Grantland Rice Trophy Introduced for College Football National Champion


The Grantland Rice Trophy was an annual award presented in the United States from 1954 to 2013 to the college football team recognized by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) as the National Champions.

Named for the legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice, Vanderbilt 1901, the trophy was the first national championship award to be presented after the college football bowl games. Through 1991, voting was undertaken by the membership of the FWAA. After 1992, voting was conducted amongst a panel of four or five selected writers, initially by a positional voting system but after 1994 by a single-team vote. Then, in 2002, the FWAA started issuing a national poll to go along with the Grantland Rice Trophy. The top team in the final survey was awarded the trophy. The trophy itself consisted of a bronze football atop a four-sided pedestal.

With the advent of the College Football Playoff (CFP) for the 2014 season, the FWAA quietly retired the Grantland Rice Trophy. Instead, they joined the National Football Foundation (NFF) to publish the FWAA-NFF Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll during the regular season. The CFP champion automatically received the NFF’s MacArthur Bowl Trophy.