College Football National Championship Teams

Differing Opinions Regarding Winner Most Years

American Football Ball Close To White Line On Playing Field
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There are many polls and organizations that select college football's national championship team each year. Due to differing opinions, the final champion is sometimes not unanimously agreed upon. In 1981, with the most ever, six different teams claimed a national title.

Historical Dilemma

In the very first season of college football's existence, in 1869, pollsters split the national title between Rutgers and Princeton, even though Rutgers beat Princeton earlier that year.

Controversies about the college football national championship have lingered ever since.

Comprehensive List of National Championship Teams

What follows is a comprehensive list of all the national championship teams, according to the NCAA. Listed alongside the champions are the polls or nominating bodies that awarded the title. Not all national championships are created equal. For instance, the Associated Press nominating body carries more weight than the New York Times nominating body, which was a selector from 1979 to 2004. The AP began its selection of national champions in 1936.

An *asterisk denotes the consensus national champion, that is, fans would most recognize that team as the national title holder. Even the consensus title is somewhat confusing, as some seasons ended with multiple consensus national champions.

2010's

YearCollegeNominating Body
2016

*Clemson

Alabama

AP, FW, NFF, USA/Amway

CCR, CM

2015AlabamaAP, FW, NFF, USA/Amway
2014Ohio StateCollege Football Playoff
2013Florida StateBCS
2012AlabamaBCS
2011AlabamaBCS
2010AuburnBCS

2000's

YearCollegeNominating Body
2009AlabamaBCS
2008FloridaBCS
2007LSUBCS
2006FloridaBCS
2005TexasBCS
2004USC/VacatedAP, FW (USC was later stripped of title due to player controversy)
2003

*LSU

*USC

Oklahoma

BCS, FACT, NFF, Seattle Times, USA/ESPN

AP, NYT

Berryman

2002

*Ohio State

USC

AP, BCS, FACT, FW, NFF, NYT, USA/ESPN

Dunkel, Matthews, Sagarin

2001Miami (Fla.)BCS
2000OklahomaBCS

1990's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1999Florida StateBCS
1998

*Tennessee

Ohio State

Sagarin

BCS, AP, NYT, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, USA/ESPN

1997

*Michigan

*Nebraska

AP, FW, NCF, NFF

FACT, NCF, NYT, USA/ESPN

1996

*Florida

Florida State

AP, FACT, FW, NFF, USA/CNN

Alderson

1995NebraskaNCF
1994

*Nebraska

Florida State

Penn State

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, UPI, USA/CNN, USA/NFF

Dunkel

FACT< NCF, NYT

1993

*Florida State

Auburn

Nebraska

Notre Dame

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NYT, UPI, USA/CNN, USA/CNN

NCF

NCF

NCF

1992

*Alabama

Florida State

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NYT, UPI/NFF, USA/CNN

Sagarin

1991

*Miami (Fla.)

*Washington

AP, NCF, NYT, 

FACT, FW, NCF, UPI/NFF, USA/CNN

1990

*Colorado

*Georgia Tech

Miami (Fla.)

Washington

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, USA/CNN

FACT, NCF, UPI

FACT, NYT

FACT

1980's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1989

*Miami (Fla.)

Notre Dame

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, NYT, UPI, USA/CNN

FACT

1988

*Notre Dame

Miami (Fla.)

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, NYT, UPI, USA/CNN

Berryman

1987

*Miami (Fla.)

Florida State

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, NYT, UPI, USA/CNN

Berryman, Sagarin

1986

*Penn State

Miami (Fla.)

Oklahoma

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI, USA/CNN

FACT

Berryman, NYT, Sagarin

1985

*Oklahoma

Michigan

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, NYT, UPI, USA/CNN

Matthews, Sagarin

1984

*Brigham Young

Florida

Nebraska

Washington

AP, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI, USA/CNN

FACT, NYT, Sagarin

Litkenhous

NCF

1983

*Miami (Fla.)

Auburn

Nebraska

AP, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI, USA/CNN

FACT, NYT

Berryman, FACT, Sagarin

1982

*Penn State

Nebraska

Southern Methodist

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, NYT, UPI, USA/CNN

Berryman

Helms

1981

*Clemson

Nebraska

Penn State

Pittsburgh

Texas

Southern Methodist

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, NYT, UPI

NCF

Dunkel

NCF

NCF

NCF

1980

*Georgia

Florida State

Nebraska

Oklahoma

Pittsburgh

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

FACT

FACT, Sagarin

Billingsley, Dunkel, Matthews

FACT, NYT

 

