College Football BCS National Championship Game

college football bcs national championship game

BCS National Championship Game

College football’s Bowl Championship Series (or BCS) National Championship Game was the first organized game between the top two ranked teams in the Division I FBS. The game was first played at the end of the 1998 season and played every year through the 2013 season until it was replaced by the College Football Playoff for the 2014 season. Its venue rotated among those for the Fiesta, Orange, Rose, and Sugar Bowls.


Prior to the emergence of the BCS and its National Championship Game, the title of national champion could belong to any team that was given the label by a media outlet. Many organizations claimed national championships in the same year, without any decisive game existing between the top teams being guaranteed. Bowl game matchups were contracted between conferences, and only occasionally, the top-ranked teams would meet by chance.

The BCS was designed to pit the two best teams in the FBS against each other in the National Championship Game, and while there were many controversial decisions, the consensus is that it did so most of the time.

Participants and Records

A total of 15 different programs participated in the 16 BCS National Championship Games. Florida State and Oklahoma are tied for the most appearances, with four each, while Alabama won all three of their National Championship Game appearances for the most titles in the BCS era.

BCS National Championship Winners

Here is a list of all the teams that won a BCS National Championship Game, along with the number of titles:

  • Alabama (3)
  • Florida State (2)
  • LSU (2)
  • Florida (2)
  • Oklahoma (1)
  • Ohio State (1)
  • Auburn (1)
  • Miami (1)
  • Texas (1)
  • Tennessee (1)
  • USC (vacated)


What is the BCS National Championship Game?

The BCS National Championship Game was a college football game used to determine the champion of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The game was organized by a group called the Bowl Championship Series, and it pitted the two highest-ranked college football teams against each other.

What happened to the BCS National Championship Game?

The BCS National Championship Game was replaced by the College Football Playoff (CFP) in 2014. The CFP now includes the four top-ranked teams and spans a semifinal and final round.

When was the first BCS National Championship Game?

The first BCS National Championship game was played on January 4th, 1999. It was played as part of the Fiesta Bowl at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The game was between the Tennesee Volunteers and the Florida State Seminoles. The Volunteers ultimately beat the Seminoles 23-16.