Kirby Smart and Georgia secured a dynastic blowout victory over TCU in the 2023 College Football Playoff championship game.
The top-ranked Bulldogs scored the most points in college football championship history, beating the third-ranked Horned Frogs at SoFi Stadium 65-7. It marks the second championship season in as many years for Georgia after the Bulldogs finally broke a 41-year title drought in 2021.
It’s a feat only a few teams have ever achieved in the history of college football — at least as far as the modern era is concerned.
With that, The Sporting News looks at college football’s history of repeat national champions:
MORE: Watch Georgia vs. TCU live on fuboTV (free trial)
What is the last team to win back-to-back national championships?
Prior to Georgia in 2021-22, the school with the most recent back-to-back national championships was Alabama, in 2011 and 2012 — teams on which Smart served as defensive coordinator under Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide won those titles with victories over LSU and Notre Dame in the BCS championship game, played in the Sugar and Orange bowls, respectively.
Ironically, Smart started his back-to-back titles by keeping his mentor from winning another repeat title in 2021, avenging an SEC title game loss to the Crimson Tide by upending them 33-18 in the national title game.
Georgia’s victory breaks the second-longest deficit between repeat national champions: nine years. The longest period of time between such teams was 15 years, between the end of Alabama’s titles in 1978-79 and Nebraska’s two-year run in 1994-95.
Teams that have won consecutive championships
To date, only 11 teams — and eight programs — have won repeat national championships since the start of the modern era in 1936.
Note: Champions must be selected by one of the AP or UPI/Coaches polls, or have won the BCS championship or College Football Playoff.
USC’s participation in 2004 championship was later vacated by NCAA
Prior to 2021 and 2022, the closest Georgia came to winning back-to-back national championships was in 1980-81. The Bulldogs won the national title in 1980 with an undefeated season, but finished the next year ranked sixth in the final AP poll following a 10-2 season.
MORE: Has TCU ever won a national championship in football? History of Horned Frogs’ best seasons
Which school has the most repeat national championships?
No school has won more repeat national championships than Alabama, which has on three occasions won back-to-back titles: once in 1964-65, again in 1978-79 and most recently in 2011-12. Legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant is the only head coach to have led teams to repeat titles more than once.
The only other program to have won back-to-back championships multiple times is Nebraska, which achieved the feat in 1970-71 (Bob Devaney) and again in 1994-95 (Tom Osborne).
Other notable teams include Minnesota, which won three straight championships from 1934-36, only the last of which occurred in the modern era. Other notable teams in terms of repeat national championships include the early-2000s USC teams, which nearly won three straight championships: a split title with LSU in 2003, the BCS championship in 2004 and a BCS title game berth vs. Texas in 2005.
MORE: How many national championships has Georgia won?
Alabama also has a storied position among repeat national champions. The Crimson Tide were close to becoming the first three-peat national champion from 1964 through 1966; Alabama was consensus national champion in 1964 and won the AP vote in 1965 before finishing the 1966 season as the only undefeated, unbeaten team. It controversially finished third in the AP and Coaches’ polls behind Notre Dame and Michigan State, who played to a controversial draw.
The Crimson Tide also won three titles in four years from 2009 through 2012. They also played in four straight national championship games from the 2015 season through the 2018 season, winning in 2015 and 2017.