College Football Playoff National Championship

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College Football Playoff
National Championship
College Football Nat'l Championship logo.svg
Conference tie-insWinners of the CFP semi-final bowls
Preceded byBCS National Championship Game (19982013)
Bowl Alliance (199597)
Bowl Coalition (199294)
2019 season matchup
LSU vs. Clemson (LSU 42–25)
2020 season matchup
TBA (2020 College Football Playoff National Championship)

The College Football Playoff National Championship is a post-season college football bowl game, used to determine a national champion of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), which began play in the 2014 college football season.[1] The game serves as the final of the College Football Playoff, a bracket tournament between the top four teams in the country as determined by a selection committee, which was established as a successor to the Bowl Championship Series and its similar BCS National Championship Game.

Unlike the BCS championship, the participating teams in the College Football Playoff National Championship are determined by two semi-final bowls, hosted by two of the consortium's six member bowls yearly, and the top two teams as determined by the selection committee do not automatically advance to the game in lieu of other bowls. This has caused a unique side effect in that no #1 or #3 seed had won the National Championship in its first five years, with LSU becoming the first #1 seed to win the championship in 2019.

The game is played at a neutral site, determined through bids by prospective host cities (similar to the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four). When announcing it was soliciting bids for the 2016 and 2017 title games, playoff organizers noted that the bids must propose host stadiums with a capacity of at least 65,000 spectators,[2] and cities cannot host both a semi-final game and the title game in the same year.[3]

The winner of the game is awarded a new championship trophy instead of the "crystal football", which has been given by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) since 1986; officials wanted a new trophy that was unconnected with the previous BCS championship system.[4] The inaugural game was held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in January 2015, and was won by Ohio State.[5] The awarded trophy, College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy, is sponsored by Dr Pepper.[6]


AT&T Stadium hosted the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game, played in January 2015.

The number of cities capable of bidding for the event is restricted by the 65,000-seat stadium minimum. In addition to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, which was the other finalist for the 2015 matchup,[7] the stadium restriction would limit the bidding to cities such as New Orleans, Glendale, and Pasadena.[2] Other possible future hosts include Orlando, San Antonio, and almost any city with a National Football League franchise, since all but three of the stadiums in that league (only one, the Chicago Bears' Soldier Field, will fall short beginning with the 2020 season) meet the capacity requirements and, unlike the Super Bowl, there is no de jure restriction on climate. Officials in New York City said they would like to host the game at Yankee Stadium, which hosts the annual Pinstripe Bowl, but it falls short of the attendance limit as it only holds approximately 54,000 fans in its football configuration (a game could still be hosted in the New York metropolitan area, but it would have to be at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey).[2][3]

On December 16, 2013, host selections for the 2016 and 2017 title games were announced. Glendale, Arizona (University of Phoenix Stadium) was selected to host the 2016 game and Tampa, Florida (Raymond James Stadium) was selected to host the 2017 game. Four cities had submitted bids for the 2016 game: Glendale, Jacksonville (EverBank Field), New Orleans (Mercedes-Benz Superdome), and Tampa. Six metropolitan areas had been vying for the 2017 game: Tampa, the San Francisco Bay Area (Levi's Stadium), Minneapolis (U.S. Bank Stadium), San Antonio (Alamodome), South Florida (Hard Rock Stadium), and Jacksonville (Jacksonville Municipal Stadium).[8]

The host for the 2020 game was announced on November 4, 2015.[9]

The hosts for the 2021 through 2024 games were announced November 1, 2017.[10]

Since cities hosting College Football Playoff semifinal games cannot host the championship game in the same year, Pasadena and New Orleans were not eligible for the 2018 game; South Florida and North Texas could not host in 2019; and Glendale and Atlanta were excluded from 2020 consideration. The same exclusions rotate every three years through 2026.[11]

Game results[edit]

For previous championship game results, see BCS National Championship Game (1998–2013), Bowl Alliance (1995–1997), and Bowl Coalition (1992–1994).

Rankings are from the CFP Poll released prior to matchup.

