NCAA Division 1 Football National Championship History

The history of the NCAA Division I Football National Championship dates back to the early 20th century. The first recognized national champion of college football was selected in 1869, but it wasn’t until the establishment of the AP Poll in 1936 that a widely recognized and official national champion began to be named.

During the early years of college football, there were a variety of different ways to determine the national champion, with various polls, organizations, and media outlets naming their own champions. However, many of these champions were determined retroactively, long after the conclusion of the season.

The AP Poll and the United Press International (UPI) Coaches’ Poll, which began in 1950, were the two main polls used to determine the national champion during this era. These polls were based on the votes of sportswriters and coaches, respectively, and the team that was ranked No. 1 in the final poll of the season was declared the national champion.

College football championship history

In 1998, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was established, which was a system that was intended to match the top two teams in a national championship game. The BCS system was in place until the 2013-14 season and it was composed by a combination of polls, computer rankings and also some other factors to determine the final two teams.

The current format, known as the College Football Playoff (CFP) began in the 2014-15 season. It expanded the field to four teams, with the teams being chosen by a selection committee, which uses a combination of on-field performance and a range of other factors to determine the top four teams in the country. These teams then compete in a single-elimination tournament, with the winners of the two semifinals games advancing to the National Championship game.

The first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship game was played on January 12, 2015, where Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Oregon Ducks with a score of 42-20. Since then, Clemson, Alabama, and LSU have been some of the most successful teams in the CFP era.


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