Washington Playoff History: Wins, National Championship Appearances, and More

    Washington has been a model of consistency out west. But do they have playoff wins and national titles to further back that claim?

    For one last time, the Pac-12 has a representative in the College Football Playoffs. And it’s a familiar title chaser in the Washington Huskies. While UW has crashed the four-team playoff system before, how many times have they won on this stage?

    And have there ever been national titles collected and brought back to the Pacific Northwest?

    Washington Playoff Appearances and Results by Year

    • 2016-17
      • Peach Bowl: Lost 24-7 to Alabama
    • 2023-24
      • Sugar Bowl: Won, 37-31 vs. Texas
      • National Championship Game: Loss, 34-13 to Michigan

    The Huskies got their first College Football Playoffs victory in their second trip to the playoffs. Knocking off Texas in the Sugar Bowl, the Huskies made their first victory in dramatic fashion, holding off the Longhorns on a last-second red-zone stop. Previously, the Huskies had one appearance in the playoffs, a loss in the 2016 Peach Bowl.

    MORE: Washington 2024 Football Schedule

    Former head coach Chris Petersen led that team, and it became his best team in his six seasons in Seattle. Additionally, The Huskies had a future NFL Pro Bowler named Budda Baker and was led by Jake Browning, last seen guiding a Joe Burrow-less Cincinnati Bengals to a thrilling overtime win on Monday versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Now led by Kalen DeBoer, UW shattered a school record by winning 14 games in 2023. That mark is also better than the ’16 Huskies. Unfortunately, 14 games would be all they won in 2023 as they lost the game for all the marbles against Michigan in the College Football Playoff National Championship to close out the 2023-24 season.

    Washington Playoff/National Champion History FAQ

    How Many National Championship Appearances Do Huskies Have?

    The Huskies will make their first College Football Playoff National Championship Game, but this isn’t their first national title appearance. Long before the CFB playoffs, let alone the Bowl Championship series ever existed, Washington produced one national title-winning team.

    That was the 1991 Huskies, considered one of college football’s most dominating national champions ever. Washington pummeled every opponent by outscoring them 461-101. And what was the closest game UW played that season?

    A 14-3 road win over the USC Trojans. The Huskies blew out literally everyone else, including the Michigan Wolverines in the ’91 Rose Bowl 34-14. Don James was the winning head coach, and the team featured the 1992 first-overall pick in defensive tackle Steve Emtman.

    When Was the Last Time Washington Made the National Title Game?

    They return to the National Championship Game during the 2023-24 season as it appears they’re on the precipice of something special under head coach Kalen DeBoer. It turns out that the 1991 season was the last time UW played for the richest team prize in college football prior to 2023-24.

    The following season, the Huskies settled for a 9-3 campaign in what became James’ last rodeo as head coach. Washington did come close to playing for the national championship before.

    That would have come in 2000 had it not been for a costly road loss to Oregon, which was the Huskies’ only loss that season. The 2000 Huskies, featuring Marques Tuiasosopo at QB and Rick Neuheisel as head coach, snatched the Rose Bowl over a Drew Brees-led Purdue team 34-24.

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