Ranking every National Champion in the four-team College Football Playoff era

The College Football Playoff will be expanding to 12 teams in 2025. Let's take a look back at each National Champion that made it through the four-team playoff and find out who was the best.

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Trevor Keegan (77) and quarterback J.J. McCarthy hold up the National Championship trophy after their win over the Washington Huskies.
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Trevor Keegan (77) and quarterback J.J. McCarthy hold up the National Championship trophy after their win over the Washington Huskies. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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. . . 2017 National Champions. 523. College football playoff rankings. . . 9.

This 2017 Alabama Crimson Tide team will be most notably remembered for Tua Tagovailoa replacing Jalen Hurts after halftime, and the freshman leading the Crimson Tide to victory. Nick Saban needed to make a change for his team to win and he rolled the dice with the freshman and as we all saw, it paid off. That 41-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to Devonta Smith will go down as one of the most clutch moments in playoff history.

However, while this team had a fairly good season, I feel as though other champions on this list either went through more adversity or dominated more, which earned them a higher ranking. This team did dominate, but they lost at the end of the season and did not even make it to the SEC championship.

The Crimson Tide lost to No. 6 Auburn at the time 26-14 in a game they had to win to make it to the SEC Championship. It also doesn't look good for the Tide that Auburn went and got shut out for three quarters in the SEC championship by Georgia. Unlike most teams in the playoff over the years, the Crimson Tide weren't a conference championship, which did not sit well with fans.

While this Crimson Tide team was good, I can't under good conscious rank them any higher when they couldn't even win their conference. I tip my hat to them for winning the National Championship though, that was one heck of a game.

26. 523. 2017 College Football Playoff. 23. 527. Final/