mike Donahue BR [65]
Harvard 8–0–1 Percy Haughton BR, HAF, HS, NCF
Michigan 3–0–3 Fielding H. Yost BR [66]
Pittsburgh 9–0 Joseph H. Thompson NCF
NonePD [27]
1911 Minnesota 6–0–1 Henry L. Williams BR
Penn State 8–0–1 Bill Hollenback NCF
Princeton 8–0–2 Bill Roper BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
Vanderbilt 8–1 Dan McGugin BR [65]
1912 Harvard 9–0 Percy Haughton BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
Penn State 8–0 Bill Hollenback NCF
Wisconsin 7–0 William Juneau BR [65]
1913 Auburn 8–0 Mike Donahue BR
Chicago 7–0 Amos Alonzo Stagg BR, PD
Harvard 9–0 Percy Haughton HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1914 Army 9–0 Charles Daly HAF, HS, NCF, PD
Illinois 7–0 Robert Zuppke BR, PD
Texas 8–0 Dave Allerdice BR
1915 Cornell 9–0 Albert Sharpe HAF, HS, NCF, PD
Minnesota 6–0–1 Henry L. Williams BR
Nebraska 8–0 Ewald O. Stiehm BR [65]
Oklahoma 10–0 Bennie Owen BR
Pittsburgh 8–0 Glenn "Pop" Warner PD
1916 Army 9–0 Charles Daly PD
Georgia Tech 8–0–1 John Heisman BR
Pittsburgh 8–0 Glenn "Pop" Warner BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
1917 Georgia Tech 9–0 John Heisman BR, HAF, HS, NCF
1918 Michigan 5–0 Fielding H. Yost BR, NCF
Pittsburgh 4–1 Glenn "Pop" Warner HAF, HS, NCF
1919 Centre 9–0 Charley Moran SR
Harvard 9–0–1 Bob Fisher CFRA, HAF, HS, NCF, PD
Illinois 6–1 Robert Zuppke BR, BS, CFRA, PD, SR
Notre Dame 9–0 Knute Rockne NCF, PD
Texas A&M 10–0 Dana X. Bible BR, NCF
1920 California 9–0 Andy Smith CFRA, HAF, HS, NCF, SR
Georgia 8–0–1 Herman Stegeman B(QPRS)
Harvard 8–0–1 Bob Fisher BS
Notre Dame 9–0 Knute Rockne BR, PD
Princeton 6–0–1 Bill Roper BS, PD
1921 California 9–0–1 Andy Smith BR, BS, CFRA, SR
Cornell 8–0 Gil Dobie HAF, HS, NCF, PD
Iowa 7–0 Howard Jones BR, PD
Lafayette 9–0 Jock Sutherland BS, PD
Vanderbilt 7–0–1 Dan McGugin B(QPRS)
Washington & Jefferson 10–0–1 Greasy Neale BS
1922 California 9–0 Andy Smith BR, HS, NCF, SR
Cornell 8–0 Gil Dobie HAF, PD
Iowa 7–0 Howard Jones BR
Princeton 8–0 Bill Roper BS, CFRA, NCF, PD, SR
Vanderbilt 8–0–1 Dan McGugin B(QPRS)
1923 California 9–0–1 Andy Smith HS
Cornell 8–0 Gil Dobie SR
Illinois 8–0 Robert Zuppke BS, CFRA, HAF, NCF, PD, SR, B(QPRS)
Michigan 8–0 Fielding H. Yost BR, NCF
Yale 8–0 Tad Jones B(QPRS)
1924 Notre Dame 10–0 Knute Rockne BR, BS, CFRA, DiS, [49] HAF, HS, NCF, PS, SR, B(QPRS)
Penn 9–1–1 Lou Young PD
1925 Alabama 10–0 Wallace Wade BR, BS, CFRA, HAF, HS, NCF, PS, SR, B(QPRS)
Dartmouth 8–0 Jesse Hawley DiS, [48] PD
Michigan 7–1 Fielding H. Yost SR
1926 Alabama 9–0–1 Wallace Wade BR, CFRA, HAF, NCF, PS, B(QPRS)
Lafayette 9–0 Herb McCracken PD
Michigan 7–1 Fielding H. Yost SR
Navy 9–0–1 Bill Ingram BS, HS
Stanford 10–0–1 Glenn "Pop" Warner DiS, HAF, NCF, SR
1927 Georgia 9–1 George Cecil Woodruff BS, PS, B(QPRS)
Illinois 7–0–1 Robert Zuppke BR, DiS, HAF, NCF, PD
Notre Dame 7–1–1 Knute Rockne HS
Texas A&M 8–0–1 Dana X. Bible SR
Yale 7–1 Thomas Jones BS, [46] CFRA
1928 Detroit 9–0 Gus Dorais PD
Georgia Tech 10–0 William Alexander BR, BS, CFRA, HAF, HS, NCF, PD, PS, SR, B(QPRS)
USC 9–0–1 Howard Jones DiS, SR
1929 Notre Dame 9–0 Knute Rockne BR, BS, CFRA, DiS, DuS, HAF, NCF, PS, SR
Pittsburgh 9–1 Jock Sutherland PD
USC 10–2 Howard Jones HS, SR, B(QPRS)
1930 Alabama 10–0 Wallace Wade CFRA, PD, SR, B(QPRS)
Notre Dame 10–0 Knute Rockne BR, BS, DiS, DuS, HAF, HS, NCF, PD, PS
1931 Pittsburgh 8–1 Jock Sutherland PD
Purdue 9–1 Noble Kizer PD
USC 10–1 Howard Jones BR, BS, CFRA, DiS, DuS, HAF, HS, NCF, PS, SR, B(QPRS)
1932 Colgate 9–0 Andrew Kerr PD
Michigan 8–0 Harry Kipke DiS, PD, SR
USC 10–0 Howard Jones BR, BS, CFRA, DuS, HAF, HS, NCF, PD, PS, SR, WS, B(QPRS)
1933 Michigan 7–0–1 Harry Kipke BR, BS, CFRA, DiS, HAF, HS, NCF, PD, PS, SR, B(QPRS)
Ohio State 7–1 Sam Willaman DuS
Princeton 9–0 Fritz Crisler PD
USC 10–1–1 Howard Jones WS
1934 [27] Alabama 10–0 Frank Thomas BR, [65] DuS, HS, PS, WS, B(QPRS)
Minnesota 8–0 Bernie Bierman BR, BS, CFRA, DiS, HAF, L, NCF, SR
1935 [67] Minnesota 8–0 Bernie Bierman BR, BS, CFRA, HAF, L, NCF, PS
Princeton 9–0 Fritz Crisler DuS
SMU 12–1 Matty Bell DiS, HS, SR, B(QPRS)
TCU 12–1 Dutch Meyer BRC, [68] WSo [69]
1936 [70] Duke 9–1 Wallace Wade B(QPRS)
LSU 9–1–1 Bernie Moore SR
Minnesota 7–1 Bernie Bierman AP, BR, DiS, DuS, HAF, L, NCF, PS, WSp [71]
Pittsburgh 8–1–1 Jock Sutherland BS, CFRA, HS
1937 California 10–0–1 Stub Allison DuS, HAF, WSq [72]
Pittsburgh 9–0–1 Jock Sutherland AP, BR, BS, CFRA, DiS, HS, L, NCF, PS, SR, B(QPRS)
1938 Notre Dame 8–1 Elmer Layden DiS
TCU 11–0 Dutch Meyer AP, BRC, [73] HAF, NCF, WSr [74]
Tennessee 11–0 Robert Neyland B(QPRS), BR, BS, CFRA, DuS, HS, L, PS, SR, WSr [74]
1939 Cornell 8–0 Carl Snavely BR, [66] L, SR
Texas A&M 11–0 Homer Norton AP, BR, BRC, [75] BS, CFRA, DeS, DuS, HAF, HS, NCF, PS, SR, WS, B(QPRS)
USC 8–0–2 Howard Jones DiS
1940 Minnesota 8–0 Bernie Bierman AP, B(QPRS), BR, [65] BS, CFRA, DeS, DiS, HS, L, NCF, SR
Stanford 10–0 Clark Shaughnessy BR, HAF, PS, WSs [76]
Tennessee 10–1 Robert Neyland DuS
1941 Alabama 9–2 Frank Thomas HS
Minnesota 8–0 Bernie Bierman AP, BR, BS, CFRA, DeS, DuS, HAF, L, NCF, PS, SR
Texas 8–1–1 Dana X. Bible B(QPRS), WS
1942 Georgia 11–1 Wally Butts B(QPRS), BR, DeS, HS, L, PS, SR, WS
Ohio State 9–1 Paul Brown AP, BR, [65] BS, DuS, CFRA, NCF
Wisconsin 8–1–1 Harry Stuhldreher HAF
1943 Notre Dame 9–1 Frank Leahy AP, B(QPRS), BR, BS, CFRA, DeS, DuS, HAF, HS, L, NCF, PS, SR, WS
1944 Army 9–0 Earl Blaik AP, B(QPRS), BR,t [77] BS, CFRA, DeS, DuS, HAF, HS, L, NCF, PS, SR, WS
Ohio State 9–0 Carroll Widdoes BR,t [77] NCF, SR
1945 Alabama 10–0 Frank Thomas NCF
Army 9–0 Earl Blaik AP, B(QPRS), BR,t [77] BS, CFRA, DeS, DuS, HAF, HS, L, NCF, PS, SR, WS
Oklahoma A&M 9–0 Jim Lookabaugh BRC [78]
1946 Army 9–0–1 Earl Blaik BR, BS, CFRA, HAF, HS, PS
Georgia 11–0 Wally Butts WS
Notre Dame 8–0–1 Frank Leahy AP, B(QPRS), BR, [65] BS, DeS, DuS, HAF, L, NCF, PS, SR
1947 Michigan 10–0 Fritz Crisler B(QPRS), BR, BS, CFRA, DeS, DuS, HAF, HS, L, NCF, PS, SR
Notre Dame 9–0 Frank Leahy AP, HAF, WS
1948 Michigan 9–0 Bennie Oosterbaan AP, B(QPRS), BR, BS, CFRA, DeS, DuS, HAF, HS, L, NCF, PS, SR, WS
1949 Notre Dame 10–0 Frank Leahy AP, B(QPRS), BR, BS, DeS, DuS, HAF, HS, L, NCF, PS, SR, WS
Oklahoma 11–0 Bud Wilkinson BR, [65] CFRA
1950 Kentucky 11–1 Paul "Bear" Bryant SR
Oklahoma 10–1 Bud Wilkinson AP, B(QPRS), HAF, L, UP, WS
Princeton 9–0 Charley Caldwell BS, PS
Tennessee 11–1 Robert Neyland BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, HS, [50] NCF, SR
1951 [79] Georgia Tech 11–0–1 Bobby Dodd B(QPRS), BS, HS [50]
Illinois 9–0–1 Ray Eliot BS
Maryland 10–0 Jim Tatum BR, [65] CFRA, DeS, DuS, NCF, SR
Michigan State 9–0 Biggie Munn BR, HAF, PS
Tennessee 10–1 Robert Neyland AP, L, UP, WS
1952 [80] Georgia Tech 12–0 Bobby Dodd B(QPRS), BR, HS, [50] INS, PS, SR
Michigan State 9–0 Biggie Munn AP, BR, [65] BS, CFRA, DeS, DuS, HAF, L, NCF, SR, UP, WS
1953 [81] Maryland 10–1 Jim Tatum AP, INS, UP
Notre Dame 9–0–1 Frank Leahy BR, BS, DeS, DuS, HAF, HS, [50] L, NCF, PS, SR, WS
Oklahoma 9–1–1 Bud Wilkinson B(QPRS), CFRA
1954 [82] Ohio State 10–0 Woody Hayes AP, B(QPRS), BR, BS, CFRA, DeS, HAF, HS, [50] INS, NCF, PS, SR, WS
UCLA 9–0 Henry Sanders BR, [65] CFRA, DuS, FWAA, HAF, L, NCF, UP
1955 [83] Michigan State 9–1 Duffy Daugherty BS
Oklahoma 11–0 Bud Wilkinson AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FWAA, HAF, HS, [50] INS, L, NCF, PS, SR, UP, WS
1956 [84] Georgia Tech 10–1 Bobby Dodd B(QPRS), HS, [50] SR
Iowa 9–1 Forest Evashevski CFRA
Oklahoma 10–0 Bud Wilkinson AP, BR, BS, DeS, DuS, FWAA, HAF, INS, L, NCF, PS, [85] SR, UP, WS
Tennessee 10–1 Bowden Wyatt SR
1957 [86] Auburn 10–0 Ralph Jordan AP, BR, CFRA, HAF, HS, [50] NCF, PS, SR, WS
Michigan State 8–1 Duffy Daugherty BR, [65] DuS
Ohio State 9–1 Woody Hayes BS, DeS, FWAA, INS, L, UP
Oklahoma 10–1 Bud Wilkinson B(QPRS)
1958 [87] Iowa 8–1–1 Forest Evashevski FWAA
LSU 11–0 Paul Dietzel AP, B(QPRS), BR, BS, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, HAF, HS, [50] L, NCF, PS, SR, UPI, WS
1959 [88] Ole Miss 10–1 Johnny Vaught B(QPRS), BR, [65] DuS, SR
Syracuse 11–0 Ben Schwartzwalder AP, BR, BS, CFRA, DeS, FN, FWAA, HAF, L, NCF, NFF, PS, SR, UPI, WS
1960 [5] Iowa 8–1 Forest Evashevski B(QPRS), BR, [65] BS, L, SR
Minnesota 8–2 Murray Warmath AP, FN, NFF, UPI
Ole Miss 10–0–1 Johnny Vaught BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FWAA, NCF, WS
Missouri 11–0u Dan Devine PS
Washington 10–1 Jim Owens HAF
1961 [89] Alabama 11–0 Paul "Bear" Bryant AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, HAF, L, NCF, NFF, SR, UPI, WS
Ohio State 8–0–1 Woody Hayes FWAA, PS
1962 [90] Alabama 10–1 Paul "Bear" Bryant BR [65]
LSU 9–1–1 Charles McClendon B(QPRS)
Ole Miss 10–0 Johnny Vaught BR, L, SR
USC 11–0 John McKay AP, B(QPRS), CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, NCF, NFF, PS, UPI, WS
1963 [91] Texas 11–0 Darrell Royal AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, L, NCF, NFF, PS, SR, UPI, WS
1964 [92] Alabama 10–1 Paul "Bear" Bryant AP, B(QPRS), L, UPI
Arkansas 11–0 Frank Broyles BR, CFRA, FWAA, HAF, NCF, PS, SR
Michigan 9–1 Bump Elliott DuS
Notre Dame 9–1 Ara Parseghian DeS, FN, NFF
1965 [93] Alabama 9–1–1 Paul "Bear" Bryant AP, BR, [65] CFRA, FWAA, NCF
Michigan State 10–1 Duffy Daugherty B(QPRS), BR, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, L, NFF, PS, SR, UPI
1966 [94] Alabama 11–0 Paul "Bear" Bryant B(QPRS), SR
Michigan State 9–0–1 Duffy Daugherty CFRA, HAF, NFF, PS
Notre Dame 9–0–1 Ara Parseghian AP, BR, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, L, MGR, NCF, NFF, PS, SR, UPI
1967 [95] Notre Dame 8–2 Ara Parseghian DuS
Oklahoma 10–1 Chuck Fairbanks PS
USC 10–1 John McKay AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, FN, FWAA, HAF, MGR, NCF, NFF, SR, UPI
Tennessee 9–2 Doug Dickey L
1968 [96] Georgia 8–1–2 Vince Dooley L
Ohio State 10–0 Woody Hayes AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, NCF, NFF, PS, R(FACT), SR, UPI
Texas 9–1–1 Darrell Royal DeS, MGR, SR
1969 [97] Ohio State 8–1 Woody Hayes MGR
Penn State 11–0 Joe Paterno R(FACT), SR
Texas 11–0 Darrell Royal AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, L, NCF, NFF, PS, R(FACT), SR, UPI
1970 [98] Arizona State 11–0 Frank Kush PS
Nebraska 11–0–1 Bob Devaney AP, BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, NCF, R(FACT), SR
