This has been difficult to collate the information, because there is no NCAA sanctioned National Championship, unlike the lower divisions, so some teams stake a claim to a National Championship and some will not. It is for this very reason, Mathos Football Leagues has decided to focus on those teams that stake a claim as National Champions. Each total number of championships, and the years for which they are claimed, are documented by the particular school on its official website, in its football media guide, or in other official publications or literature. Both Princeton (College of New Jersey) and Rutgers (Rutgers College) played in the very first American Football game in 1869 and Ohio State won the first College Football Playoff National Championship in 2015 following the 2014 season.

A National Championship Game has been held since 1986, except for the 1990 and 1991 seasons. Since 1993, various formats have been used to decide the national champions:
Bowl Coalition (1993-1995)
Bowl Alliance (1996-1998)
Bowl Championship Series (1999-2014)
College Football Playoff (2014-)

1 2 3
1869 1870 1872 (1)
PRINCETON TIGERS RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS PRINCETON TIGERS PRINCETON TIGERS
3 4 5
1872 (2) 1873 1874
YALE BULLDOGS PRINCETON TIGERS PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS
6 7 8
1875 1876 1877
PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS
9 10 11
1878 1879 1880 (1)
PRINCETON TIGERS PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS PRINCETON TIGERS
11 12 13
1880 (2) 1881 1882
YALE BULLDOGS PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS YALE BULLDOGS
14 15 16
1883 1884 1885
YALE BULLDOGS PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS PRINCETON TIGERS
17 18 19
1886 1887 1888
PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS YALE BULLDOGS YALE BULLDOGS
20 21 22 23
1889 1890 1891 1892
PRINCETON TIGERS HARVARD CRIMSON YALE BULLDOGS YALE BULLDOGS
24 25
1893 1894
PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS PENNSYLVANIA QUAKERS PRINCETON TIGERS
25 26 27
1894 (3) 1895 1896 (1)
YALE BULLDOGS PENNSYLVANIA QUAKERS YALE BULLDOGS LAFAYETTE LEOPARDS
27 28 29
1896 (2) 1897 1898 (1)
PRINCETON TIGERS PENNSYLVANIA QUAKERS YALE BULLDOGS HARVARD CRIMSON
29 30 31
1898 (2) 1899 1900
PRINCETON TIGERS HARVARD CRIMSON PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS
32 33
1901 1902 (1)
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
33 34 35
1902 (2) 1903 1904 (1)
YALE BULLDOGS MICHIGAN WOLVERINES PRINCETON TIGERS MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
35 36
1904 (2-3) 1905
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS PENNSYLVANIA QUAKERS CHICAGO MAROONS YALE BULLDOGS
37 38
1906 1907
PRINCETON TIGERS YALE BULLDOGS PENNSYLVANIA QUAKERS YALE BULLDOGS
39 40 41 42
1908 1909 1910 1911
PENNSYLVANIA QUAKERS YALE BULLDOGS HARVARD CRIMSON PRINCETON TIGERS
43 44 45 46
1912 1913 1914 1915 (1)
HARVARD CRIMSON HARVARD CRIMSON ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI CORNELL BIG RED
46 47 48 49
1915 (2) 1916 1917 1918 (1)
PITTSBURGH PANTHERS PITTSBURGH PANTHERS GEORGIA TECH
YELLOW JACKETS
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
49 50
1918 (2) 1919
PITTSBURGH PANTHERS HARVARD CRIMSON ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI TEXAS A&M AGGIES
51 52
1920 1921 (1-2)
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS PRINCETON TIGERS
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
CORNELL BIG RED
52 53
1921 (1-2) 1922
IOWA HAWKEYES LAFAYETTE LEOPARDS CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS CORNELL BIG RED
54
1923
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS CORNELL BIG RED ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
55 56
1924 1925
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH PENNSYLVANIA QUAKERS ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE DARTMOUTH MEAN GREEN
57 58
1926 1927 (1)
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE LAFAYETTE LEOPARDS STANFORD CARDINAL GEORGIA BULLDOGS
58 59
1927 (2-4) 1928 (1)
ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI TEXAS A&M AGGIES YALE BULLDOGS GEORGIA TECH
YELLOW JACKETS
59 60 61
1928 (2) 1929 1930 (1)
USC TROJANS NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH PITTSBURGH PANTHERS ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
61 62 63
1930 (2) 1931 1932 (1)
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH PITTSBURGH PANTHERS USC TROJANS MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
63 64 65
1932 (2) 1933 1934 (1)
USC TROJANS MICHIGAN WOLVERINES PRINCETON TIGERS ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
65 66
1934 (2-3) 1935
