Can You Guess the College Football Team Based on the Number of National Championship Wins?


By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wikicommons by Thecoiner

About This Quiz

We love to watch the seasons change: Winter transforming into crisp spring days, spring giving way to summer’s heat, summer melting into college football season. Wait ... you didn’t know college football was one of the four seasons? Shame on you. OK, we’re kidding, it’s actually autumn, but college football gets us all in our fall feels for other reasons.  The pageantry, the rivalries, the tailgates – they’re all part of the main course that leads to dessert: Bowl season and the march to the championship.

While some schools have been greedy the past few years, racking up national championships like Thanksgiving sides, others have taken a bit of a backseat. But, don’t sleep on them: There are lots of schools out there with trophy cases full of national championship hardware. The Crimson Tide has a dozen, but the Fighting Irish aren’t far behind. One Ivy League school boasts 28! And, a school in the “Peace Garden State” is the most decorated among FCS contenders.

The question is: Just how championship-crazed are you? Could you identify the team based on the number of titles it has? From one championship to nearly 30, we’ve curated a quiz that celebrates the best of the sport. We need you to tell us the titleholders, It’s time to take the field!

The Fighting Irish earned some of its 11 national championship titles with coaches like Ara Parseghian, Lou Holtz and Knute Rockne. What school is it?

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame have 11 titles that are recognized as official by the NCAA. Rockne led them to three titles; Frank Leahy, four; Parseghian, two; Dan Devine, one; and Lou Holtz, one.


You’ll likely recognize this team from the first part of the cheer, “Go ______! Beat Navy!” Which of these programs has three national championship titles?

The United States Military Academy doesn’t just excel on the battlefield, but the football field as well. It holds three recognized national championship titles – 1944, 1945 and 1946 – when it was particularly dominant.


Even “The Swamp” is host to three national title trophies. Which team won championships in 1996, 2006 and 2008?

The football program at the University of Florida has brought three championship trophies to the Swamp, its home field, including one under the direction of Steve Spurrier and two under the guidance of Urban Meyer.


The most decorated program in the Big 12 has gotten to seven national championships “sooner” than any other school. Which university is it?

The Oklahoma Sooners are considered the most decorated program in the Big 12 thanks, in part, to its seven Associated Press national championships from 1950 to 2000.


These championships were for the ‘dogs, literally! Which school has national titles from 1942 and 1980?

The University of Georgia Bulldogs have two NCAA-acknowledged national championships to their name, including a 1942 title and matching votes from both the Coaches’ and AP Polls in 1980.


Coach Pete Carroll led this team to its most recent title in 2004, one of 11 it claims. What school is it?

The University of Southern California has 11 nationally recognized college championships, the most recent of which came in 2004 when Pete Carroll was coach of the football program. The other titles came in 1928, 1931, 1932, 1939, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1978 and 2003.


A member of the Big 12, this team won three championships in four years under Coach Tom Osborne. What team is it?

Nebraska earned three of its five national championship titles in near back-to-back-to-back fashion in 1994, 1995 and 1997 under then Coach Tom Osborne. Its remaining titles came in 1970 and 1971.


Joe Pa led this team to two national titles in 1982 and 1986. What is the team’s name?

Penn State earned two national championships in the 1980s, under the direction of legendary football coach Joe Paterno. Both titles were considered consensus national championships.


One of this school’s two title wins came with QB Cam Newton at the helm. Which school was it?

Auburn University’s most recent NCAA championship win came in 2010 when a quarterback named Cam Newton led them to the promised land. Auburn’s other consensus national title came in 1957 with a 10-0 record.


The years 1951 and 1953 were good to the Terrapins, delivering its two national championships. Which school are we talking about?

The University of Maryland Terrapins have two, albeit aged, national trophies in their trophy case. The first came in 1951 and the second two years later. Both were achieved under the coaching leadership of Jim Tatum.


This Big 12 school has “hooked” four national championships between 1963 and 2005. Who is it?

The University of Texas Longhorns (Hook ‘em, Horns!) has collected four national championship trophies since it started playing NCAA football in 1893. The last came in 2005 under the direction of Mack Brown.


What school cheers “Roll Tide,” earning 12 titles? Or is it 17?

It’s easy to see why so many college football programs covet what the University of Alabama has been able to do. There's a debate about how many titles they've won, with some saying up to 17 national championships; this is due to the confusion before the BCS was established.


This maize-and-blue squad holds 11 national titles, the most recent of which came under Coach Lloyd Carr. What school was it?

The University of Michigan claims 11 national titles, dating back as far as 1901. Two of the school’s championships came after the Associated Press started its poll, including one title in 1948 and another in 1997 (that time with Lloyd Carr).


This team would “geaux” on to win national championships in 1958, 2003 and 2007. Which of these is it?

The Tigers of Louisiana State University (better known to college football fans as LSU) have earned three national titles, including championships in 1958, 2003 and 2007. Fans of the program often celebrate by saying, “Geaux Tigers!,” a play on the school’s French Cajun roots. The school has a strong chance to add another title in 2020.


Don’t be “green” with envy. This Big 10 school has won or shared in six national championship titles. Which squad is it?

The Michigan State Spartans football team was dominant in the 1950s and 60s, earning or sharing in six national championship titles during that time, the first in 1951 and the last in 1966.


Seven of this school’s eight NCAA championship came under Coach Bobby Bowden. Which team is it?

