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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. . 2014 National Champions. 490. College football playoff rankings. . 7. . .

The Ohio State Buckeyes were the first team to win the College Football Playoff when it started back in 2014. The Buckeyes went through a lot in 2014, finishing their season with a dominating win over rival Michigan.

In the game against Michigan, the Buckeyes lost starting quarterback J.T. Barrett. That was the second time Ohio State had been hit with injury that season as they lost their initial starter, Braxton Miller. This set up the introduction of Cardale Jones. In the last three games of the season, running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for at least 220 yards for the Buckeyes.

Other than an out-of-character loss to Virginia Tech in the second game of the season, this Buckeyes team dominated their opponents. Their only close game was a double overtime win over Penn State at Penn State, a very hostile environment to play in. They capped off their season with a 59-0 win over No. 13 Wisconsin in the Big 10 title game to earn their spot in the playoff.

In the National Championship Jones threw for 242 yards, but the real star of the game against the Oregon Ducks was Elliott who ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns. The Buckeyes had the dominant 42-20 win for what would be their only College Football Playoff Championship so far.

42. 490. 2014 College football playoff. 20. 515. Final