When was the last time the college football national wasn’t won by a true blue-blood program? Auburn in 2010? No, the Tigers are historically a consensus top 10-20 program.Florida in 2008? Nope… By the time 2000s rolled around Steve Spurrier had made the Gators a national power with his Florida teams on the 1990s. I’m going all the way back to 1993 when Florida State won the national title. The Seminoles weren’t true blue-bloods then. They are now, but by 1993 the Noles were already a national power finishing in the top 5 the 6 previous years.
To find a true non-traditional power that last won the won you have to go all the way back to 1991 when the Washington Huskies won the title splitting with the Miami Hurricanes. Georgia Tech had been a football power through the 1950s, but had fallen from the ranks of the nation’s elite programs until they won the split national championship in 1990 with Colorado.
So as you can see it’s been over 20 years since a non-traditional college football power won the national championship. Frankly that’s not really good for the sport. Only 13 different schools have won the football national title since 1991. This year Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Michigan State have made the college football playoffs.
Alabama has won 3 of the last 6 national titles, and not many outside outside of SEC land would like to see it be 4 out of 7. Oklahoma last won a a national title in 2000, but they have 7 national championships since 1950. They are historically one of the most successful football programs of the modern era post WWII era. Alabama and Oklahoma are college football royalty.
The other two participants Clemson and Michigan State have good histories. Clemson won a national title in 1981, and was a national power in the 1980s. They have 3 straight top 15 seasons. Michigan State won 6 national titles in the 1950s and 1960s, but none since. The Spartans have 4 top 15 seasons in the last 5 years.
College Football has become so exclusive the last 20 years, that it needs another program to breakthrough. The 1980s early 90s saw teams like Georgia, Clemson, Miami, BYU, Georgia Tech, Colorado, Washington and FSU win titles. Miami and FSU went on to join the nation’s elite programs.
We haven’t had another program do that. Oregon has come close, but haven’t closed the deal. This year Clemson and Michigan State have a shot. Because what’s next? From 10-15 schools having a shot at the title to 5 or 6 in the next 10 years? There’s nothing worse for a sport than entering a season with virtually no chance to win it all.
It’s time and it is necessary for another program to prove that College Football isn’t the domain of just a handful of schools. Clemson or Michigan State needs to win the national title in 2015.