Notre Dame 10–1 Ara Parseghian MGR, R(FACT), SR
Ohio State 9–1 Woody Hayes NFF
Texas 10–1 Darrell Royal B(QPRS), L, NFF, R(FACT), UPI
1971 [99] Nebraska 13–0 Bob Devaney AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, L, MGR, NCF, NFF, PS, R(FACT), SR, UPI
1972 [100] USC 12–0 John McKay AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, L, MGR, NCF, NFF, PS, R(FACT), SR, UPI
1973 [101] Alabama 11–1 Paul "Bear" Bryant B(QPRS), L, [102] UPI
Michigan 10–0–1 Bo Schembechler NCF, PS
Notre Dame 11–0 Ara Parseghian AP, BR, FN, FWAA, HAF, NCF, NFF
Ohio State 10–0–1 Woody Hayes NCF, PS, R(FACT), SR
Oklahoma 10–0–1 Barry Switzer BR, [103] CFRA, DeS, DuS, SR
1974 [104] Ohio State 10–2 Woody Hayes MGR
Oklahoma 11–0 Barry Switzer AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, HAF, L, NCF, PS, R(FACT), SR
USC 10–1–1 John McKay FWAA, HAF, NCF, NFF, UPI
1975 [105] Alabama 11–1 Paul "Bear" Bryant MGR
Arizona State 12–0 Frank Kush NCF, SN
Ohio State 11–1 Woody Hayes B(QPRS), HAF, L, [106] MGR, PS, R(FACT)
Oklahoma 11–1 Barry Switzer AP, BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, NCF, NFF, R(FACT), SR, UPI
1976 Michigan 10–2 Bo Schembechler L [107]
Pittsburgh 12–0 Johnny Majors AP, BR, [103] FN, FWAA, HAF, NCF, NFF, PS, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI
USC 11–1 John Robinson B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, MGR
1977 Alabama 11–1 Paul "Bear" Bryant CFRA
Arkansas 11–1 Lou Holtz R(FACT)
Notre Dame 11–1 Dan Devine AP, BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, MGR, NCF, NFF, PS, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI
Texas 11–1 Fred Akers B(QPRS), L, [108] R(FACT), SR
1978 Alabama 11–1 Paul "Bear" Bryant AP, CFRA, FWAA, HAF, NCF, NFF, R(FACT)
Oklahoma 11–1 Barry Switzer BR, [103] DeS, DuS, HAF, L, MGR, PS, R(FACT), SR
USC 12–1 John Robinson B(QPRS), BR, FN, HAF, NCF, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI
1979 Alabama 12–0 Paul "Bear" Bryant AP, B(QPRS), BR, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, PS, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI
USC 11–0–1 John Robinson CFRA
1980 Florida State 10–2 Bobby Bowden R(FACT)
Georgia 12–0 Vince Dooley AP, B(QPRS), BR, FN, FWAA, HAF, NCF, NFF, PS, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI
Nebraska 10–2 Tom Osborne R(FACT)
Oklahoma 10–2 Barry Switzer BR, [103] DuS, MGR
Pittsburgh 11–1 Jackie Sherrill CFRA, DeS, NYT, R(FACT), SR
1981 [109] Clemson 12–0 Danny Ford AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, FN, FWAA, HAF, L, MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, PS, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI
Nebraska 9–3 Tom Osborne NCF
Penn State 10–2 Joe Paterno DuS
Pittsburgh 11–1 Jackie Sherrill NCF
SMU 10–1 Ron Meyer NCF
Texas 10–1–1 Fred Akers NCF
1982 [110] Nebraska 12–1 Tom Osborne B(QPRS), L [111]
Penn State 11–1 Joe Paterno AP, BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, HAF, MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, PS, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI, USAT
SMU 11–0–1 Bobby Collins HAF
1983 [112] Auburn 11–1 Pat Dye BR, CFRA, NYT, R(FACT), SR
Miami (FL) 11–1 Howard Schnellenberger AP, BR, [103] DuS, FN, FWAA, NCF, NFF, SN, UPI, USAT/CNN
Nebraska 12–1 Tom Osborne B(QPRS), DeS, L, MGR, PS, R(FACT), SR
1984 [113] BYU 13–0 LaVell Edwards AP, BR, CFRA, FWAA, NCF, NFF, PS, SR, UPI, USAT/CNN
Florida 9–1–1 Galen Hall BR, [103] DeS, DuS, MGR, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR
Nebraska 10–2 Tom Osborne L
Washington 11–1 Don James B(QPRS), FN, NCF
1985 [114] Florida 9–1–1 Galen Hall SR
Michigan 10–1–1 Bo Schembechler MGR
Oklahoma 11–1 Barry Switzer AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, NCF, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, UPI, USAT/CNN
1986 [115] Miami (FL) 11–1 Jimmy Johnson R(FACT)
Oklahoma 11–1 Barry Switzer BR, [103] B(QPRS), CFRA, DeS, DuS, NYT, SR
Penn State 12–0 Joe Paterno AP, BR, [103] FN, FWAA, MGR, NCF, NFF, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI, USAT/CNN
1987 [116] Florida State 11–1 Bobby Bowden B(QPRS)
Miami (FL) 12–0 Jimmy Johnson AP, BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI, USAT/CNN
1988 [117] Miami (FL) 11–1 Jimmy Johnson B(QPRS)
Notre Dame 12–0 Lou Holtz AP, BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI, USAT/CNN
1989 [118] Florida State 10–2 Bobby Bowden BR [103]
Miami (FL) 11–1 Dennis Erickson AP, BR, [103] CFRA, DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, UPI, USAT/CNN
Notre Dame 12–1 Lou Holtz B(QPRS), ERS, R(FACT), SR
1990 [119] Colorado 11–1–1 Bill McCartney AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, FN, FWAA, MGR, NCF, NFF, R(FACT), SN, USAT/CNN
Georgia Tech 11–0–1 Bobby Ross DuS, NCF, R(FACT), SR, UPI
Miami (FL) 10–2 Dennis Erickson BR, [103] ERS, NYT, R(FACT), SR
Washington 10–2 Don James R(FACT)
1991 [120] Miami (FL) 12–0 Dennis Erickson AP, BR, CFRA, ERS, NCF, NYT, SN, SR
Washington 12–0 Don James B(QPRS), BR, [103] DeS, DuS, FN, FWAA, MGR, NCF, R(FACT), SR, UPI/NFF, USAT/CNN
1992 [121] Alabama 13–0 Gene Stallings AP, B(QPRS), BR, CFRA, DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MGR, NCF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI/NFF, USAT/CNN
Florida State 11–1 Bobby Bowden SR
1993 [122] Auburn 11–0 Terry Bowden NCF
Florida State 12–1 Bobby Bowden AP, B(QPRS), BR, CCR, [123] DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, NCF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI, USAT/CNN, USAT/NFF
Nebraska 11–1 Tom Osborne NCF
Notre Dame 11–1 Lou Holtz MGR, NCF
1994 [124] Florida State 10–1–1 Bobby Bowden DuS
Nebraska 13–0 Tom Osborne AP, AS, B(QPRS), BR, [103] FN, FWAA, NCF, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI, USAT/CNN, USAT/NFF
Penn State 12–0 Joe Paterno BR, [103] CCR, [125] DeS, ERS, MGR, NCF, NYT, R(FACT), SR
1995 [103] Nebraska 12–0 Tom Osborne AP, AS, B(QPRS), BR, CCR, [126] DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MCFR, [127] MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, UPI, USAT/CNN
1996 [65] Florida 12–1 Steve Spurrier AP, B(QPRS), BR, CCR, [128] DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MCFR, [127] MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, USAT/CNN
Florida State 11–1 Bobby Bowden AS
1997 [129] Michigan 12–0 Lloyd Carr AP, BR, FN, FWAA, NCF, NFF, SN
Nebraska 13–0 Tom Osborne A&H, AS, B(QPRS), BR, CCR, [130] DeS, DuS, ERS, MCFR, [127] MGR, NCF, NYT, R(FACT), SR, USAT/ESPN
1998 [131] Ohio State 11–1 John Cooper SRb
Tennessee 13–0 Phillip Fulmer A&H, AP, AS, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MCFR, MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, USAT/ESPN
1999 [132] Florida State 12–0 Bobby Bowden A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MCFR, MGR, NCF, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, USAT/ESPN
2000 [66] Miami (FL) 11–1 Butch Davis NYT
Oklahoma 13–0 Bob Stoops A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MCFR, MGR, NCF, NFF, R(FACT), SN, SR, USAT/ESPN
2001 [133] Miami (FL) 12–0 Larry Coker A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, DeS, DuS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MCFR, MGR, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, USAT/ESPN, W
2002 [134] Ohio State 14–0 Jim Tressel A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, DeS, ERS, FN, FWAA, MCFR, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, USAT/ESPN, W
USC 11–2 Pete Carroll DuS, MGR, SR
2003 [135] LSU 13–1 Nick Saban A&H, BCS, BR, CM, DeS, DuS, MCFR, NFF, R(FACT), SR, USAT/ESPN, W
Oklahoma 12–2 Bob Stoops B(QPRS)
USC 12–1 Pete Carroll AP, CCR,f [136] ERS, FWAA, MGR, NYT, SN
2004 [137] USC c11–0d Pete Carroll A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BR, CCR, CM, DeS, DuS, ERS, MCFR, MGR, NFF, NYT, R(FACT), SN, SR, W
VacatedcBCS, FWAA, USAT/ESPN
2005 [138] Texas 13–0 Mack Brown A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, DeS, DuS, ERS, FWAA, MCFR, MGR, NFF, R(FACT), SN, SR, USAT, W
2006 [139] Florida 13–1 Urban Meyer A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, DuS, FWAA, MCFR, MGR, NFF, R(FACT), SN, SR, USAT, W
Ohio State 12–1 Jim Tressel DeS,g [140] R(FACT)h [141]
2007 [142] LSU 12–2 Les Miles AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, FWAA, MCFR, NFF, SR, USAT, W
Missouri 12–2 Gary Pinkel A&Hm [143]
USC 11–2 Pete Carroll DuSe [144]
2008 [145] Florida 13–1 Urban Meyer AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CM, DuS, FWAA, MCFR, NFF, SR, USAT
Utah 13–0 Kyle Whittingham A&H, Wi [146]
2009 [147] Alabama 14–0 Nick Saban A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CCR, CFRA, CM, DuS, FWAA, MCFR, NFF, SR, USAT, W
2010 [148] Auburn 14–0 Gene Chizik A&H, AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CFRA, CM, DuS, FWAA, MCFR, NFF, SR, USAT, W
TCU 13–0 Gary Patterson CCR
2011 [149] Alabama 12–1 Nick Saban AP, B(QPRS), BCS, BR, CFRA, DuS, FWAA, MCFR, NFF, SR, USAT, W
LSU 13–1 Les Miles A&H,n [150] CCRk [151]
Oklahoma State 12–1 Mike Gundy CM
2012 [152] Alabama 13–1 Nick Saban A&H, AP, BCS, BR, CCR, CFRA, DuS, FWAA, MCFR, NFF, SR, USAT, W
Notre Dame 12–1 Brian Kelly CM
2013 [153] Florida State 14–0 Jimbo Fisher A&H, AP, BCS, BR, CCR, CFRA, CM, DuS, FWAA, MCFR, NFF, SR, USAT, W
2014 [154] Ohio State 14–1 Urban Meyer A&H, AP, BR, CCR, CFP, CFRA, CM, DuS, NFF, MCFR, SR, USAT, W
2015 [155] Alabama 14–1 Nick Saban A&H, AP, BR, CCR, CFP, CFRA, CM, DuS, NFF, MCFR, SR, USAT, W
2016 [156] Alabama 14–1 Nick Saban CM
Clemson 14–1 Dabo Swinney A&H, AP, BR, CCR, CFP, CFRA, DuS, NFF, MCFR, SR, USAT, W
2017 [157] Alabama 13–1 Nick Saban A&H, AP, BR, CCR, CFP, CFRA, DuS, NFF, MCFR, SR, USAT, W
UCF 13–0 Scott Frost CM
2018 [158] Clemson 15–0 Dabo Swinney A&H, AP, BR, CCR, CFP, CFRA, CM, DuS, NFF, MCFR, SR, USAT, W
2019 [159] LSU 15–0 Ed Orgeron A&H, AP, BR, CCR, CFP, CFRA, CM, DuS, NFF, MCFR, SR, USAT, W
2020 [160] Alabama 13–0 Nick Saban A&H, AP, CCR, CFP, CFRA, CM, NFF, MCFR, SR, USAT
2021 [161] Georgia 14–1 Kirby Smart A&H, AP, CCR, CFP, CFRA, CM, NFF, MCFR, SR, USAT, W
2022 [162] Georgia 15–0 Kirby Smart A&H, AP, CCR, CFP, CFRA, CM, NFF, MCFR, SR, USAT, W
2023 [163] Michigan 15–0 Jim Harbaugh A&H, [164] AP, [165] CCR, [166] CFP, [167] CFRA, [168] CM, [169] NFF, [170] MCFR, [171] SR, [172] USAT [173]

