Ranking the Five Best National Champions During the Four-Team CFP Era

The Four-Team CFP era is over as now it’ll be a 12-team Playoff starting next season so let’s take a look back and rank the 5 best Champions…
College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU
College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages
College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T - Alabama v Clemson
College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T - Alabama v Clemson / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

5. 2018 Clemson (15-0)

This team didn’t have the toughest regular season schedule in the world but that shouldn’t take away from how dominant they were in the CFP. Once a freshman Trevor Lawrence was able to fully take over the quarterback job from Kelly Bryant the Tigers didn’t look back. They won the ACC and proceeded to have arguably the most dominant Playoff stretch we’ve seen other than another Tiger team that we'll talk about later. They had a playoff point differential of +55 with a 30-3 win over Notre Dame and then beating Nick Saban and Alabama 44-16 in one of the more shocking National Championship games as Bama came in a 7-point favorite.

Alex Leatherwood, Mac Jones, Landon Dickerson, Christian Barmore, DeVonta Smith
CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

4. 2020 Alabama (13-0)

I’ll probably get some pushback for having this team at four and I can understand why. This team was dominant, winning every game by at least 15 points and scoring 40 points in every game but two. They had Devonta Smith who won the Heisman and a case can be made this is one of Saban’s best teams. Bama was able to defeat Notre Dame 31-14 and then steamroll Ohio State 52-24. However, it’s still three teams I’d take over this Bama unit.

Kirby Smart
2023 CFP National Championship - TCU v Georgia / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

3. 2022 Georgia (15-0)

Georgia coming off their first national Championship since 1980 was able to win their second in a row in 2022 with a team that was very well balanced. The offense was explosive and the defense although not as historic as 2021 was still able to be very dominant. They did have a scare against Mizzou as they escaped with a 26-22 win in Columbia however, they would go on to finish 15-0 with an SEC Championship and a thrilling CFP Semifinal win over Ohio State as Georgia faced a 14-point deficit going into the fourth quarter but rallied to win 42-41. They then produced the most dominant National Championship effort arguably ever, beating TCU 65-7 to claim their second straight Natty.

Kirby Smart
2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

2. 2021 Georgia (14-1)

How does the undefeated Georgia team rank behind the team that had a loss? Well, this Georgia team was an absolute juggernaut. This team produced a historical defense that produced three shutouts and eight of their opponents couldn’t even get 10 points. They did have a slip-up against Alabama in a game where Bryce Young went off. An argument can be made that the Georgia defense had only one bad quarter in 2021 which was the 24 points 2nd quarter they allowed against Bama in the SEC Championship. They ended up destroying Michigan 34-11 in the Semifinal then got their revenge on Nick, Saban, Bryce Young, and the Crimson Tide in the National Championship winning 33-18.

Joe Burrow, Maria Taylor
College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

 1. 2019 LSU (15-0)

To me no discussion needed to be had, this is the best team of the CFP era and arguably one of the best teams in College Football history. 2019 LSU was essentially an NFL team playing in the SEC. Led three of the biggest stars in the NFL today, Joe Burrow, Ja’marr Chase, and Justin Jefferson the Tigers also had other NFL players like Grant Delpit, Derek Stingley Jr, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and others this team took over the country with their explosive offense and while the defense wasn’t great it had star talent that could make plays and get the ball back to the offense.

Joe Burow won the Heisman throwing for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns. LSU defeated seven ranked teams including Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. LSU only scored under 30 points one time and had four 50-point efforts as well as THREE 60-point efforts. LSU won the SEC Championship 37-10 over Georgia before defeating Oklahoma in the CFP Semifinal 63-28 and then beating up Trevor Lawrence and Clemson 42-25 in the National Championship that also with the Clemson team we spoke on earlier had the most dominating playoff games of the CFP era.