Season Date Winning team Losing team Site Attendance Notes
2014 January 12, 2015 No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes 42 No. 2 Oregon Ducks 20 AT&T StadiumArlington, Texas 85,788 notes
2015 January 11, 2016 No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide 45 No. 1 Clemson Tigers 40 University of Phoenix StadiumGlendale, Arizona 75,765 notes
2016 January 9, 2017 No. 2 Clemson Tigers 35 No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 31 Raymond James StadiumTampa, Florida 74,512 notes
2017 January 8, 2018 No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide 26 No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs 23 Mercedes-Benz StadiumAtlanta, Georgia 77,430 notes
2018 January 7, 2019 No. 2 Clemson Tigers 44 No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 16 Levi's StadiumSanta Clara, California 74,814 notes
2019 January 13, 2020 No. 1 LSU Tigers 42 No. 3 Clemson Tigers 25 Mercedes-Benz SuperdomeNew Orleans, Louisiana 76,885 notes

Future games[edit]

Season Date Site [12][13]
2020 January 11, 2021 Hard Rock StadiumMiami Gardens, FL
2021 January 10, 2022 Lucas Oil StadiumIndianapolis, IN
2022 January 9, 2023 SoFi StadiumInglewood, CA
2023 January 8, 2024 NRG StadiumHouston, TX
2024 January 6, 2025 TBD
2025 January 5, 2026 TBD

Appearances by team[edit]

Clemson's 2018 Trophy
Appearances Team Wins Losses Win % Season(s) won Season(s) lost
4 Clemson 2 2 .500 2016, 2018 2015, 2019
4 Alabama 2 2 .500 2015, 2017 2016, 2018
1 Ohio State 1 0 1.000 2014  
1 LSU 1 0 1.000 2019  
1 Oregon 0 1 .000   2014
1 Georgia 0 1 .000   2017

Appearances by conference[edit]

Conference Appearances Wins Losses Win Pct # Teams Team(s) Title seasons
SEC 6 3 3 .500 3 Alabama (2–2)
LSU (1-0)
Georgia (0–1)
2015, 2017, 2019
ACC 4 2 2 .500 1 Clemson (2-2) 2016, 2018
Big Ten 1 1 0 1.000 1 Ohio State (1–0) 2014
Pac-12 1 0 1 .000 1 Oregon (0–1) None


Deshaun Watson was offensive MVP of the January 2017 game.

An offensive and defensive MVP is named for each championship game.

Season Date Offensive MVP Defensive MVP Ref.
Player Team Pos Player Team Pos
2014 January 12, 2015 Ezekiel Elliott Ohio State RB Tyvis Powell Ohio State S [14]
2015 January 11, 2016 O. J. Howard Alabama TE Eddie Jackson Alabama S [15]
2016 January 9, 2017 Deshaun Watson Clemson QB Ben Boulware Clemson LB [16]
2017 January 8, 2018 Tua Tagovailoa Alabama QB Daron Payne Alabama DT [17]
2018 January 7, 2019 Trevor Lawrence Clemson QB Trayvon Mullen Clemson CB [18]
2019 January 13, 2020 Joe Burrow LSU QB Patrick Queen LSU LB [19]

Game records[edit]

Team Performance vs. Opponent Year
Most Points by Winning Team 45, Alabama vs. Clemson 2016
Most Points by Losing Team 40, Clemson vs. Alabama 2016
Most Points Combined 85, Alabama vs. Clemson 2016
Fewest Points Allowed 16, Clemson vs. Alabama 2019
Fewest Points Combined 49, Alabama vs. Georgia 2018
Largest Margin of Victory 28, Clemson vs. Alabama 2019
Narrowest Margin of Victory 3, Alabama vs. Georgia 2018
Rushing yards
Passing yards
Total yards
Fewest Rushing yards Allowed
Fewest Passing yards Allowed
Fewest Total yards Allowed
Total plays
Largest comeback
Individual Player, Performance, Team vs. Opponent Year
Total offense
Rushing yards
Rushing TDs
Passing yards
Passing TDs
Receiving yards
Receiving TDs
Field goals
Long Plays Player, Performance, Team vs. Opponent Year
Touchdown rush
Touchdown pass
Kickoff return
Punt return
Interception return
Field goal