aParke H. Davis' selection for 1901, as published in the 1934 edition of Spalding's Foot Ball Guide, was Harvard. [27] The NCAA Records Book states "Yale" for 1901, which is an error that has been perpetuated since the first appearance of Parke H. Davis' selections in the 1994 NCAA records book. [124]
bThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists Sagarin as having selected Tennessee, [9] while Sagarin's official website gives Ohio State as its 1998 selection. [174]
cThe FWAA stripped USC of its 2004 Grantland Rice Trophy and vacated the selection of its national champion for 2004. The BCS also vacated USC's participation in the 2005 Orange Bowl and USC's 2004 BCS National Championship, and the AFCA Coaches Poll Coaches' Trophy was returned. [175] [176]
dRecord does not count wins against UCLA, or against Oklahoma in the BCS Championship game on January 4, 2005, as they were vacated by the NCAA. [177]
eThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists Dunkel as having selected LSU, [9] while Dunkel's official website gives USC as its 2007 selection. [144]
fThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists CCR as having selected LSU, [9] while CCR's official website gives USC as its 2003 selection. [136]
gThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists DeVold (DeS) as having selected Florida, [9] while DeVold's official website gives Ohio State as its 2006 selection. [140]
hThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists R(FACT) as having selected Florida, [9] while R(FACT)'s official website gives co-champions Ohio State and Florida as its 2006 selection. [141]
iThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists Wolfe as having selected Florida, [9] while Wolfe's official website gives Utah as its 2008 selection. [146]
kThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists CCR as having selected Alabama, [9] while CCR's official website gives LSU as its 2011 selection. [151]
mThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists Anderson & Hester (A&H) as having selected LSU, [9] while A&H's official website gives Missouri as its 2007 selection. [143]
nThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists Anderson & Hester (A&H) as having selected Alabama, [9] while A&H's official website gives LSU as its 2011 selection. [150]
oThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists the Williamson System as having selected TCU and LSU as co-champions for 1935. However the system's post-bowl final rankings published in January 1936 show TCU first, SMU second, and LSU third. [69] The accompanying column written by Paul B. Williamson states "There was no undisputable national champion in 1935". [69]
pThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists the Williamson System as having selected LSU in 1936. However the system's post-bowl final rankings show Minnesota first and LSU fourth. [71]
qThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists the Williamson System as having selected Pittsburgh in 1937. However the system's post-bowl final rankings show California first and Pittsburgh second. [72]
rThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists the Williamson System as having selected TCU alone in 1938. However the system's post-bowl final rankings show a tie between TCU and Tennessee. [74]
sThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists the Williamson System as having selected Tennessee in 1940. However the system's post-bowl final rankings show Stanford first and Tennessee sixth. [76]
tThe NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book lists the Billingsley Report as having selected Army in 1944 and Ohio State and Army in 1945. According to Billingsley's official website, these selection years are reversed. [77]
uKansas' 1960 defeat of Missouri was overturned by the Big Eight Conference on December 8 (ineligible player). The reversal erased the only loss on Missouri's record. [178]

