The NCAAF National Championship
The NCAAF stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association Football, or more simply men’s college American football.
A national championship is the highest award in college football in the USA, but college football is the only sport which doesn’t sanction a yearly championship event. Instead, the College Football Playoff (CFP) is the annual post-season tournament which determines the national champion.
Four teams compete in the semi-final games, with the winners advancing to the College Football Playoff National Championship.
A Very Brief NCAAF History
Sportswriters began ranking teams in 1936, and coaches were also polled from 1950 onwards. The Associated Press and United Press have been polling teams since then, with both major polls releasing rankings that remain the major rankings of the NCAAF to this day.
Unlike its predecessors, which used a mathematical formula based on coach and media rankings, the CFP (College Football Playoff) uses a 13-man committee which selects and seeds the teams; it is the first time the NCAAF championship was determined by a bracket competition. This replaced the Bowl Championship Series, which ran from 1998-2013 and featured the top two teams a chance to compete in the national championship game.
10 Fast NCAAF Facts
- Florida State were the last National Champion to go undefeated, finishing 14-0 in 2013.
- Princeton have the most claimed NCAAF National Championships with 28.
- Alabama have the most NCAAF Championships in the poll era with 11.
- The Alabama “Crimson Tide” have won four of those championships since 2009, the most dominant stretch since Notre Dame won four titles between 1943 and 1949.
- Oregon hold the record for the highest score in a CFP game, defeating Florida State 59-20 in the 2014 Rose Bowl.
- Alabama hold the record score for the highest score in the Championship game, defeating top-ranked Clemson 45-40 in 2015.
- In 2011, Alabama became the first side in 20 years to shutout the opposition as they won the BCS Championship game 21-0 against LSU.
- The all-time record score for aNCAAF National Championship game is 62 points, with Nebraska scoring that in defeating Florida in 1995.
- There have been three players to win the Heisman Trophy (most outstanding player in college football) and Championship MVP in the same season – Jameis Winston (Florida State, 2013), Mark Ingram (Alabama, 2009) and Matt Leinart (USC, 2004).
- The closest game in Championship history was in 1990, as Colorado defeated Notre Dame 10-9.
NCAAF Betting Types
Head-to-head and handicap betting is available on all games, as is quarter by quarter betting. Bets can be made individually, or multiple games can be bet on as part of a multi-bet. Punters can bet on teams making the semi-finals, and also the winner of the National Championship.
The Past 5 NCAAF Champions
2016 – Clemson 35 defeated Alabama 31: Clemson sprung a surprise, defeating the top-ranked Alabama with three fourth-quarter touchdowns and reversing the championship game result from the previous season. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson was the MVP, throwing 36-of-56 passes for 420 yards and three touchdowns, including the winning pass to Hunter Renfrow with just one second on the clock.
2015 – Alabama 45 defeated Clemson 40: Alabama rallied from a three-quarter time deficit to win a high-scoring shootout, with running back Derrick Henry starring with 158 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. Kenyan Drake returned a kick-off 95 yards for a touchdown as Alabama were able to overcome a dominant performance from Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who threw four touchdowns.
2014 – Ohio State 42 defeated Oregon 20: The fifth-seeded Buckeyes smashed the Ducks, building a quarter-time lead and running away with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Running back Ezekiel Elliott put together one of the best games in college history, rushing for 246 yards and four touchdowns, including the last three scores of the game.
2013 – Florida State 34 defeated Auburn 31: The Seminoles held on to beat the Tigers in a classic game where they came from behind with three fourth-quarter touchdowns. Star quarterback Jameis Winston struggled throughout, but came to the fore with two late touchdowns, including the winning throw to wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin with just 13 seconds on the clock. Auburn running back Tre Mason was valiant in defeat, tallying 195 rushing yards and a touchdown.
2012 –Alabama 42 defeated Notre Dame 14: The Crimson Tide made a mockery of the rankings, smashing the #1 seed Fighting Irish on the back of a 28-0 first half. Quarterback A.J.McCarron threw four touchdowns, while T.J.Yeldon and Eddie Lacy both added a rushing touchdown to more than 100 rushing yards. Notre Dame had just 302 total yards in this game, more than 220 yards less than Alabama.
NCAAF Championship Game MVPs and Heisman Trophy Winners
2016: co-MVPs – Deshaun Watson (Alabama) and Ben Boulware (Clemson), Heisman – Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
2015: MVP – O.J.Howard (Clemson), Heisman– Derrick Henry (Alabama)
2014: MVP – Ezekiel Elliot (Ohio State), Heisman – Marcus Mariota (Oregon)
2013: co-MVPs – Jameis Winston and P.J.Williams (Florida State), Heisman – Winston
2012: co-MVPs – Eddie Lacy and C.J.Mosley (Alabama), Heisman – Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
Who has the most most NCAAF Championships
As there hasn’t always been a governing body, records are kept for teams with the most claims for the national championship.
Princeton have 28 claims, just ahead of Yale with 27.
Since the poll era started in 1936, Alabama lead the way with 11 championships ahead of Notre Dame with 8 and Oklahoma and USC with 7 apiece.
The Crimson Tide also won the most BCS Championships (3) and are one of three teams to win the newly established CFP championship (along with Clemson and Ohio State).