Though Florida State only claims three of its eight selected NCAA titles, the school actually has been voted the best in college football eight times. Its championships span a period of time from 1980 to 2013.


This team brought a single national championship to its hometown of Boulder in 1990. Which is it?

The University of Colorado Buffaloes earned a national championship title in 1990, bringing a trophy home to its hometown of Boulder, Colorado. The title that year was actually split between Colorado and Georgia Tech.


Visit this six-time NCAA championship winner and you’ll probably have to sing, “Rocky Top.” Which school is it?

The University of Tennessee has been selected for six national championships and claims each and every one. Four of its six titles were earned under Coach Robert Neyland, for whom the stadium is now named.


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Sylvester Stallone both went to this university, which has five national titles. Which of these is it?

The University of Miami, or “The U” as it is affectionately known by its athletes and fans, has garnered six AP national championships, including victories in 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991 and 2001.


Before committees decided national championship playoff contenders, this Yellow Jackets team claimed four titles. Which team was it?

Georgia Tech was selected as the national champion multiple times before the College Football Playoff system was created. The school claims titles from 1917, 1928, 1952 and 1990.


In 2016, these Cowboys were retroactively awarded a national championship for the 1945 football season. Which team are we talking about?

Oklahoma State’s football program has one of the newest – and oldest – national championships to its name. Awarded retroactively in 2006, the title was given to the 1945 team by the American Football Coaches Association.


The “12th man” at this school has celebrated three national championships. Which university is it?

The Texas A&M Aggies, home to the official “12th man,” has welcomed three national titles to its campus in College Station, Texas. Fun fact: The program lent its “12th man” nickname to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks in a five-year, $140,000 deal.


You might be seeing red ... er, scarlet, at this team’s 8 NCAA championships. Which squad are we referencing?

Ohio State University’s eight national championships span a period of time from 1942 and Coach Paul Brown to 2014 and Coach Urban Meyer. Will the team add another in 2020? Stay tuned ...


This team has been “golden” seven times, earning seven national championships between 1904 and 1960. Which team are we talking about?

The Minnesota Golden Gophers, members of the Big 10 conference, collected seven national titles between 1904 and 1960. The Gophers were led to back-to-back championships in 1940 and 1941 by its lone Heisman Trophy winner, Bruce Smith.


You might want to “bow down to” this purple and gold squad, which holds two national titles recognized by the NCAA. Which of these is it?

The University of Washington Huskies claims NCAA-recognized national championships from the 1960 and 1991 seasons. The last one came as a result of a Rose Bowl win over the University of Michigan.


LaVell Edwards led this team to its sole national championship in 1984, the same year it went undefeated. What squad are we referring to?

In 1984, the Brigham Young University Cougars went undefeated, winning the Holiday Bowl. The school was selected as the national champion for the season, the only undefeated school at the end of the year.


The Tigers had only won one national championship prior to 2016; then, they won two more. Which team are we talking about?

Clemson earned only one national title prior to 2016, a championship that came at the end of an undefeated season in 1981. Since 2016, the Tigers have earned two national championships in the modern playoff era.


The Bison have the most FCS national championship titles, with seven, through 2018. What school is the Bison?

The North Dakota State Bison have seven FCS championships through 2018, winning the title every year from 2011 to 2018, with the exception of 2016. Prior to 2011, the school claimed eight additional trophies.


This team, which calls the Rose Bowl home, shared a part of a national championship with Ohio State in 1954. Which was it?

The University of California, Los Angeles, better known as UCLA, has never won a national championship outright. Rather, it shared a part of a title in 1954 with Ohio State. UCLA was No. 1 in the Coaches’ Poll, while OSU was No. 1 in the AP Poll.


One national championship is held by this team, thanks to a 1959 victory over the University of Texas. Which team is it?

Syracuse won its first and only national championship in football in 1959, thanks to a 23-14 victory in the Cotton Bowl over the University of Texas. You probably think “basketball” when you hear this school’s name, but don’t rule out its football team either!


Fans of this Big 12 school “jump” for joy over their two national championships in 1935 and 1938. What program is it?

The TCU (or Texas Christian University) Horned Frogs have jumped on two national championships, both in the 1930s. Heisman winner Davey O’Brien, for whom a college football trophy is now named, played for the Frogs.


According to the Official NCAA Division 1 Football Records Book, this Pennsylvania school has championships in 11 different seasons. Which school is it?

The University of Pittsburgh, according to NCAA records, has championships (as selected by major outlets) in 11 different seasons, though the school itself only claims nine of those. The school’s most recent championship came in 1981.


Let’s throw a little I-AA national championship action in here. Which school “rattled” its way to its first – and only - championship title in 1978, the first year the game was played?

The Florida A&M Rattlers won its only national championship game in 1978, the same year that the then-named NCAA I-AA division hosted a title game. They have a whopping 37 conference titles to their name, too.


Before transitioning to FBS in 2014, this team soared to six national championships at the FCS level. Which is it?

The Georgia Southern Eagles soared to six national championship titles at the FCS level, before moving to FBS in 2014. The team’s last championship title came in 2000, a 27-25 win over Montana.


An Ivy League education AND a championship powerhouse? Which of these noteworthy programs has 28 titles, all but one of which were earned prior to the Associated Press polling system?

The Princeton Tigers might have been the Alabama of the 1800s and early 1900s, racking up 27 titles between 1869 and 1935. The 28th national championship came in 1950.


Explore More Quizzes

About Zoo

Our goal at is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on