Total championship selections from major selectors by school

The national title count listed below is a culmination of all championship awarded since 1869, regardless of "consensus" [55] or non-consensus status, as listed in the table above according to the selectors deemed to be "major" [7] as listed in the official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records. [9]

The totals can be said to be disputed. Individual schools may claim national championships not accounted for by the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records or may not claim national championship selections that do appear in the official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (see National championship claims by school below).

ChampionshipsSchools
28
Princeton
27
Yale
24
Alabama
22
Notre Dame
19
Michigan
17
Oklahoma, USC
16
Ohio State
12
Harvard, Nebraska
11
Pittsburgh
9
Florida State, Miami (FL), Minnesota, Texas
8
Georgia, LSU
7
Georgia Tech, Penn, Penn State, Tennessee
6
Auburn, Michigan State
5
Army, California, Cornell, Florida, Illinois, Iowa
4
Vanderbilt, Washington
3
Clemson, Lafayette, Ole Miss, SMU, TCU, Texas A&M
2
Arizona State, Arkansas, Chicago, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma State , Stanford, Wisconsin
1
BYU, Centre, Colgate, Colorado, Columbia, Dartmouth, Detroit, Duke, Kentucky, Navy, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, UCF, UCLA, Utah, Washington & Jefferson

Major polls

Map of U.S. college football champions, 1936-2019 College Football Champions Map.png
Map of U.S. college football champions, 1936–2019

National championship selectors came to be dominated by two competing news agencies in the later half of the 20th century: the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI). [11]

These wire services began ranking college football teams in weekly polls, which were then promptly published in the sports sections of each agency's subscribing newspapers across the country. The team ranking No. 1 in each agency's final poll of the season was awarded that agency's national championship.

National championships are often stated to be "consensus" when the two major polls are in agreement with their selections. [179]

AP Poll

The AP college football poll has a long history. The news media began running their own polls of sports writers to determine who was, by popular opinion, the best football team in the country at the end of the season. One of the earliest such polls was the AP College Football Poll, first run in 1934 (compiled and organized by Charles Woodroof, former SEC Assistant Director of Media Relations, but not recognized in the official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records) and then continuously from 1936. The first major nationwide poll for ranking college football teams, the Associated Press is probably the most well-known and widely circulated among all of history's polls. [180] Due to the long-standing historical ties between individual college football conferences and high-paying bowl games like the Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl, the NCAA has never held a tournament or championship game to determine the champion of what is now the highest division, NCAA Division I, Football Bowl Subdivision (the Division I, Football Championship Subdivision and lower divisions do hold championship tournaments). As a result, the public and the media began to take the leading vote-getter in the final AP Poll as the national champion for that season.

