Top 5 College Football National Championship Games
#5 (2016 CFP Nat'l Championship) Alabama 45 – Clemson 40
• Football purists who prefer to see a 6-3 final score will be displeased with this game reaching the top 5. It was a convocation of scoring and efficient offensive play. The Tigers and Crimson Tide combined for over 1,000 yards and one shy of 50 first downs. The teams went into halftime tied at 14 with Hunter Renfrow leading Clemson with a pair of touchdowns while Heisman winner Derrick Henry lead Alabama with a pair of his own touchdowns. The teams traded dramatic scores late, but it was Alabama head coach Nick Saban's gutsy call to attempt an onside kick in the fourth quarter, that had the largest impact on the game.
#4 (2014 BCS Nat'l Championship) Florida State 34 – Auburn 31
• The underdog Auburn Tigers gave the number one seed everything they could handle. A late-game (13 seconds left in regulation) drive capped with a touchdown pass from redshirt freshman, Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston sealed the 18-point come from behind victory for the Seminoles.
#3 (2018 CFP Nat'l Championship) Alabama 26 – Georgia 23 (OT)
• This game was a real clash of SEC titans. Most of the folks complaining about two schools from the same conference reaching the playoff were silent by the end of this epic matchup. There is no question Georgia and Alabama were the two best teams in college football. The only question left to solve was who would wear the crown. After four grueling quarters, the football gods decided one more period would be necessary to crown a champion.
The Bulldogs entered the half with a 13-0 lead prompting Alabama coach Nick Saban to start true freshman Tua Tagovailoa in the second half. This move proved crucial as Tagvailoa matriculated the football up and down the field using his arm and legs. Georgia had no answer for the freshman quarterback who went 14 for 24 for 166 yards and 3 touchdowns. After taking an ill-advised sack and losing 16 yards on Alabama's first play from scrimmage in overtime, Tagovailoa connected with DeVonta Smith on a 41 yard championship winning touchdown down the left sideline.
#2 (2003 Fiesta Bowl) Ohio State 31 – Miami 24 (2OT)
• The first overtime national championship game was certainly a memorable one. Honestly, if not for the controversial pass interference call giving the Buckeyes the championship, this game would likely be atop all lists for greatest college football game.
The Hurricanes entered the second quarter with a 7-0 lead. After a dominating second quarter from star freshman running back Maurice Clarett, the Buckeyes entered the half up 14-7. Both teams managed to score in the third quarter, but Ohio State remained on top entering the fourth leading 17-14. Miami's two-time Heisman trophy finalist, quarterback Ken Dorsey led the Hurricanes to a short lived fourth quarter lead. Late game Buckeye heroics sent the game into overtime. Miami scored on its first possession in overtime. After deflecting a fourth down pass Miami started celebrating. But...it wasn't over, the referees bailed out Ohio State and awarded a bogus pass interference penalty. This new life is just was the doctor ordered for Ohio State. They went on to tie the game, and win it in the second overtime period.
#1 (2006 Rose Bowl) Texas 41 – USC 38
• From frequent lead changes to off field drama surrounding the most deserving Heisman Trophy candidate, this was a championship game for the ages. The Longhorns and Trojans combined for over 1,100 yards of total offense and 60 first downs.
Vince young out dueled he Trojans high powered offense going 30 for 40 and 267 yards in the air, while rushing 19 times for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns. The most iconic run came at the end of a 10 play 56 yard drive with 19 seconds remaining in regulation.