College Football Playoff History: Alabama, Clemson Lead the Way

min read
Nick Saban and Alabama are a mainstay in the College Football Playoff history.
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Oct 25, 2022, 4:36 PM
  • Alabama has been selected for seven of the eight College Football Playoffs.
  • Clemson has been to six College Football Playoffs (and is 2-2 against Alabama).
  • Ohio State has played in four College Football Playoffs.
  • Ohio State has only won one CFP game in the last seven years.

With the first committee rankings of 2022 right around the corner, there’s plenty of College Football Playoff detail to consider.

Is Georgia Still No. 1? How high does undefeated TCU start? Which team is No. 4?

Before you consider the college football betting odds for this year’s postseason, here are some historical notes to keep in mind.

Who Has Made the Most College Football Playoffs?

Unsurprisingly, Nick Saban’s Alabama dynasty has been selected for the FBS College Football Playoff more than any other team since its implementation in 2014.

How Many Times Has Alabama Made the College Football Playoff?

Alabama has been in the College Football Playoff for seven of the eight years since it replaced the old BCS title game system.

Has Alabama Missed a Playoff?

Yes, but only once. Under Nick Sabana, Alabama has been the most consistent fixture of the College Football Playoff.

Which Year Did Alabama Miss the Playoff?

Alabama had great NCAAF odds in 2019, but nothing got in the way of Joe Burrow and LSU’s undefeated run to the national championship. As a result, the Crimson Tide missed their first (and so far, only) College Football Playoff.

Has a Two-Loss Team Made the CFP?

No, the College Football Playoff has not yet selected a team with two losses from the regular season – though it has selected several one-loss teams and even teams that failed to win their division.

How Many Times Has Alabama Beaten Clemson?

Alabama has won 14 of its 19 all-time games against Clemson, but only four of those games (and two of the wins) came during the College Football Playoff era. 

Alabama beat Clemson in the 2015 championship game on January 11, 2016. It also beat Clemson in a 2017 CFP semifinal game, which was played as the 2018 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. 

Clemson scored revenge CFP wins in each of the following seasons. 

How Many Times Has Clemson Made the College Football Playoff?

Clemson has been selected as a College Football Playoff team six times – more than any other team not named Alabama.

How Many Times Has Ohio State Made the College Football Playoff?

Ohio State has been selected for the College Football Playoff four times. 

The Buckeyes won the inaugural four-team bracket in 2014 but are 1-3 in their three appearances since then.

How Many Teams Have Ever Made the College Football Playoff?

Through eight years of the College Football Playoff, 13 programs have been selected for inclusion at least once: Alabama (7), Clemson (6), Ohio State (4), Oklahoma (4), Georgia (2), Notre Dame (2), LSU (1), Oregon (1), Florida State (1), Michigan State (1), Washington (1), Michigan (1) and Cincinnati (1).

College Football Playoff Bracket 2021

The 2021 College Football Playoff was particularly exciting, with two schools – No. 2 Michigan and No. 4 Cincinnati – earning first-time berths. 

Georgia, the No. 3 seed, was included for the first time in four years.

Alabama played as the No. 1 seed but lost in the championship game to Georgia.

College Football Playoff Predictions

For more on this year’s College Football Playoff and general college football odds and betting strategies, make sure you check out my podcast for BetMGM, The Lion’s Edge.

You can subscribe to The Lion’s Edge for regular intelligent, weekly insights into trends and betting tips across the online sports betting world. 

The Lion’s Edge is available on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

You can also listen to it in the web player below.

College Football Parlays

BetMGM is the King of Sportsbooks and the King of Parlays. And college football season is a perfect chance to build parlays.

With hundreds of games and thousands of odds combinations each year, you can build a parlay with heavy moneyline favorites, short underdogs, or prop bets. It’s a thrilling way to get closer to the action and make every play count.

Visit the online sportsbook today to view all football betting opportunities!

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.