AP National Championship Trophy c. 1997 University of Michigan 1997 AP Trophy.jpg
AP National Championship Trophy c.1997

In the AP Poll's early years, the final poll of sportswriters was taken prior to any bowl games and sometimes even prior to the top teams' final games of the regular season. [181] [182] In 1938, the poll was extended for one week [181] after Notre Dame, No. 1 in the scheduled "final" poll, [183] subsequently lost to rival USC. [181]

Following the 1947 season the AP held a special post-bowl poll [184] with only two teams on the ballot, Notre Dame and Michigan, but stated that the result would not supersede that of the final poll conducted following the end of the regular season. [184] [185] The rivals, both unbeaten and untied, had been ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the final poll. January voters were impressed by Michigan's 49–0 win over common opponent USC in the Rose Bowl and elevated the Wolverines above the Irish in the special post-bowl poll. [185]

The AP champion would lose its bowl game five times, following the 1950, 1951, 1953, 1960, and 1964 seasons. [30]

In 1965 the AP decided to delay the season's final poll until after New Year's Day, citing the proliferation of bowl games and the involvement of eight of the poll's current top ten teams in post-season play. [186] [187] In the next season, 1966, neither of the top two teams (Notre Dame and Michigan State) were attending bowl games so no post-bowl poll was taken, [188] even after two-time defending AP national champion No. 3 Alabama won the Sugar Bowl and finished the season unbeaten and untied. In 1967 the final poll crowning USC national champion was taken before No. 2 Tennessee or No. 3 Oklahoma had even played their final games of the regular season, [182] and well before those two teams met in the Orange Bowl.

In 1968 the final poll was again delayed until after the bowl games so that No. 1 Ohio State could meet No. 2 USC in a "dream match" in the Rose Bowl. [33] Every subsequent season's final AP Poll would be released after the bowl games. UPI did not follow suit until the 1974 season; [189] in the overlapping years, the Coaches Poll champion lost their bowl game in 1965, 1970, and 1973. The AP's earlier move to crown a post-bowl champion paid off, as in all three years the losing team had also been the No. 1 team in the pre-bowl penultimate AP rankings.

The AP Poll was used as a component of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) computer ranking formula starting in 1998, but without any formal agreement in place like the contract made between the BCS and the Coaches Poll. [41] For the 2003 season the AP Poll caused a split national title and BCS controversy when it awarded its national championship to No. 1 USC instead of BCS champion LSU. [41] In December 2004 the AP opted out of the BCS formula, requesting that the BCS "discontinue its unauthorized use of the AP poll as a component of BCS rankings", in response to three AP voters from Texas elevating Texas above California into the Rose Bowl in the last regular season AP Poll. [41]

In the College Football Playoff era, the Associated Press has continued to award the AP Trophy to the No. 1 team in the final AP Poll. AP rankings are not incorporated in the CFP selection committee's seeding, and voting AP sportswriters are not obligated to award their title to the winner of the CFP national championship game. [42] In 2015 the Associated Press's global sports editor stated that "it is not out of the realm of possibility that a team could win the AP national championship without winning the College Football Playoff's national championship", although that scenario has yet to occur. [42]

Coaches Poll

The AFCA National Championship Trophy BCS Championship Media Day, Jan. 5, 2013.jpg
The AFCA National Championship Trophy

News agency United Press (UP), the main competitor to the Associated Press, began conducting its own college football ratings during the 1950 season. [190] The wire service came to be known as United Press International (UPI) following a merger with International News Service in 1958.

The weekly ranking was a joint polling effort between the news agency and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), with UP/UPI sports writers gathering and tabulating the coaches' votes and publishing the results in newspapers across the nation. [191]

The UP/UPI rankings were originally conducted by polling 35 of the nation's college football coaches. [190] The coaches were chosen to represent every major football conference, with 5 coaches from each of 7 regions, in an apparent effort to combat the perceived East Coast bias of the rival AP Poll's constituent sports writers.

Their votes will provide the only football rating based on the opinion of the men who know the sport best. The nature of the board, giving each section of the country equal representation, avoids the sectional bias and ballot box stuffing for which other football polls have been criticized.

United Press Football Ratings announcement, September 1950 [190]

Each season's final Coaches Poll was initially published following the regular season and did not take bowl game results into account; the UP/UPI national champion lost its bowl game 8 times between 1950 and 1973. Since the 1974 season the poll has awarded its national championship following the postseason bowls. [192] That same year the AFCA voted to thereafter not rank any team currently under NCAA or conference-sanctioned probation. [192] [193]

Following the decline of UPI in the 1980s, the AFCA ended their 42-year relationship with the wire service in 1991. [194] [191] The Coaches Poll continued, with new sponsorship and distribution partners, as the USA Today/CNN poll (1991–1996), USA Today/ESPN poll (1997–2004) and USA Today poll (2005–present).

The Bowl Championship Series included the Coaches Poll as a major factor in its ranking formula. [195] In return, voting AFCA members were contractually obligated to award their Coaches Poll national championship selections to the winner of the BCS National Championship Game. Lacking its own dedicated trophy, the BCS champion was awarded The Coaches' Trophy on the field immediately following the game.

Poll era national championships by school (1936–present)

The following table contains the national championships that have been recognized by the final AP or Coaches Poll. Originally both the AP and Coaches poll champions were crowned after the regular season, but since 1968 and 1974 respectively, both polls crown their champions after the bowl games are completed (with the exception of the 1965 season). The BCS champion was automatically awarded the Coaches Poll championship. Of the current 120+ Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS, formerly Division I-A) schools, only 30 have won at least a share of a national title by the AP or Coaches poll. Of these 30 teams, only 20 teams have won multiple titles. Of the 20 teams, only 7 have won five or more national titles: Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, Miami (FL), Nebraska, and Ohio State. The years listed in the table below indicate a national championship selection by the AP or Coaches Poll. The selections are noted with (AP) or (Coaches) when a national champion selection differed between the two polls for that particular season, which has occurred in twelve different seasons (including 2004, for which the coaches selection was rescinded) since the polls first came to coexist in 1950.

SchoolChampionshipsSeasons
Alabama
13
1961, 1964, 1965 (AP), 1973 (Coaches), 1978 (AP), 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2020
Notre Dame
8
1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973 (AP), 1977, 1988
Oklahoma
7
1950, 1955, 1956, 1974 (AP), 1975, 1985, 2000
USC
7
1962, 1967, 1972, 1974 (Coaches), 1978 (Coaches), 2003 (AP), 2004 (AP)†
Ohio State
6
1942, 1954 (AP), 1957 (Coaches), 1968, 2002, 2014
Miami (FL)
5
1983, 1987, 1989, 1991 (AP), 2001
Nebraska
5
1970 (AP), 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997 (Coaches)
LSU
4
1958, 2003 (Coaches), 2007, 2019
Texas
4
1963, 1969, 1970 (Coaches), 2005
Minnesota
4
1936, 1940, 1941, 1960
Clemson
3
1981, 2016, 2018
Florida
3
1996, 2006, 2008
Florida State
3
1993, 1999, 2013
Georgia
3
1980, 2021, 2022
Michigan
3
1948, 1997 (AP), 2023
Army
2
1944, 1945 (AP)
Auburn
2
1957 (AP), 2010
Michigan State
2
1952, 1965 (Coaches)
Penn State
2
1982, 1986
Pittsburgh
2
1937, 1976
Tennessee
2
1951, 1998
TCU
1
1938
BYU
1
1984
Colorado
1
1990 (AP)
Georgia Tech
1
1990 (Coaches)
Maryland
1
1953
Syracuse
1
1959
Texas A&M
1
1939
UCLA
1
1954 (Coaches)
Washington
1
1991 (Coaches)

† USC's 2004 BCS National Championship was vacated by the BCS and their AFCA Coaches' Trophy was returned. [196]

Split national championships

The AP Poll and Coaches Poll have picked different final national poll leaders at the end of 11 different seasons since their first concurrent polls in 1950. [29] This situation is referred to as a "split" national championship. [197]

Season [29] ChampionRecordWire service poll
1954 Ohio State 10–0AP
UCLA 9–0Coaches
1957 Auburn 10–0AP
Ohio State 9–1Coaches
1965 Alabama 9–1–1AP
Michigan State 10–1Coaches
1970 Nebraska 11–0–1AP
Texas 10–1Coaches
1973 Notre Dame 11–0AP
Alabama 11–1Coaches
1974 Oklahoma 11–0AP
USC 10–1–1Coaches
1978 Alabama 11–1AP
USC 12–1Coaches
1990 Colorado 11–1–1AP
Georgia Tech 11–0–1Coaches
1991 Miami (FL) 12–0AP
Washington 12–0Coaches
1997 Michigan 12–0AP
Nebraska 13–0Coaches
2003 USC 12–1AP
LSU 13–1Coaches

National championship games

College football fans and administrators have long sought to match the No. 1 vs. No. 2 teams in an end-of-season national championship game to determine an undisputed national champion on the gridiron. [38]

Historic occurrences

Throughout most of the 20th century, a number of challenges made it impossible to ordinarily schedule the two top teams for a single post-season title fight:

Through luck and fortuitous scheduling, a "national championship game" was occasionally able to settle the matter on the field, as described in some contemporaneous reports. [34] Despite the promotional billing, in several instances there were plausible scenarios for a third team to be selected as national champion by the major selectors, depending on outcomes of other games.

