A Look At The College Football Playoff National Championship’s Uniform History

The 2020-21 college football season comes to a close on Monday evening when top-ranked Alabama takes on No. 3 Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens (8 p.m. on ESPN).

But before the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide do battle on South Beach, we’ve decided to take a look back at the uniform matchups of the last six title games and preview their looming matchup.

2015 – Ohio State 42, Oregon 20

Fourth-ranked Ohio State wore the home version of its 1968 throwback uniforms despite being the lower-ranked team, while No. 2 Oregon opted to wear a white and gray version of the apple green set it wore in the Rose Bowl. Both uniforms featured a fractal diamond Nike Swoosh on the jersey and pants, which has been a staple of the playoff since its inception. 

2016 – Alabama 45, Clemson 40

In their first meeting in during the College Football Playoff era, No. 1 Clemson wore its orange jersey with orange britches against No. 2 Alabama, which donned its standard road set. This game started the current five-game winning streak for the team wearing white uniforms.

2017 – Clemson 35, Alabama 31

Round two between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson had both teams outfitted in the opposite uniforms of their first matchup, as the Crimson Tide were in their standard home set while the Tigers wore white jerseys with orange britches. This game also had the inverse result. 

2018 – Alabama 26, Georgia 23 (OT)

Despite not winning its conference – let alone its division – Alabama returned to the national championship for the third straight season. The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide took on SEC champion Georgia, which wore its home uniform by virtue of being the No. 3 seed.

2019 – Clemson 44, Alabama 16

Aside from the change in venue (Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara rather than Raymond James Stadium in Tampa), the national championship game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson looked the exact same as their previous title game matchup. It was the same result, too.

2020 – LSU 42, Clemson 24

In a bit of an interesting twist, both No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Clemson donned their home uniform in last year’s national championship. The Bayou Bengals are one of just two Football Bowl Subdivision programs that traditionally wear white at home, which allowed the other Tigers to wear all-orange. 

LSU actually received the 2020 patch that is typically reserved for the team wearing a colored jersey and wore it on the right shoulder, whereas every other national championship participant during the CFP era has worn It on the left. This was also the first title game in the CFP era to not feature black end zones.

2021 – Alabama vs Ohio State

Third-ranked Ohio State will look to extend the five-game winning streak for teams wearing white in the national championship, as it will don the road version of its throwback uniform. A closer inspection, though, reveals it’s actually reminiscent of the Buckeyes’ 2002 uniforms, with the athletics logo at the collar instead of the Block “O” seen on the 1968 throwbacks.

Alabama, on the other hand, will look to end its two-game losing streak in its home uniform in the national championship. The Crimson Tide are 0-2 in crimson jerseys during the CFP era, with losses in 2017 and 2019, but are 2-0 in white, with wins in 2016 and 2018. 

Photos via @OhioStateFB, @AlabamaFTBL, @CFBPlayoff and @usatodaysports on Twitter. Header illustration by @AndrewMLind.