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NCAA Division I-A Football National Champions

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Unlike all other sports sponsored by the NCAA (or for that matter, all other divisions of NCAA football), Division I-A does not have a tournament to determine its national champion. Also, there have been a variety of sources used to determine the "national champion" (see Poll Legend) All national champions before 1936 are retroactively awarded, as contemporary polling did not begin until the 1936 season.

National Champions

Year Champion Poll W-L Bowl
1869 Princeton UCF 1-1
1870 Princeton UCF 1-0
1871 No Champion
1872 Princeton UCF 1-0
1873 Princeton UCF 1-0
1874 Yale UCF 3-0
1875 Harvard UCF 4-0
1876 Yale UCF 3-0
1877 Yale UCF 3-0-1
1878 Princeton UCF 6-0
1879 Princeton UCF 4-0-1
1880 Princeton
Yale
UCF 4-0-1
4-0-1
1881 Yale UCF 5-0-1
1882 Yale UCF 8-0
1883 Yale H 9-0
1884 Yale H 9-0
1885 Princeton H 9-0
1886 Yale H 9-0-1
1887 Yale H 9-0
1888 Yale H 13-0
1889 Princeton H 10-0
1890 Harvard H 11-0
1891 Yale H 13-0
1892 Yale H 13-0
1893 Princeton H 11-0
1894 Yale H 16-0
1895 Pennsylvania H 14-0
1896 Princeton H 10-0-1
1897 Pennsylvania H 15-0
1898 Harvard H 11-0
1899 Harvard H 10-0-1
1900 Yale H 12-0
1901 Michigan H 11-0 Won Rose
1902 Michigan H 11-0
1903 Princeton H 11-0
1904 Pennsylvania H 12-0
1905 Chicago H 11-0
1906 Princeton H 9-0-1
1907 Yale H 9-0-1
1908 Pennsylvania H 11-0-1
1909 Yale H 10-0
1910 Harvard H 8-0-1
1911 Princeton H 8-0-2
1912 Harvard H 9-0
1913 Harvard H 9-0
1914 Army H 9-0
1915 Cornell H 9-0
1916 Pittsburgh H 8-0 no bowl
1917 Georgia Tech H 9-0 no bowl
1918 Pittsburgh H 4-1 no bowl
1919 Harvard H 9-0-1 Won Rose
1920 California H 9-0 Won Rose
1921 Cornell H 8-0 no bowl
1922 Cornell H 8-0 no bowl
1923 Illinois H 8-0 no bowl
1924 Notre Dame H, D 10-0 Won Rose
1925 Alabama
Dartmouth
H
D
10-0
8-0
Won Rose
no bowl
1926 Stanford
Alabama
H, D
H
10-0-1
9-0-1
Tied Rose
1927 Illinois H, D 7-0-1 no bowl
1928 Georgia Tech
USC
H
D
10-0
9-0
Won Rose
no bowl
1929 Notre Dame H, D 9-0 no bowl
1930 Notre Dame H, D 10-0 no bowl
1931 USC H, D 10-1 Won Rose
1932 USC
Michigan
H
D
10-0
8-0
Won Rose
no bowl
1933 Michigan H, D 7-0-1 no bowl
1934 Minnesota H, D 8-0 no bowl
1935 Minnesota
SMU
H
D
8-0
12-1
no bowl
Lost Rose
1936 Minnesota AP 7-1 no bowl
1937 Pittsburgh AP 9-0-1 no bowl
1938 TCU AP 11-0 Won Sugar
1939 Texas A&M AP 11-0 Won Sugar
1940 Minnesota AP 8-0 no bowl
1941 Minnesota AP 8-0 no bowl
1942 Ohio St. AP 9-1 no bowl
1943 Notre Dame AP 9-1 no bowl
1944 Army AP 9-0 no bowl
1945 Army AP 9-0 no bowl
1946 Notre Dame AP 8-0-1 no bowl
1947 Notre Dame H 8-0-1 no bowl