SeasonNational championship gameWinning teamScoreLosing teamNotes
1931 Rose Bowl [200] [201] No. 2 USC 21–12No. 1 Tulane Title game for Erskine Trophy [203]
1943 Notre Dame vs. Iowa Pre-Flight [204] [205] No. 1 Notre Dame 14–13No. 2 Iowa Pre-Flight Game played November 20. Each played another regular season game November 27, which for Notre Dame was a loss to Great Lakes Navy.
1944 Army–Navy Game [206] No. 1 Army 23–7No. 2 Navy Final regular season game. Navy finished 6–3 ranked No. 4.
1945 Game of the Century [207] No. 1 Army 32–13No. 2 Navy
1963 Cotton Bowl [208] [209] No. 1 Texas 28–6No. 2 Navy FWAA only; Texas had already been named No. 1 in the final AP and Coaches Polls three weeks earlier. [210]
1965 Orange Bowl [211] [212] No. 4 Alabama 39–28No. 3 Nebraska Became AP Poll championship game after No. 1 and 2 teams lost the Rose and Cotton Bowl games earlier in the day.
1966 Game of the Century [213] [214] No. 1 Notre Dame 10–10No. 2 Michigan State The following week Notre Dame defeated USC in its last regular season game. [217]
1967 Game of the Century [218] [219] No. 4 USC 21–20No. 1 UCLA Game played November 18. UCLA played another regular season game November 25.
1968 Rose Bowl [220] [221] No. 1 Ohio State 27–16No. 2 USC Final AP poll was delayed until after the bowl games specifically to account for the result of the No. 1 vs. No. 2 "dream match" in the Rose Bowl. [33]
1969 Game of the Century [8] No. 1 Texas 15–14No. 2 (AP) Arkansas Winner was to be awarded a presidential plaque by game attendee Richard Nixon declaring them "the number-one college football team in college football's one-hundredth year." [8] This was the final regular season game, and it determined the Coaches Poll title. Entering the game, Arkansas ranked No. 3 in the Coaches Poll and remained No. 3. [222] [223]
1971 Game of the Century No. 1 Nebraska 35–31No. 2 Oklahoma Game played November 25 for Coaches Poll title, compiled before bowl games and released December 6. Each played another regular season game December 4. [224]
Orange Bowl [225] [226] No. 1 Nebraska 38–6No. 2 Alabama Title game for NFF MacArthur Bowl [227]
1972 Rose Bowl [228] No. 1 USC 42–17No. 3 Ohio State One-loss Oklahoma, No. 2 in final regular season polls, won the Sugar Bowl and remained No. 2 after the bowls.
1973 Sugar Bowl [229] [230] No. 3 Notre Dame 24–23No. 1 Alabama Title game for NFF MacArthur Bowl; No. 2 Oklahoma finished 10–0–1, was on probation and ineligible for a bowl game. [231]
1978 Sugar Bowl [232] [233] No. 2 Alabama 14–7No. 1 Penn State National championship was split; No. 3 USC finished atop Coaches Poll. [234]
1982 Sugar Bowl [235] No. 2 Penn State 27–23No. 1 Georgia
1983 Orange Bowl [236] No. 5 Miami (FL) 31–30No. 1 Nebraska No. 2 Texas and No. 4 Illinois had lost earlier in the day. [236] No. 3 Auburn won the Sugar Bowl played at the same time.
1984 Orange Bowl [237] [238] No. 4 Washington 28–17No. 2 Oklahoma BYU won national titles in both AP and Coaches Polls. [239]
1985 Orange Bowl [240] No. 3 (AP) Oklahoma 25–10No. 1 Penn State Oklahoma entered the game No. 2 in the Coaches Poll and No. 3 in the AP Poll. AP No. 2 Miami lost in the Sugar Bowl.
1986 Fiesta Bowl [34] No. 2 Penn State 14–10No. 1 Miami (FL)
1987 Orange Bowl [34] No. 2 Miami (FL) 20–14No. 1 Oklahoma
1988 Fiesta Bowl [241] No. 1 Notre Dame 34–21No. 3 West Virginia [242]

Bowl Coalition (1992–1994)

Following back-to-back years of split AP and Coaches Poll national champions in 1990, between Colorado (AP) and Georgia Tech (Coaches), and 1991, between Miami (FL) (AP) and Washington (Coaches), the Bowl Coalition was formed in 1992 to increase the probability of a No. 1 vs. No. 2 national championship game matchup in one of the Coalition's participating bowls. [38]

The Coalition's rules retained traditional bowl game conference tie-ins but provided some flexibility for scheduling a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between two teams selected from among the champions of the ACC, Big East, Big Eight, SEC, and SWC conferences, or independent Notre Dame, in the Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, or Sugar Bowl.

The Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences were notably not members of the Bowl Coalition, with their champions retaining their traditional and contractual matchup in the Rose Bowl. Likewise, mid-major teams had no route to the Bowl Coalition National Championship Game.

SeasonBowlWinning teamScoreLosing teamNotes
1992 Sugar Bowl No. 2 Alabama 34–13No. 1 Miami (FL)
1993 Orange Bowl No. 1 Florida State 18–16No. 2 Nebraska
1994 Orange Bowl No. 1 Nebraska 24–17No. 3 Miami (FL) [243]

Bowl Alliance (1995–1997)

In 1995 the Bowl Alliance replaced the Bowl Coalition. [39] Going further than the Coalition, the Alliance guaranteed a postseason matchup of the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams of its same five conference champions plus Notre Dame. Beginning in 1996, the Big 12 champion joined the Alliance in place of the champions of the disbanded Big Eight and Southwest conferences.

Unlike the Coalition, the Alliance eliminated traditional conference tie-ins to its associated bowls. The Bowl Alliance national championship game would be rotated amongst the Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Orange Bowl, with the Cotton Bowl dropped from the slate. The Bowl Alliance also awarded its own trophy to the winner of its national championship game. [244]

The Rose Bowl remained independent of the Alliance, leaving open the possibility of a national title going to the Big Ten or Pac-10 Rose Bowl champion rather than the Alliance's champion. [245] This occurred in 1997, when No. 1 Michigan won the Rose Bowl and retained their top ranking in the AP Poll. [245] The Bowl Alliance National Championship Game [245] winner Nebraska split the championship when they passed Michigan in the final Coaches Poll (a result denied by the Coaches Poll to Penn State three years earlier in the same situation).

SeasonBowlWinning teamScoreLosing teamNotes
1995 Fiesta Bowl No. 1 Nebraska 62–24No. 2 Florida
1996 Sugar Bowl No. 3 Florida 52–20No. 1 Florida State [246]
1997 Orange Bowl No. 2 Nebraska 42–17No. 3 Tennessee [247]

Bowl Championship Series (1998–2013)

The Bowl Championship Series (BCS), starting in 1998, finally succeeded in bringing the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences together with the former Coalition and Alliance members for a combined national championship game.

Following the regular season, the BCS paired its No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams to play for the title in the BCS National Championship Game. This designation initially rotated in order between four BCS Bowls: the Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Rose Bowl. For the 2006 season onward the BCS National Championship Game became its own separate contest, played one week later at the site of the bowl in the same rotation.

The original BCS formula incorporated the AP Poll and Coaches Poll along with an average of various computer rankings. [40] The formula underwent many adjustments over the years, including a large overhaul following the 2004 season in which the AP Poll was replaced with the Harris Interactive College Football Poll. [248]

The winners of the BCS National Championship Game were crowned the Coaches Poll national champions and were awarded the Coaches' Trophy on the field following the game. They were also awarded the MacArthur Bowl by the National Football Foundation.

BCS National Championships by school

SchoolChampionshipsSeasons
Alabama 32009, 2011, 2012
Florida 22006, 2008
Florida State 21999, 2013
LSU 22003, 2007
Auburn 12010
Miami (FL) 12001
Ohio State 12002
Oklahoma 12000
Tennessee 11998
Texas 12005
USC 0†2004

† USC's victory in the 2005 Orange Bowl and corresponding 2004–05 BCS National Championship was vacated by the BCS. [176] [196]

College Football Playoff (2014–present)

The College Football Playoff (CFP) was designed as a replacement for the BCS. While the NCAA still does not officially sanction the event, organizers sought to bring a playoff system similar to all other levels of NCAA football to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The College Football Playoff relies on a 13-member selection committee to choose the top four teams to play in a two-round single-elimination playoff bracket. [42] The winner of the final game is awarded the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy. [43]

CFP National Championships by school

SchoolChampionshipsSeasons
Alabama 32015, 2017, 2020
Clemson 22016, 2018
Georgia 22021, 2022
Michigan 12023
LSU 12019
Ohio State 12014

National championship claims

Tennessee's national championship claims, as posted in their Neyland Stadium Tennessee Stadium, 2010.jpg
Tennessee's national championship claims, as posted in their Neyland Stadium

The following tables list schools' known national championship claims at the highest level of play in college football. Some of these schools no longer compete at the highest level, which is currently NCAA Division I FBS, but nonetheless maintain claims to titles from when they did compete at the highest level.