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS PITTSBURGH PANTHERS MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS PRINCETON TIGERS
66 67
1935 (3-4) 1936
SOUTHERN METHODIST MUSTANGS TEXAS CHRISTIAN
HORNED FROGS
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
68 69
1937 1938
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS PITTSBURGH PANTHERS TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS TEXAS CHRISTIAN
HORNED FROGS
70 71
1939 1940 (1)
CORNELL BIG RED USC TROJANS TEXAS A&M AGGIES BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES
71 72
1940 (2-4) 1941 (1)
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS STANFORD CARDINAL TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
72 73 74
1941 (2) 1942 1943
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS OHIO STATE BUCKEYES GEORGIA BULLDOGS NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH
75 76 77
1944 1945 1946 (1-2)
ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS GEORGIA BULLDOGS
77 78 79
1946 (3) 1947 1948
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH MICHIGAN WOLVERINES NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
80 81
1949 1950 (1-3)
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH KENTUCKY WILDCATS OKLAHOMA SOONERS PRINCETON TIGERS
81 82 83
1950 (4) 1951 1952 (1)
TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS GEORGIA TECH
YELLOW JACKETS
83 84 85
1952 (2) 1953 1954
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS MARYLAND TERRAPINS UCLA BRUINS OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
86 87 88
1955 1956 1957 (1)
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
OKLAHOMA SOONERS OKLAHOMA SOONERS AUBURN TIGERS
88 89
1957 (2-3) 1958
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
IOWA HAWKEYES
LSU TIGERS
90 91
1959 1960 (1-2)
MISSISSIPPI REBELS SYRACUSE ORANGEMEN IOWA HAWKEYES MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
91 92
1960 (3-4) 1961
MISSISSIPPI REBELS WASHINGTON HUSKIES ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
93 94 95
1962 1963 1964 (1)
MISSISSIPPI REBELS USC TROJANS TEXAS LONGHORNS ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
95 96 97
1964 (2) 1965 (1-2) 1966 (1)
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
97 98 99
1966 (2) 1967 (1-2) 1968 (1)
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH USC TROJANS TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS GEORGIA BULLDOGS
99 100 101
1968 (2) 1969 1970 (1-2)
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
TEXAS LONGHORNS
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
101 102 103 104
1970 (3) 1971 1972 1973 (1)
TEXAS LONGHORNS
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
USC TROJANS
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
104 105 106
1973 (2) 1974 1975
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH OKLAHOMA SOONERS USC TROJANS OKLAHOMA SOONERS
107 108 109
1976 1977 1978
PITTSBURGH PANTHERS NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE USC TROJANS
110 111 112 113
1979 1980 1981 1982
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE GEORGIA BULLDOGS CLEMSON TIGERS PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
114 115 116 117
1983 1984 1985 1986
MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES BRIGHAM YOUNG COUGARS OKLAHOMA SOONERS PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
118 119 120 121
1987 1988 1989 1990 (1)
MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES COLORADO BUFFALOES
121 122 123
1990 (2) 1991 1992
GEORGIA TECH
YELLOW JACKETS
MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES WASHINGTON HUSKIES ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
124 125 126 127
1993 (BOWL COALITION) 1994 (BOWL COALITION) 1995 (BOWL COALITION) 1996 (BOWL ALLIANCE)
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
FLORIDA GATORS
128 129 130 131
1997 (BOWL ALLIANCE) 1998 (BOWL ALLIANCE) 1999 (BCS) 2000 (BCS)
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES OKLAHOMA SOONERS
132 133 134 135
2001 (BCS) 2002 (BCS) 2003 (BCS) 2004 (BCS)
MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES OHIO STATE BUCKEYES LSU TIGERS
USC TROJANS
136 137 138 139
2005 (BCS) 2006 (BCS) 2007 (BCS) 2008 (BCS)
TEXAS LONGHORNS
FLORIDA GATORS LSU TIGERS FLORIDA GATORS
140 141 142 143
2009 (BCS) 2010 (BCS) 2011 (BCS) 2012 (BCS)
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE AUBURN TIGERS ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
144 145 146 147
2013 (BCS) 2014 (PLAYOFF) 2015 (PLAYOFF) 2016 (PLAYOFF)
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES OHIO STATE BUCKEYES ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE CLEMSON TIGERS
148 149
2017 (PLAYOFF) 2018 (PLAYOFF)
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE CLEMSON TIGERS