1948 Michigan AP 9-0 no bowl
1949 Notre Dame AP 10-0 no bowl
1950 Oklahoma AP, UPI 10-1 Lost Sugar
1951 Tennessee AP, UPI 10-1 Lost Sugar
1952 Michigan St. AP, UPI 9-0 no bowl
1953 Maryland AP, UPI 10-1 Lost Sugar
1954 Ohio St.
UCLA
AP
UPI
10-0
9-0
Won Rose
no bowl
1955 Oklahoma AP, UPI 11-0 Won Orange
1956 Oklahoma AP, UPI 10-0 no bowl
1957 Auburn
Ohio St.
AP
UPI
10-0
9-1
no bowl
Won Rose
1958 LSU AP, UPI 11-0 Won Sugar
1959 Syracuse AP, UPI 11-0 Won Cotton
1960 Minnesota AP, UPI 8-2 Lost Rose
1961 Alabama AP, UPI 11-0 Won Sugar
1962 USC AP, UPI 11-0 Won Rose
1963 Texas AP, UPI 11-0 Won Cotton
1964 Alabama AP, UPI 10-1 Lost Orange
1965 Alabama
Michigan St.
AP
UPI
9-1-1
10-1
Won Orange
Lost Rose
1966 Notre Dame AP, UPI 9-0-1 no bowl
1967 USC AP, UPI 10-1 Won Rose
1968 Ohio St. AP, UPI 10-0 Won Rose
1969 Texas AP, UPI 11-0 Won Cotton
1970 Nebraska
Texas
AP
UPI
11-0-1
10-1
Won Orange
Lost Cotton
1971 Nebraska AP, UPI 13-0 Won Orange
1972 USC AP, UPI 12-0 Won Rose
1973 Notre Dame
Alabama
AP
UPI
11-0
11-1
Won Sugar
Lost Sugar
1974 Oklahoma
USC
AP
UPI
11-0
10-1-1
no bowl
Won Rose
1975 Oklahoma AP, UPI 11-1 Won Orange
1976 Pittsburgh AP, UPI 12-0 Won Sugar
1977 Notre Dame AP, UPI 11-1 Won Cotton
1978 Alabama
USC
AP
UPI
11-1
12-1
Won Sugar
Won Rose
1979 Alabama AP, UPI 12-0 Won Sugar
1980 Georgia AP, UPI 12-0 Won Sugar
1981 Clemson AP, UPI 12-0 Won Orange
1982 Penn St. AP, UPI 12-0 Won Sugar
1983 Miami (FL) AP, UPI 11-1 Won Orange
1984 BYU AP, UPI 13-0 Won Holiday
1985 Oklahoma AP, UPI 11-1 Won Orange
1986 Penn St. AP, UPI 12-0 Won Fiesta
1987 Miami (FL) AP, UPI 12-0 Won Orange
1988 Notre Dame AP, UPI 12-0 Won Fiesta
1989 Miami (FL) AP, UPI 11-1 Won Sugar
1990 Colorado
Georgia Tech
AP
UPI
11-1-1
11-0-1
Won Orange
Won Citrus
1991 Miami (FL)
Washington
AP
CNN
12-0
12-0
Won Orange
Won Rose
1992 Alabama AP, CNN 13-0 Won Sugar
1993 Florida St. AP, CNN 12-1 Won Orange
1994 Nebraska AP, CNN 13-0 Won Orange
1995 Nebraska AP, CNN 12-0 Won Fiesta
1996 Florida AP, CNN 12-1 Won Sugar
1997 Michigan
Nebraska
AP
ESPN
12-0
Won Rose
Won Orange
1998 Tennessee BCS, AP 13-0 Won Fiesta
1999 Florida St. BCS, AP 12-0 Won Sugar
2000 Oklahoma BCS, AP 13-0 Won Orange
2001 Miami (FL) BCS, AP 12-0 Won Rose
2002 Ohio St. BCS, AP 14-0 Won Fiesta
2003 LSU
USC
BCS
AP
13-1
12-1
Won Sugar
Won Rose
2004 USC BCS, AP 13-0 Won Orange
2005 Texas BCS, AP 13-0 Won Rose

Poll Legend

  • H- Helms Athletic Foundation
  • D- Dickinson System
  • AP- Associated Press
  • UPI- United Press
  • CNN- USA Today/CNN
  • ESPN- USA Today/ESPN
  • BCS- Bowl Champion Series Champion (USA Today/ESPN poll required to vote for BCS winner)

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