The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs will attempt to make some history on Monday when going head-to-head with the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. As the reigning national champions from a year ago, a victory at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, would put the Dawgs in the rarified air of programs to successfully win back-to-back titles.
The last team to win back-to-back national championships were the Alabama Crimson Tide, who won the BCS national title in 2011 and 2012. The 2011 team finished the regular season with an 11-1 record, its lone loss coming in a 9-6 setback against LSU in a showdown that earned the sparingly used “Game of the Century” moniker in the buildup. Following Oklahoma State getting upset by Iowa State, the Tide were vaulted back up to No. 2 in the BCS standings and would get a rematch against the Tigers in the BCS National Championship game. It was there where Bama smothered LSU in a 21-0 shutout in the Superdome, a game where the LSU offense failed to cross the 50-yard line.
As the reigning champions, the 2012 team dominated its way to 13-1 overall record where its defense pitched four shutouts. The Tide’s lone regular season loss came against Texas A&M and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, illustrating the program’s vulnerability against mobile, chaotic quarterbacks at the time. Alabama would go on to crush Notre Dame in a 42-14 blowout in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, a matchup that got lopsided very quickly. That marked Bama’s third title in four years, capping the most dominant four-year stretch of the Nick Saban era in Tuscaloosa.
In the decade since, only the same Crimson Tide program and Clemson have had a serious shot at defending their titles. The 2015, 2017, and 2020 Alabama teams all made it to the national title game the following year and lost as well as 2018 Clemson, who got trounced by Joe Burrow’s LSU in the natty the following January. 2013 Florida State and 2016 Clemson would make the College Football Playoff the year after their respective titles, but failed to get past the semifinals.