Being a successful college football program takes a lot. But being so successful over time takes even more. It takes the perfect combination of coaches, scouts, recruiting, players, schedules, timing, conference standings – and a little bit of luck.
There are many programs in college football right now that you look at and immediately know they are powerhouses, or you know their names or their histories. Those are the schools that go down in history books as being some of the best ever. But which ones have won the most national championships in history? These are the top five championship-winning programs in college football history.
Times were different before the advent of the Bowl Championship Series and current college football playoff formats. Prior to those, the National Championship was determined by the outcome of both the Associated Press Poll and the Coaches Poll. Sometimes, that led to a split national championship and controversy.
Note: AP and Coaches Poll titles noted, where applicable.
Number of National Championships – 11 – 1961, 1964, 1965 (AP), 1973 (Coaches), 1978 (AP), 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015