College Football 150 National Championship All-Time Season Rankings. Where is 2021 Georgia?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

College Football 150 National Championship All-Time Season Rankings. Where is 2021 Georgia?

CFN Rankings

College Football 150 National Championship All-Time Season Rankings. Where is 2021 Georgia?

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Which college football national champions had the best seasons? How do their runs rank? We highlight the greatest of all-time with the 150 Greatest National Championship Season rankings. 


150 Greatest College Football National Champions
CFN 2021 Final Rankings | No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3 | No. 4
No. 5No. 6 | No. 7 | No. 8 | No. 9 | No. 1011-25 | 26-50
51-75 | 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150 | Just Missed
CFN Season Formula Criteria | @ColFootballNews

Is 2020 Alabama the greatest team of all-time? Is it 2019 LSU, or 1894 Yale, or …? That’s a matter of opinion. However, what’s easier to do is ask this question.

Which national champion came up with the greatest season in the history of college football?

How the heck are you supposed to rank close over 150 years of the best of the best college football teams?

How do you sell the idea that some Ivy League team from the 1800s was among the greatest of all-time based on an opinion? That’s not fair.

That old school team would lose to the 2020 Alabama backups by 295 points.

On talent and ability, trying to rank and contrast today’s college football teams to anything from 100ish years ago is like comparing apples to … Neptune. It’s a totally different game now.

And then there’s the problem of just how fatally flawed the system for determining a champion used to be. It’s not like anyone could watch three screens of games in 1869 – or 1969. National champions from back in the day – and even as recently as the mid-1990s – were crowned mostly on a guess.

So with all of that in mind, we’ve ranked the 150 greatest national champions of all-time based on how good their seasons wereThe CFN Season Formula is about straight numbers, wins, losses, point totals and strengths of schedules to measure just how strong a campaign really was. It’s not an opinion of how good the teams might have been.

It’s a simple theory. The more wins, and the more big wins, the higher the ranking. The more games a team played, the more chances for losses, wearing down, injuries, or bad days. It’s why some of the highest-ranked teams on this list are from the modern day – the more recent champions played more games.

If you won a national championship playing a schedule of cupcakes and high school teams – looking at you, 1895 Penn – this formula exposes that.

Now for the ground rules.

1. There are more than 150 college football national champions. Over the last 152 years – even though there have only been 151 college football seasons, but whatever – there were plenty of split titles. Because there was no true national championship game up until the BCS was formed in 1998, crowning a champion was often a popularity contest. Only the top 150 according to the CFN Season Formula make the list.

2. Only the main methods for each era are counted. Sorry, 2017 UCF, and sorry to a few of the Alabama “national champions” that the school continues to brag about. These are based off of the top selection organizations in each era …

1869 to 1879: National Championship Foundation (NCF)
1880 to 1935: NCF & Helms Athletic Foundation
1936 to 1949: Associated Press (AP)
1950 to 1981: AP & United Press International (UPI)
1982 to 1997: AP (and 2003) & USA Today (Coaches Poll)
1998 to 2013: Bowl Championship System
2014 to 2021: College Football Playoff

FIRST TEAMS OUT …

153. 1911 Penn State (8-0-1)

All-Time Season Score: 14.0344
Key Season Score Element: 5 Bad Wins (wins over teams with three wins or fewer, or not at the highest level at the time) in 9 games
Best Win: Penn State 5, at Cornell 0
Worst Game: Penn State 0, at Navy 0

1911 was a weird college football season. Navy ended up unbeaten, but it finished with three ties. One was against Penn State, and one was against Princeton – both of the split national champions. Penn State had the better year than Princeton with a few more big wins, and with a defense that allowed just 15 points.

152. 1910 Pitt (9-0)

All-Time Season Score: 14.0700
Key Season Score Element: Outscored teams 282-0
Best Win: Pitt 17, Georgetown 0
Worst Game: Pitt 19, Westminster 0

Seven of the nine wins came against teams that weren’t officially in the college football mix and/or finished with fewer than three wins. It was the year when the forward pass became a bigger part of the game, but it didn’t matter to a Pitt D that didn’t allow a point.

151. 1923 Michigan (8-0)

All-Time Season Score: 14.1300
Key Season Score Element: Outscored teams 150-12
Best Win: Michigan 10, Minnesota 0
Worst Game: Michigan 26, Quantico Marines 6

It’s a soft national championship considering there was only one amazing win – over Minnesota in the regular season finale – and a whole slew of mediocre victories over bad Case, Ohio State, and Michigan State teams. The D pitched a shutout in five of the eight games and allowed more than three points once … against Quantico Marines.

150 Greatest College Football National Champions
CFN 2021 Final Rankings | No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3 | No. 4
No. 5No. 6 | No. 7 | No. 8 | No. 9 | No. 1011-25 | 26-50
51-75 | 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150 | Just Missed
CFN Season Formula Criteria | @ColFootballNews

150 Greatest National Champions: Top 150

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