Hall of fame
Rank Team Titles Last Title
1 Princeton Tigers
28
1950
2 Yale Bulldogs
27
1927
3 Alabama Crimson Tide
17
2017
T4 Michigan Wolverines
11
1997
T4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
11
1988
T4 USC Trojans
11*
2004
7 Pittsburgh Panthers
9
1976
8 Ohio State Buckeyes
8
2014
T9 Harvard Crimson
8
1919
T9 Minnesota Golden Gophers
7
1960
T9 Oklahoma Sooners
7
2000
T9 Pennsylvania Quakers
7
1924
T13 Michigan State Spartans
6
1966
T13 Tennessee Volunteers
6
1998
T15 Auburn Tigers
5
2010
T15 California Golden Bears
5
1937
T15 Cornell Big Red
5
1939
T15 Georgia Bulldogs
5*
1980
T15 Illinois Fighting Illini
5
1951
T15 Miami (FL) Hurricanes
5
2001
T15 Nebraska Cornhuskers
5
1997
T22 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
4
1990
T22 Iowa Hawkeyes
1960
T22 Texas Longhorns
4
2005
T22 Washington Huskies
4
1991
T26 Army Black Knights
3
1946
T26 Clemson Tigers
3
2018
T26 Florida Gators
3
2008
T26 Florida State Seminoles
3
2013
T26 Lafayette Leopards
3
1926
T26 Louisiana State Tigers
3
2007
T26 Mississippi Rebels
3
1962
T26 Southern Methodist Mustangs
3
1982
T26 Texas A&M Aggies
3
1939
T35 Chicago Maroons
2
1913
T35 Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions
2
1986
T35 Texas Christian Horned Frogs
2
1938
T35 Stanford Cardinals
2
1940
T39 Arkansas Razorbacks
1
1964
T39 Boston College Eagles
1
1940
T39 Brigham Young Cougars
1
1984
T39 UCLA Bruins
1
1954
T39 Colorado Buffaloes
1
1990
T39 Dartmouth Big Green
1
1925
T39 Kentucky Wildcats
1
1950
T39 Maryland Terrapins
1
1953
T39 Navy Midshipmen
1
1926
T39 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
1
1869
T39 Syracuse Orangemen
1
1959
Important information
Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia lists only two for football (1942 and 1980). However, in its football media guide, although these years (1927, 1946, 1968) are highlighted as consensus championships, each of the five championships listed above are described separately but are highlighted as national championships in the year-by-year results.

Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa lists the 1958 Grantland Rice National Championship in various publications, but describes championship selections from 3 other years as well in its annual media guide.

Southern California Trojans
USC's January 4, 2005 win over Oklahoma in the BCS Championship Game was vacated as mandated by the NCAA, its 2004 BCS National Championship vacated by the BCS, and its AFCA Coaches' Trophy returned. NCAA sanctions mandate that "any reference to the vacated results, including championships, shall be removed." USC still retains the 2004 Associated Press National Championship and has not abandoned its claim to a 2004 National Championship.
Updated: 08 January 2019