Date Network Play-by-play Color commentator(s) Sideline reporter(s)
January 12, 2015 ESPN Chris Fowler Kirk Herbstreit Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi
January 11, 2016
January 9, 2017 Samantha Ponder and Tom Rinaldi
January 8, 2018 Maria Taylor and Tom Rinaldi
January 7, 2019
January 13, 2020


Date Network Play-by-play Color commentator(s) Sideline reporter(s)
January 12, 2015 ESPN Radio Mike Tirico Todd Blackledge Holly Rowe and Joe Schad
January 11, 2016 ESPN Radio Mike Tirico Todd Blackledge Holly Rowe and Joe Schad
January 9, 2017 ESPN Radio Sean McDonough Todd Blackledge Holly Rowe and Ian Fitzsimmons
January 8, 2018 ESPN Radio Sean McDonough Todd Blackledge Holly Rowe and Ian Fitzsimmons
January 7, 2019 ESPN Radio Sean McDonough Todd Blackledge Holly Rowe and Ian Fitzsimmons
January 13, 2020 ESPN Radio Sean McDonough Todd Blackledge Holly Rowe and Ian Fitzsimmons

Local radio[edit]

Date Flagship station Play-by-play Color commentator(s) Sideline reporter(s)
January 12, 2015 KUGN (Oregon)
WBNS-AM/FM (Ohio State)
Jerry Allen
Paul Keels
Mike Jorgensen
Jim Lachey

Marty Bannister
January 11, 2016 WFFN/WTSK (Alabama)
WCCP-FM (Clemson)
Eli Gold
Don Munson
Phil Savage
Rodney Williams
Chris Stewart
Michael Palmer
January 9, 2017 WCCP-FM (Clemson)
WFFN/WTSK (Alabama)
Don Munson
Eli Gold
Rodney Williams
Phil Savage
Michael Palmer
Chris Stewart
January 8, 2018 WFFN/WTSK (Alabama)
WSB (Georgia)
Eli Gold
Scott Howard
Phil Savage
Eric Zeier
Chris Stewart
Chuck Dowdle
January 7, 2019 WCCP-FM (Clemson)
WFFN/WTSK (Alabama)
Don Munson
Eli Gold
Rodney Williams
John Parker Wilson
Reggie Merriweather
Rashad Johnson
January 13, 2020 WCCP-FM (Clemson)
Don Munson
Chris Blair
Tim Bourret and Brad Scott
Doug Moreau
Reggie Merriweather
Gordy Rush

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wolken, Dan (April 25, 2013). "Questions and answers for the College Football Playoff". USA Today. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Jerry Hinnen (August 7, 2013). "CFB playoff opens bidding for 2016, '17 championship games". Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Brett McMurphy (July 26, 2013). "More bids on future title game sites". Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  4. ^ Dennis Dodd (July 23, 2013). "New College Football Playoff will reportedly feature a new trophy". Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  5. ^ "Arlington to host title game". ESPN. January 7, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  6. ^ Anthony Crupi (March 25, 2014). "ESPN Inks Dr Pepper as First Mega-Sponsor of the College Football Playoff Series". Adweek. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  7. ^ Chuck Carlton (April 23, 2013). "Sources: Cowboys Stadium to land 2014 college football national title game on Wednesday". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  8. ^ Eight Communities Submit Bids to Host College Football National Championship Game in 2016 and 2017 Archived 2013-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, College Football Playoff, September 30, 2013
  9. ^ Alex Scarborough (November 4, 2015). "Atlanta, Santa Clara, New Orleans land CFP title games for 2018–20". Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Charlotte Carroll (November 1, 2017). "College Football Playoff Announces Site for 2021-2024 National Championship Games". Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  11. ^ Brett McMurphy (September 19, 2013). "Cities to bid on '16, '17 title games".
  12. ^ "2019-2020 College Football Playoff, New Year's Six, Bowl Schedule, Conference Matchups". January 14, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  13. ^ "Dates Announced for College Football Playoff Games Through 2026". (Press release). August 30, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Trevor Lawrence, Trayvon Mullen earn MVP honors as Clemson blows out Alabama". thestate. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  19. ^ Chippin, Alex. "Burrow, Queen named offensive, defensive MVPs of national title game". Retrieved January 14, 2020.

External links[edit]