Because there is no one governing or official body that regulates, recognizes, or awards national championships in college football, and because many independent selectors of championships exist, many of the claims by the schools listed below are shared, contradict each other, or are controversial. [6] [249]

"There is no official standard because there is no official national champion. It all depends on the standard the school wishes to utilize. The national champion is in the eye of the beholder."

Kent Stephens, historian, College Football Hall of Fame [249]

The majority of these claims, but not all, are based on championships awarded from selectors listed as "major" in the official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records publication. [7] [9] Not all championships awarded by third party selectors, nor all those listed in the NCAA records book, are necessarily claimed by each school. [n3 1] Therefore, these claims represent how each individual school sees their own history on the subject of national championships.

The tables below include only national championship claims originating from each particular school and therefore represent the point-of-view of each individual institution. Each total number of championships, and the years for which they are claimed, are documented by the particular school on its official website, in its football media guide, on a prominent stadium sign, or in other official publications or literature (see Source). If a championship is not mentioned by a school for any particular season, regardless of whether it was awarded by a selector or listed in a third-party publication such as the official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records, it is not considered to be claimed by that institution.

Claims by school

SchoolClaimsClaimed national championship seasonsSource
Princeton
28
1869, 1870, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1906, 1911, 1920, 1922, 1933, 1935, 1950 [251]
Yale
27
1872, 1874, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1897, 1900, 1901, [n3 2] 1902, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1927 [252] [253]
Alabama
18
1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2020 [254]
Michigan
12
1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1918, 1923, 1932, 1933, 1947, 1948, 1997, 2023 [255] [256]
Notre Dame
11
1924, 1929, 1930, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977, 1988 [257] [258]
USC
11
1928, 1931, 1932, 1939, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1978, 2003, 2004 [n3 3] [260] [261]
Pittsburgh
9
1915, 1916, 1918, 1929, 1931, 1934, [n3 4] 1936, 1937, 1976 [262] [263]
Ohio State
8
1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002, 2014 [264] [265]
Harvard
7
1890, 1898, 1899, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1919 [266] [267]
Minnesota
7
1904, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, 1960 [268] [269]
Oklahoma
7
1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1985, 2000 [270] [271]
Penn
7
1894, 1895, 1897, 1904, 1907, [n3 5] 1908, 1924 [272]
Michigan State
6
1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965, 1966 [273] [274]
Tennessee
6
1938, 1940, 1950, 1951, 1967, 1998 [275] [276]
California
5
1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1937 [277]
Cornell
5
1915, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1939 [278] [279]
Illinois
5
1914, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1951 [280] [281]
Iowa
5
1921, 1922, 1956, 1958, 1960 [282] [ better source needed ]
Miami
5
1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2001 [283] [284]
Nebraska
5
1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997 [285] [286]
Georgia
4
1942, 1980, 2021, 2022 [287] [288]
Georgia Tech
4
1917, 1928, 1952, 1990 [289] [290]
LSU
4
1958, 2003, 2007, 2019 [291] [292]
Texas
4
1963, 1969, 1970, 2005 [293] [294]
Army
3
1944, 1945, 1946 [295] [296]
Clemson
3
1981, 2016, 2018 [297] [298]
Florida
3
1996, 2006, 2008 [299] [300]
Florida State
3
1993, 1999, 2013 [301] [302]
Lafayette
3
1896, 1921, 1926 [303]
Ole Miss
3
1959, 1960, 1962 [31] [304]
SMU
3
1935, 1981, 1982 [305]
Texas A&M
3
1919, 1927, 1939 [306] [307]
Auburn
2
1957, 2010 [308] [309]
Chicago
2
1905, 1913 [310]
Columbia
2
1875, 1933 [n3 6] [311]
Penn State
2
1982, 1986 [312] [313]
Stanford
2
1926, 1940 [314] [315]
TCU
2
1935, 1938 [316] [317]
Washington
2
1960, 1991 [32] [318]
Arkansas
1
1964 [319]
Boston College
1
1940 [n3 7] [324]
BYU
1
1984 [325] [326]
Centre
1
1919 [327]
Colorado
1
1990 [328] [329]
Dartmouth
1
1925 [330]
Detroit
1
1928 [331]
Kentucky
1
1950 [332]
Maryland
1
1953 [333] [334]
Navy
1
1926 [335]
Oklahoma State
1
1945 [336] : [57] [337]
Rutgers
1
1869 [338]
Syracuse
1
1959 [339] [340]
UCF
1
2017 [341] [342]
UCLA
1
1954 [343] [344]
Notes
  1. The following schools either make no apparent statement or claim regarding national championships, or clearly state no claims on a national championship, despite the listing of a national championship for that school in the official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records: Arizona State, Colgate, Duke, Missouri, Purdue, Utah, [250] Vanderbilt, and Washington & Jefferson.
  2. No major selectors chose Yale for 1901. The original source for Parke H. Davis' "National Champion Foot Ball Teams" states "1901 Harvard". [27]
  3. USC's January 4, 2005, win over Oklahoma in the BCS Championship Game was vacated as mandated by the NCAA, its 2004 BCS National Championship vacated by the BCS, and its AFCA Coaches' Trophy returned. NCAA sanctions mandate that "any reference to the vacated results, including championships, shall be removed." USC still retains the 2004 Associated Press National Championship and has not abandoned its claim to a 2004 national championship. [196] [259]
  4. No major selectors chose Pittsburgh for 1934. Parke H. Davis died in June 1934; his successor selected Pitt but is not designated as a major selector by the NCAA.
  5. The Billingsley Report originally named Penn as champions for 1907 and the team was listed in the 1996 [65] –2003 [135] NCAA records books. However the team was dropped from subsequent NCAA records books when Billingsley updated his system's formula to remove the Margin of Victory component.
  6. No major selectors chose Columbia for 1933. Columbia's media guide states that the team "was referred to as a national champ." [311]
  7. No major selectors chose Boston College for 1940. Final AP Poll and several other selections preceded bowl games. Boston College defeated Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl in a battle of unbeatens. [320] [321] [322] [323]

