College Football National Championship Trends

Updated: 1897 American Football

The College Football season is just around the corner and with it,the perfect Saturday prequel to Sunday's NFL action.There are 127 teams in Division One of College Football but therecan only be one National Championship winner.Defending Champions ALABAMA lead the

College Football National Championship Trends
Michael Calabrese US Content Manager

Experienced sports journalist, College sports expert and broadcaster, hailing from Pennsylvania

The College Football season is just around the corner and with it, the perfect Saturday prequel to Sunday's NFL action.

There are 127 teams in Division One of College Football but there can only be one National Championship winner.

Defending Champions ALABAMA lead the betting at 7/1 whilst a truly speculative punt can get you 10,000/1 on the likes of CHARLOTTE or TROY.

I'll be doing a more in depth preview as we get closer to the start of the season on August 26th but this blog is intended to whittle those 127 teams down to a small handful using trends.


In College Football, the five biggest conferences are known as the Power Five. These conferences are considered to have the best teams in football with the Champion of each conference getting an automatic berth in each of the five BCS bowl games before the College Football Playoff started in 2014.

The first BCS National Championship game was in 1998 and in the 18 years since, only Notre Dame (an independent school) have reached the National Championship game from outside the Power Five.

That eliminates any school outside the SEC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac-12 and ACC. A total of 63 schools leaving us with 64 teams to whittle down further.


Since 1998, only Auburn in 2013 reached the National Championship (lost 34-31 to Florida State) after posting an overall losing record in the previous season. In 2012, Auburn went just 3-9 and 0-8 in SEC play.

Eliminating the 23 teams in the Power Five without an overall winning record from 2015, takes us down to 41 teams in total.


As well as the 2013 Auburn Tigers mentioned above, the 2010 Auburn Tigers team are the only other team since 1998 to reach the National Championship (won 22-19 vs Oregon) after posting a losing Conference record in the previous season.

From the 41 teams we have left, if we eliminate the twelve teams without a winning conference record from the previous season, we're left with Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Miami from the ACC; Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor from the Big 12; Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Northwestern and Wisconsin from the Big 10; Stanford, Oregon, Washington State, USC, Utah and UCLA from the Pac-12; and Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas and LSU from the SEC. A total of 29 teams.


Since 1998, of the 35 teams which have been to a Bowl game in the season prior to making the National Championship, 20 of them have won that Bowl game.

That takes out thirteen teams and leaves us with just sixteen as we move onto the next trend.


Of the last 18 National Championship winners, twelve did so after failing to win their division the previous season.

Of the sixteen teams left, three won their division in 2015 leaving thirteen teams. Those teams are Louisville, TCU, Baylor, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Washington State, Utah, Tennessee, Georgia, Ole Miss, Arkansas, LSU.


Over the last twelve years, there hasn't been a National Champion which has been unranked in the preseason AP Poll. However, the preseason rankings aren't released until later in August but going by the final AP rankings of the previous season, eleven of the last twelve National Champions have ended the previous season inside the AP top 25 (Auburn didn't make the top 25 in 2009 before going onto win the National Championship in 2010).

That gets rid of Louisville, Washington State and Arkansas, leaving us with ten teams.

Of the eleven teams which have been ranked in the final AP poll of the previous year, eight were ranked inside the top ten.

That cuts the ten teams left to just three with Ohio State, TCU and Ole Miss ending 2015 ranked inside the AP top 25.

Trend Picks for the College Football National Championship

OHIO STATE BUCKEYES @ 9/1 (Ladbrokes)

TCU HORNED FROGS @ 40/1 (Paddy Power)

OLE MISS REBELS @ 40/1 (Paddy Power)

Check out the American Football forum for more discussion as the countdown to the season starts

All my previous blogs can be viewed here To see a wide range of fantastic blogs from the rest of the OLBG bloggers, click hereYou can also follow me on twitter @UTR_83

Contributor Information

We are spoiled with our Expert team at OLBG with our Commercial Content manager Luke Bradshaw-Lee being a keen UK-based NFL fan attending London games and burning the midnight oil to catch all the weekend action, He is ably assisted with inside info from, Michael Calabrese [@EastBreese] ; an Action Network correspondent and College sports podcaster in the US with the deepest football knowledge we have ever come across. They combine to create the best American Football content on OLBG which assists our tipsters in making their NFL predictions in the tipping competition.

Michael Calabrese

Michael Calabrese

Us content manager

Michael Calabrese has covered college and professional sports in the US since 2007. He has been featured in print for publications including Fox Sports, The Action Network, Yardbarker, MSN, Saturday Down South, NumberFire, and He also regularly appears on ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, and VSIN
Luke Bradshaw Lee

Luke Bradshaw Lee

Commercial content manager

🏈 Luke is a more than keen follower of the NFL taking in as many games as he can over the weekend and always trying to attend the London NFL games each year. American football remains his main personal betting focus and he creates and contributes to our NFL Articles

The data in this article is maintained and updated regularly by Andy Powell and James Banting from our Tipster Competition team who settle and manage all the tips in that seection

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