Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart was the defensive coordinator of the last college football team that attempted a three-peat.
The 2013 Alabama Crimson Tide are the most recent team to have a shot at winning three consecutive national championships. Head coach Nick Saban and Alabama started the season 11-0 and were ranked No. 1 for the entire year. The Crimson Tide had a chance to advance to the SEC championship if Alabama could beat the Auburn Tigers in the final week of the regular season.
On the final play of the game, Alabama attempted a game-winning field goal attempt that fell short and Auburn’s Chris Davis returned the missed field goal for a touchdown in the infamous “Kick Six” play.
Auburn went on to lose to Florida State in the national championship. The Crimson Tide bounced back after 2013’s disappointment, but the season serves as a example of how every college football game and every play matters.
Paul Myerberg of USA TODAY Sports highlights the other fates of back-to-back college football national champions throughout the poll era. 1942 Minnesota, 1946 Army, 1948 Notre Dame, 1957 Oklahoma, 1966 Alabama, 1972 Nebraska, 1976 Oklahoma, 1980 Alabama, 1996 Nebraska, 2005 Oklahoma, and the previously mentioned 2013 Alabama team all failed to three-peat.
Overall, 11 teams have fought to win three straight national championships, but all have failed. The 1966 Alabama team did finish undefeated, yet it was not enough to win a national title. Good thing we are in the College Football Playoff era and don’t have to worry about an ending to a season like that.