The four-team playoff field is no more. The years of wondering which conference champion had what it takes to make it into an elite playoff are over. In 2025, the playoff will be expanding to 12 teams, allowing not just conference championships, but teams that fell just short in years past, to compete for a championship.
Since the College Football Playoff began back in 2014, we have had 10 champions. A total of five different teams have hoisted the coveted trophy. Alabama leads college football with appearances in eight of the ten playoffs. The Crimson Tide also leads college football with the most College Football Playoff trophies.
Looking back at all the 10 championship teams, which one stands out the most over all the others? Well, I will be ranking all of the College Football Playoff Champions in the four-team era.
In 2017, UCF was the only team to go undefeated in college football. The Knights put together an impressive 13-0 season, beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl. However, the Knights never got any recognition from the College Football Playoff Committee. The committee said that UCF had no claim to the playoff due to their weak strength of schedule.
After beating Auburn, athletic director at the time Danny White proclaimed the Knights National Champions after being the only undefeated team left in college football. Well, UCF took things a little further after Alabama won the playoff. Alabama's only loss that season was to Auburn, so by logic because UCF beat Auburn, they beat the National Champion. The school had rings made and even put up a sign in their stadium. They are the 2017 National Champions.
So as a UCF fan, I have to stir the pot a little and add the 2017 UCF team as an honorable mention on this list.