The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs completely thrashed the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs in the 2023 College Football Playoff Championship Game, coming away with a 65-7 beatdown. With UGA set to enter next season as the favorite to win the championship again, its worth asking if a college football team at this level has ever pulled off a three-peat.
The answer is yes, it has happened one time straight up. The program that pulled it off....Minnesota!
That’s right, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were once a national powerhouse and were declared the national champions in 1934, 1935, and 1936. Led by legendary head coach Bernie Bierman, the Gophers posted back-to-back 8-0 campaigns in 1934-35 and were declared the national champion by most of the major selector entities at the time. The 1936 season saw the debut of the AP poll and after finishing with a 7-1 record, that year’s Minnesota team would be declared the inaugural AP champion.
Now determining which national championships in this sport actually count can be dicey considering the number of official and unofficial selectors throughout the years. For instance, Army technically has a claim to a three-peat from 1944-46 as it won the AP title the first two years and were retroactively declared the champs by a bunch of different selectors years later. But if we stick with who was straight up considered the national champion through the most reputable selector at the time, Minnesota has the claim as the only team to three-peat. College football, it’s been weird since its inception.
Anyway, the 2024 College Football Playoff Championship Game will be held at NRG Stadium in Houston a year from now. If things continue going the way they are in Athens, GA, it would not be a shock to see Georgia right there playing for another natty.