National College Football Champions

Updated August 28, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Prior to 1998, the National Collegiate Athletic Association recognized as unofficial champion the team selected each year by press association polls of writers and coaches. After 1998, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was implemented to determine the NCAA champs, using polls, computer rankings, schedule, record, and quality win factors. Changes made in the 2004 season narrowed down the process, with the system employing the AP media poll, the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, and a computer average.

For the 2006 BCS season, the format was tweaked again. This time the four BCS bowls (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange) were held Jan. 1–3 and the championship game took place in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 8, 2007. The 2014 season saw another change when the College Football playoff format began. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl served as semi-final games. A committee selected the four participating teams with the winners playing in the national championship.

1937 Pittsburgh
1938 Texas Christian
1939 Texas A & M
1940 Minnesota
1941 Minnesota
1942 Ohio State
1943 Notre Dame
1944 Army
1945 Army
1946 Notre Dame
1947 Notre Dame
1948 Michigan
1949 Notre Dame
1950 Oklahoma
1951 Tennessee
1952 Mich. State
1953 Maryland
1954 Ohio State and UCLA
1955 Oklahoma
1956 Oklahoma
1957 Auburn and Ohio State
1958 Louisiana State
1959 Syracuse
1960 Minnesota
1961 Alabama
1962 So. Calif.
1963 Texas
1964 Alabama
1965 Alabama and Mich. State
1966 Notre Dame
1967 So. Calif.
1968 Ohio State
1969 Texas
1970 Texas and Nebraska
1971 Nebraska
1972 So. Calif.
1973 Notre Dame and U. of Ala.
1974 Oklahoma and So. Calif.
1975 Oklahoma
1976 Pittsburgh
1977 Notre Dame
1978 Alabama and So. Calif.
1979 Alabama
1980 Georgia
1981 Clemson
1982 Penn State
1983 Miami (Fla.)
1984 Brigham Young
1985 Oklahoma
1986 Penn State
1987 Miami (Fla.)
1988 Notre Dame
1989 Miami (Fla.)
1990 Colorado and Georgia Tech
1991 Miami (Fla.) and Washington
1992 Alabama
1993 Florida State
1994 Nebraska
1995 Nebraska
1996Univ. of Florida
1997Michigan and Nebraska
1999Florida State
2001Miami (Fla.)
2002Ohio State
2003Louisiana State and So. Calif.1
2004So. Calif.
2013Florida State
2014Ohio State
1. USC was ranked number 1 in the polls and number-2-ranked Louisiana State won the Sugar Bowl. Had LSU and USC met in the Sugar Bowl, there would have been only one champion.

College Football Summary
College Football Summary
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