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When was the last time Michigan won the college football national championship?

Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines will compete for the 2023 national title on Monday. We take a look back at the championships for the Wolverines.

1998 Rose Bowl

Update: Michigan blew out Washington 34-13 to win the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship. This is the Wolverines’ first claimed national title since 1997.


The Michigan Wolverines are on their way back to play for the national championship after a dramatic 27-20 overtime victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2024 Rose Bowl on Monday.

It’s the first appearance in the CFP National Championship Game for Michigan, who last time won a national championship in 1997. Led by Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, that year’s Wolverine team posted an 11-0 record in the regular season and defeated Washington State in the Rose Bowl to clinch a perfect season. They were voted as the AP National Champions by the media, but the USA Today Coaches Poll went to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Tom Osborne’s last season in Lincoln.

While Michigan claims as many as 11 national championships (1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1918, 1923, 1932, 1933, 1947, 1948, 1997), some are certainly of dubious quality from a time where the sport didn’t have any consensus way to determine the best team in the country. Metrics such as the Billingsley Report, and the opinions of former coach and player Parke Davis alone, were used to determine who the best team was that season.

However the last two in 1948 and 1997 are rather unquestioned, and both were recognized by the AP Poll. A victory next Monday would make the Wolverines just the second Big Ten national champion in the College Football Playoff era, following 2014 Ohio State.