Claims by year

SeasonClaimsClaimants [345] Record
1869 2 Princeton 1–1
Rutgers 1–1
1870 1 Princeton 1–0
1871 0None
1872 2 Princeton 1–0
Yale 1–0
1873 1 Princeton 2–0
1874 2 Princeton 2–0
Yale 3–0
1875 2 Columbia 4–1–1
Princeton 2–0
1876 1 Yale 3–0
1877 2 Princeton 2–0–1
Yale 3–0–1
1878 1 Princeton 6–0
1879 2 Princeton 4–0–1
Yale 3–0–2
1880 2 Princeton 4–0–1
Yale 4–0–1
1881 2 Princeton 7–0–2
Yale 5–0–1
1882 1 Yale 8–0
1883 1 Yale 9–0
1884 2 Princeton 9–0–1
Yale 8–0–1
1885 1 Princeton 9–0
1886 2 Princeton 7–0–1
Yale 9–0–1
1887 1 Yale 9–0
1888 1 Yale 13–0
1889 1 Princeton 10–0
1890 1 Harvard 11–0
1891 1 Yale 13–0
1892 1 Yale 13–0
1893 2 Princeton 11–0
Yale 10–1
1894 3 Penn 12–0
Princeton 8–2
Yale 16–0
1895 2 Penn 14–0
Yale 13–0–2
1896 2 Lafayette 11–0–1
Princeton 10–0–1
1897 2 Penn 15–0
Yale 9–0–2
1898 2 Harvard 11–0
Princeton 11–0–1
1899 2 Harvard 10–0–1
Princeton 12–1
1900 1 Yale 12–0
1901 2 Michigan 11–0
Yale 11–1–1
1902 2 Michigan 11–0
Yale 11–0–1
1903 2 Michigan 11–0–1
Princeton 11–0
1904 3 Michigan 10–0
Minnesota 13–0
Penn 12–0
1905 2 Chicago 10–0
Yale 10–0
1906 2 Princeton 9–0–1
Yale 9–0–1
1907 2 Penn 11–1
Yale 9–0–1
1908 1 Penn 11–0–1
1909 1 Yale 10–0
1910 1 Harvard 8–0–1
1911 1 Princeton 8–0–2
1912 1 Harvard 9–0
1913 2 Chicago 7–0
Harvard 9–0
1914 1 Illinois 7–0
1915 2 Cornell 9–0
Pittsburgh 8–0
1916 1 Pittsburgh 8–0
1917 1 Georgia Tech 9–0
1918 2 Michigan 5–0
Pittsburgh 4–1
1919 4 Centre 9–0
Harvard 9–0–1
Illinois 6–1
Texas A&M 10–0
1920 2 California 9–0
Princeton 6–0–1
1921 4 California 9–0–1
Cornell 8–0
Iowa 7–0
Lafayette 9–0
1922 4 California 9–0
Cornell 8–0
Iowa 7–0
Princeton 8–0
1923 4 California 9–0–1
Cornell 8–0
Illinois 8–0
Michigan 8–0
1924 2 Notre Dame 10–0
Penn 9–1–1
1925 2 Alabama 10–0
Dartmouth 8–0
1926 4 Alabama 9–0–1
Lafayette 9–0
Navy 9–0–1
Stanford 10–0–1
1927 3 Illinois 7–0–1
Texas A&M 8–0–1
Yale 7–1
1928 3 Detroit 9–0
Georgia Tech 10–0
USC 9–0–1
1929 2 Notre Dame 9–0
Pittsburgh 9–1
1930 2 Alabama 10–0
Notre Dame 10–0
1931 2 Pittsburgh 8–1
USC 10–1
1932 2 Michigan 8–0
USC 10–0
1933 3 Columbia 8–1–1
Michigan 7–0–1
Princeton 9–0
1934 3 Alabama 10–0
Pittsburgh 8–1
Minnesota 8–0
1935 4 Minnesota 8–0
Princeton 9–0
SMU 12–1
TCU 12–1
1936 2 Minnesota 7–1
Pittsburgh 8–1–1
1937 2 California 10–0–1
Pittsburgh 9–0–1
1938 2 TCU 11–0
Tennessee 11–0
1939 3 Cornell 8–0
Texas A&M 11–0
USC 8–0–2
1940 4 Boston College 11–0
Minnesota 8–0
Stanford 10–0
Tennessee 10–1
1941 2 Alabama 9–2
Minnesota 8–0
1942 2 Georgia 11–1
Ohio State 9–1
1943 1 Notre Dame 9–1
1944 1 Army 9–0
1945 2 Army 9–0
Oklahoma A&M 9–0
1946 2 Army 9–0–1
Notre Dame 8–0–1
1947 2 Michigan 10–0
Notre Dame 9–0
1948 1 Michigan 9–0
1949 1 Notre Dame 10–0
1950 4 Kentucky 11–1
Oklahoma 10–1
Princeton 9–0
Tennessee 11–1
1951 3 Illinois 9–0–1
Michigan State 9–0
Tennessee 10–1
1952 2 Georgia Tech 12–0
Michigan State 9–0
1953 1 Maryland 10–1
1954 2 Ohio State 10–0
UCLA 9–0
1955 2 Michigan State 9–1
Oklahoma 11–0
1956 2 Iowa 9–1
Oklahoma 10–0
1957 3 Auburn 10–0
Michigan State 8–1
Ohio State 9–1
1958 2 Iowa 8–1–1
LSU 11–0
1959 2 Ole Miss 10–1
Syracuse 11–0
1960 4 Iowa 8–1
Minnesota 8–2
Ole Miss 10–0–1
Washington 10–1
1961 2 Alabama 11–0
Ohio State 8–0–1
1962 2 Ole Miss 10–0
USC 11–0
1963 1 Texas 11–0
1964 2 Alabama 10–1
Arkansas 11–0
1965 2 Alabama 9–1–1
Michigan State 10–1
1966 2 Michigan State 9–0–1
Notre Dame 9–0–1
1967 2 USC 10–1
Tennessee 9–2
1968 1 Ohio State 10–0
1969 1 Texas 11–0
1970 3 Nebraska 11–0–1
Ohio State 9–1
Texas 10–1
1971 1 Nebraska 13–0
1972 1 USC 12–0
1973 2 Alabama 11–1
Notre Dame 11–0
1974 2 Oklahoma 11–0
USC 10–1–1
1975 1 Oklahoma 11–1
1976 1 Pittsburgh 12–0
1977 1 Notre Dame 11–1
1978 2 Alabama 11–1
USC 12–1
1979 1 Alabama 12–0
1980 1 Georgia 12–0
1981 2 Clemson 12–0
SMU 10–1
1982 2 Penn State 11–1
SMU 11–0–1
1983 1 Miami 11–1
1984 1 BYU 13–0
1985 1 Oklahoma 11–1
1986 1 Penn State 12–0
1987 1 Miami 12–0
1988 1 Notre Dame 12–0
1989 1 Miami 11–1
1990 2 Colorado 11–1–1
Georgia Tech 11–0–1
1991 2 Miami 12–0
Washington 12–0
1992 1 Alabama 13–0
1993 1 Florida State 12–1
1994 1 Nebraska 13–0
1995 1 Nebraska 12–0
1996 1 Florida 12–1
1997 2 Michigan 12–0
Nebraska 13–0
1998 1 Tennessee 13–0
1999 1 Florida State 12–0
2000 1 Oklahoma 13–0
2001 1 Miami 12–0
2002 1 Ohio State 14–0
2003 2 LSU 13–1
USC 12–1
2004 1 USC 13–0
2005 1 Texas 13–0
2006 1 Florida 13–1
2007 1 LSU 12–2
2008 1 Florida 13–1
2009 1 Alabama 14–0
2010 1 Auburn 14–0
2011 1 Alabama 12–1
2012 1 Alabama 13–1
2013 1 Florida State 14–0
2014 1 Ohio State 14–1
2015 1 Alabama 14–1
2016 1 Clemson 14–1
2017 2 Alabama 13–1
UCF 13–0
2018 1 Clemson 15–0
2019 1 LSU 15–0
2020 1 Alabama 13–0
2021 1 Georgia 14–1
2022 1 Georgia 15–0
2023 1 Michigan 15–0

Other selectors

Howard Jones Memorial Foundation national championship trophy Howard Jones Memorial Foundation Awards Banquet 1963.png
Howard Jones Memorial Foundation national championship trophy

In addition to the NCAA-designated "major selectors" listed above, various other people and organizations have selected national champions in college football. Selections from such notable selectors are listed below.

Unique championship selections from non-major selectors

Teams in the following table were selected by people or organizations not listed as a "major selector" in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records book.

In the interest of brevity, this table contains only teams that were not also selected by any NCAA-designated major selector for the given year. Some are contrarian selections or protests against the choices of the major polls and the BCS.

SeasonChampion(s)RecordCoachSelector(s)
1903 Minnesota (co-champion)14–0–1 Henry L. Williams Jim Koger (JK) [346]
1904 Yale 10–1 Charles D. Rafferty Caspar Whitney [347] [348]
1910 Washington 6–0 Gil Dobie Bill Libby (BL) [349]
1911 Carlisle 11–1 Glenn "Pop" Warner BL
1913 Notre Dame 7–0 Jesse Harper BL, JK
1914 Harvard 7–0–2 Percy Haughton World Almanac, [350] [351]
Alexander Weyand (AW) [352] [353]
1915 Washington State 7–0 William "Lone Star" Dietz Washington State Senate [354]
1917 Pittsburgh (co-champion)10–0Glenn "Pop" WarnerAW [355]
1921 Notre Dame 10–1 Knute Rockne AW [356]
1929 Tulane 9–0 Bernie Bierman BL
Utah 7–0 Ike Armstrong Frank E. Wood [357]
1931 Tennessee 9–0–1 Robert Neyland BL
Tulane 11–1Bernie BiermanWood [358]
1934 Pittsburgh 8–1Jock SutherlandSpalding's Foot Ball Guide [67] (editor Walter R. Okeson)
Stanford 9–1–1 Tiny Thornhill Houlgate System (HS) [359]
1935 Stanford 8–1Tiny Thornhill Kenneth Massey (MCFR) [360]
1936 Northwestern 7–1 Pappy Waldorf BL
Saint Vincent 5–3 Red Edwards Associated Press sportswriter via transitive property [361] [362]
Santa Clara 8–1 Buck Shaw MCFR
1939 Tulane 8–1–1 Red Dawson HS [363]
1941 Duquesne 8–0 Aldo Donelli/Steve Sinko MCFR
1942 Georgia Navy Pre-Flight 7–1–1 Raymond Wolf MCFR
1943 March Field 9–1 Paul J. Schissler MCFR
1944 Randolph Field 12–0 Frank Tritico Dr. L. H. Baker [364]
1947 Texas 10–1 Blair Cherry MCFR
1953 Michigan State 9–1 Biggie Munn MCFR
1955 Ole Miss 10–1 Johnny Vaught MCFR
1963 Navy 9–2 Wayne Hardin Washington Touchdown Club [365] [366]
1974 Alabama 11–1 Paul "Bear" Bryant Washington Touchdown Club [366]
1978 Penn State 11–1 Joe Paterno Washington Touchdown Club [366]
2004 Auburn 13–0 Tommy Tuberville Eufaula Tribune, [367] Golf Digest, [368] People's National Championship [369]
2010 Oregon (co-champion)12–1 Chip Kelly R(FACT) [370]
2014 Alabama (co-champion)12–2 Nick Saban R(FACT) [371]
Oregon (co-champion)12–1Chip Kelly
TCU (co-champion)12–1 Gary Patterson

See also

Related Research Articles

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