With the 2010-11 BCS National Championship pitting LSU and Alabama against one another in the rematch of the century only mere days away, it’s high time to hark back to the days of yore.
Yes, before we look forward why not take a long glance backwards in remembrance of more than a handful of the great championship games of the past?
Before we get started it’s prudent to mention that the identifying of actual “national championship” games for Division I-A or FBS college football is difficult for a myriad of reasons.
First, an actual FBS (Division I-A) national championship game was not officially sanctioned on a yearly basis until the Bowl Coalition ruled the postseason from 1992-94, a scheme which was supplanted by the Bowl Alliance from 1995-97 and then replaced by the current BCS in 1998.
Secondly, historically the major polls spent many years declaring a national champion prior to the bowl games actually being played. The AP (which began in 1935) didn’t move its vote until after the postseason until 1965 (then they went backwards for two years and then shifted to the new timing for good in 1968) and the UPI (and its predecessor the Coaches’ Poll) didn’t do so until 1974.
Regardless of the intricacies, the following slideshow identifies 50 of the greatest “national championship” games in history spanning from the 20’s until present time.
Even though some of these contests certainly weren’t true title games, a champion participated and/or a title was decided either directly or indirectly in each of these stellar games.