The Washington Huskies are heading to the national championship game after defeating the Texas Longhorns 37-31 in their Sugar Bowl semifinal matchup. UW will meet the Michigan Wolverines at NRG Stadium in Houston next Monday.
It’s the first appearance in the CFP National Championship Game for Washington, who last time won a national championship in 1991. Led by legendary head coach Don James and future No. 1 NFL Draft pick Steve Emtman, that year’s Husky team finished the regular season 11-0 before defeating Michigan in the Rose Bowl to clinch a perfect season. They were voted on as national champion in both the Coaches Poll and FWAA, but undefeated Miami was voted as AP national champions. The two teams were unable to meet in bowl season and this split national title is one of the events that eventually led to the creation of the BCS later in the decade.
Washington has just two claimed national championships in its history, one in 1960 and the aforementioned 1991 title. The 1960 team finished 10-1 and were declared the champs by the now defunct Helms Athletic Foundation. That year also featured multiple champions with Minnesota and Ole Miss having championship claims, so the Huskies have yet to win an outright title. The closest they came was during the 2016 season, where they made the College Football Playoff before falling to Alabama in the semifinals.