The race for college football’s national championship wasn’t always dominated by the SEC.
Only one team from the conference, LSU in 2003, won the national championship from 2000-05. Oklahoma wore the crown in 2000, Miami (Fla.) in 2001, Ohio State in 2002, Southern California in 2004 and Texas in 2005.
But SEC teams have won 12 national championships since 2006, capped by Georgia’s 33-18 win in Monday night’s rematch against Alabama. That makes a ranking of every Football Bowl Subdivision national champion since 2000 heavy on the best of the best from the SEC.
The league doesn’t top the list, however. Here’s how every champion of the century ranks:
1. 2001 Miami (12-0)
The Hurricanes compiled the most stunning collection of talent in college football history, as ensuing NFL drafts would prove. This was also a physical, imposing group with unmatched depth, tremendous leadership and a legendary amount of swagger. While his tenure would eventually peter out, promoting assistant coach Larry Coker as the replacement for Butch Davis following the 2000 season was the perfect decision for a team that responded to his grandfatherly approach.
Miami head coach Larry Coker rides on his players’ shoulders after the Hurricanes defeated Nebraska to win the 2001 national championship.
2. 2019 LSU (15-0)
Led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, who threw a then-FBS record 60 touchdown passes, LSU decimated all comers and made an argument for being seen as the best group to ever come through the SEC. This was on display during playoff routs of Oklahoma and Clemson to finish unbeaten.
3. 2018 Clemson (15-0)
The first team to go 15-0 since the 19th century, Clemson had the nation’s best defense, the third-best offense and the most consistent week-to-week performances of any team in college football. At the very least, the Trevor…