1970's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1979

*Alabama

USC

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, NYT, UPI

Football Research

1978

*Alabama

*USC

Oklahoma

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF

FACT, NCF, UPI

FACT, Sagarin

1977

*Notre Dame

Alabama

Arkansas

Texas

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

Football Research

FACT

Berryman, FACT

1976

*Pittsburgh

USC

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

Berryman, Billingsley, Devold, Dunkel, Matthews

1975

*Oklahoma

Alabama

Arizona State

Ohio State

AP, FACT, NCF, NFF, UPI

Matthews

NCF

FACT

1974

*Oklahoma

*USC

Ohio State

AP, FACT, NCF

FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

Matthews

1973

*Alabama

*Notre Dame

Michigan

Ohio State

Oklahoma

Berryman, UPI

AP, FW, NCF, NFF

NCF

FACT, NCF

Billingsley, Sagarin

1972USCAP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI
1971NebraskaAP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI
1970

*Nebraska

*Texas

Arizona State

Notre Dame

Ohio State

AP, FACT, FW, NCF

FACT, NFF, UPI

Poling

FACT, Matthews

NFF

1960's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1969

*Texas

Ohio State

Penn State

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

Matthews

FACT

1968

*Ohio State

Georgia

Texas

AP, FACT, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

Litkenhous

DeVold, Matthews, Sagarin

1967

*USC

Notre Dame

Oklahoma

Tennessee

AP, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

Dunkel

Poling

Litkenhous

1966

*Michigan State

*Notre Dame

Alabama

Football Research, Helms, NFF, Poling

AP, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

Berryman

1965

*Alabama

*Michigan State

AP, FW, NCF

FW, NFF, UPI

1964

*Alabama

*Arkansas

Michigan

Notre Dame

AP, UPI

FW, NCF

Dunkel

NFF

1963TexasAP, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI
1962

*USC

Alabama

LSU

Mississippi

AP, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

Billingsley

Berryman

Litkenhous

1961

*Alabama

*Ohio State

AP, NCF, NFF, UPI

FW, Poling

1960

*Minnesota

*Mississippi

Iowa

Missouri

Washington

AP, NFF, UPI

FW, NCF

Berryman, Boand, Litkenhous, Sagarin

Poling

Helms

1950's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1959

*Syracuse

Mississippi

AP, FW, NCF, NFF, UPI

Berryman, Billingsley, Dunkel, Sagarin

1958

*LSU

*Iowa

AP, NCF, UPI

FW

1957

*Auburn

*Ohio State

Michigan State

Oklahoma

AP, NCF

FW, UPI

Billingsley, Dunkel, Sagarin

Berryman

1956

*Oklahoma

Georgia Tech

Iowa

Tennessee

AP, FW, NCF, UPI

Berryman

Football Research

Sagarin

1955

*Oklahoma

Michigan State

AP, BFW, NFC, UPI

Boand

1954

*Ohio State

*UCLA

AP, NCF

FW, NCF, UPI

1953

*Maryland

Notre Dame

Oklahoma

AP, UPI

NCF 

Berryman, Football Research

1952

*Michigan State

Georgia Tech

AP, NCF, UPI

Berryman, INS, Poling

1951

*Tennessee

Georgia Tech

Illinois

Maryland

Michigan State

AP, UPI

Berryman, Boand

Boand

DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, NCF, Sagarin

Billingsley, Helms, Poling

1950

*Oklahoma

Kentucky

Princeton

Tennessee

AP, UPI

Sagarin

Boand, Poling

Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, NCF

1940's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1949

*Notre Dame

Oklahoma

AP, NCF

Football Research

1948MichiganAP, NCF
1947

*Notre Dame

Michigan

AP

Football Research

1946

*Notre Dame

Army

Georgia

AP, NCF

Football Research

Williamson

1945

*Army

Alabama

AP, Football Research, NCF

NCF

1944

*Army

Ohio State

AP, NCF

NCF

1943Notre DameAP, NCF
1942

*Ohio State

Georgia

Wisconsin

AP, Football Research, NCF

Berryman, DeVold, Houlgate, Litkenhous, Poling, Williamson

Helms

1941

*Minnesota

Alabama

Texas

AP, NCF

Houlgate

Berryman, Williamson

1940

*Minnesota

Stanford

Tennessee

AP, NCF

Helms, Poling

Dunkel, Williamson

1930's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1939

*Texas A&M

Cornell

USC

AP, NCF

Billingsley, Litkenhous

Dickinson

1938

*TCU

Notre Dame

Tennessee

AP, NCF

Dickinson

Football Research

1937

*Pittsburgh

California

AP, Football Research, NCF

Dunkel, Helms

1936

*Minnesota

LSU

Pittsburgh

AP, NCF

Williamson

Boand, Football Research, Houlgate

1935

*Minnesota

LSU

Princeton

Southern Methodist

TCU

