Has there ever been a college football national championship rematch? Not before next Monday's Alabama-Clemson game.
College football did not have a national championship game until the 1992 season, when the bowl coalition was formed to match the nation's top two teams in the post-season. A number of teams have made return trips to the game, but there has never been a rematch between the previous year's two contestants until this year.
The teams that have made consecutive national championships:
- 1993, 1994, 1995 Nebraska (won 1994, 1995)
- 1995, 1996 Florida (won 1996)
- 1997, 1998 Tennessee (won 1998)
- 1998, 1999, 2000 Florida State (won in 1999)
- 2001, 2002 Miami (won in 2001)
- 2003, 2004 Oklahoma
- 2004, 2005 USC (won 2004)
- 2006, 2007 Ohio State
- 2011, 2012 Alabama (won both)
In college athletics' other major sport—men's college basketball—which has a longer track record of championship games, national championship rematches are still extremely rare. The only national championship rematch in the NCAA Tournament was in 1961 and 1962, when Cincinnati won back-to-back titles against in-state rival Ohio State.
Last year, Alabama beat Clemson in an absolutely fantastic title game 45-40. Deshaun Watson had one of his most impressive career games, throwing for 405 yards and four touchdowns. However, Alabama made huge plays down the stretch, and rode Heisman winner Derrick Henry (158 yards, three touchdowns) and O.J. Howard (five receptions, 208 yards, two touchdowns) to a dramatic win. In today's semifinal games, Alabama handled Washington 24-7, while Clemson is currently routing Ohio State 31-0 with under five minutes remaining. The Tigers have already pulled some key starters, including Watson, and are working to kill the clock. Last year's semifinals were not competitive either, so hopefully we get another great title game next week.
This college football national championship rematch will be held on Monday, January 9 at 8:00 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. We can't wait