Football Research, NCF

Williamson

Dunkel

Dickinson, Houlgate

Williamson

1934

*Minnesota

Alabama

Football Research, NCF

Dunkel, Houlgate, Poling, Williamson

1933

*Michigan

Ohio State

Princeton

USC

Football Research, NCF

Dunkel

Parke Davis

Williamson

1932

*USC

Colgate

Michigan

Football Research, NCF

Parke Davis

Dickinson, Parke Davis

1931

*USC

Pittsburgh

Purdue

Football Research, NCF

Parke Davis

Parke Davis

1930

*Alabama

*Notre Dame

Football Research, Parke Davis

NCF

1920's

YearCollegeNominating Body

1929

*Notre Dame

Pittsburgh

USC

Football Research, NCF

Parke Davis

Houlgate

1928

*Georgia Tech

Detroit

USC

Football Research, NCF

Parke Davis

Dickinson

1927

*Illinois

*Yale

Georgia

NCF

Football Research

Boand, Poling

1926

*Alabama

*Stanford

Lafayette

Navy

Football Research, NCF

NCF

Parke Davis

Boand, Houlgate

1925

*Alabama

Dartmouth

Football Research, NCF

Dickinson, Parke Davis

1924

*Notre Dame

Pennsylvania

Football Research, NCF

Parke Davis

1923

*Illinois

California

Michigan

Football Research, NCF

Houlgate

NCF

1922

*California

*Cornell

*Princeton

Iowa

NCF, Houlgate

Helms, Parke Davis

Boand, Football Research, NCF, Parke Davis

Billingsley

1921

*California

*Cornell

Iowa

Lafayette

Washington & Jefferson

Boand, Football Research

NCF

Billingsley, Parke Davis

Boand, Parke Davis

Boand

1920

*California

Harvard

Notre Dame

Princeton

Billingsley, Football Research, NCF

Boand

Parke Davis

Boand, Parke Davis

1910's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1919

*Harvard

*Illinois

*Notre Dame

*Texas A&M

Football Research, NCF

Billingsley, Boand, Football Research, Parke Davis

NCF, Parke Davis

NCF

1918

*Michigan

*Pittsburgh

Billingsley, NCF

Helms, Houlgate, NCF

1917Georgia TechNCF
1916

*Pittsburgh

Army

NCF

Parke Davis

1915

*Cornell

Nebraska

Pittsburgh

NCF

Billingsley

Parke Davis

1914

*Army

Illinois

Texas

NCF

Parke Davis

Billingsley

1913

*Harvard

Auburn

Chicago

NCF

Billingsley

Parke Davis

1912

*Harvard

*Penn State

NCF

NCF

1911

*Penn State

*Princeton

Vanderbilt

NCF

NCF

Billingsley

1910

*Harvard

*Pittsburgh

Michigan

NCF

NCF

Billingsley

1900's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1909YaleNCF
1908

*LSU

*Pennsylvania

NCF

NCF

1907

*Yale

Pennsylvania

NCF

Billingsley

1906

*Princeton

Vanderbilt

Yale

NCF

Billingsley

Parke Davis

1905

*Chicago

Yale

NCF

Parke Davis

1904

*Michigan

*Pennsylvania

NCF

NCF

1903

*Michigan

*Princeton

NCF

NCF

1902

*Michigan

Yale

NCF

Parke Davis

1901

*Michigan

Harvard

Yale

NCF

Billingsley

Parke Davis

1900YaleNCF

 

1890's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1899

*Harvard

Princeton

NCF

Parke Davis

1898

*Harvard

Princeton

NCF

Parke Davis

1897

*Pennsylvania

Yale

NCF

Parke Davis

1896

*Lafayette

*Princeton

NCF

Parke Davis

1895

*Pennsylvania

Yale

NCF

Parke Davis

1894

*Yale

Pennsylvania

Princeton

NCF

Parke Davis

Houlgate

1893

*Princeton

Yale

NCF

Parke Davis

1892YaleNCF
1891YaleNCF
1890HarvardNCF

1880's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1889PrincetonNCF
1888YaleNCF
1887YaleNCF
1886

*Yale

Princeton

NCF

Parke Davis

1885PrincetonNCF
1884

*Princeton

Yale

Parke Davis

NCF

1883YaleNCF
1882YaleNCF
1881

*Yale

Princeton

NCF

Billingsley, Parke Davis

1880

*Princeton

*Yale

NCF

NCF

1870's

YearCollegeNominating Body
1879

*Princeton

Yale

NCF

Parke Davis

1878PrincetonNCF
1877

*Yale

Princeton

NCF

Parke Davis

1876YaleNCF
1875

*Harvard

Colgate

Princeton

NCF

Parke Davis

Billingsley, Parke Davis

1874

*Yale

Harvard

Princeton

NCF

Parke Davis

Billingsley, Parke Davis

1873PrincetonNFC
1872PrincetonNFC
1871None 
1870PrincetonNFC
1869

*Princeton

Rutgers

NFC

Parke Davis

 

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Hyland, Tim. "College Football National Championship Teams." ThoughtCo, Aug. 16, 2017, thoughtco.com/college-football-national-champions-791518. Hyland, Tim. (2017, August 16). College Football National Championship Teams. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/college-football-national-champions-791518 Hyland, Tim. "College Football National Championship Teams." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/college-football-national-champions-791518 (accessed November 23, 2017).