The National Championship Foundation was founded by Mike Riter of Germantown, New York. They retroactively selected national championships by member vote for every season through 1980, then named national champions every year thereafter through the year 2000.
One problem with the NCF is that some of their modern day choices are so obviously silly. Such as 1993, when they share the title amongst Florida State, Notre Dame, Auburn, and Nebraska. The first three make sense, but Nebraska lost to Florida State in the Orange Bowl, and has no argument at all for sharing the title.
Then there's 1981, when everyone picks Clemson except the NCF, who shares the title amongst five teams: Clemson, Pittsburgh, Nebraska, Southern Methodist, and Texas. Clemson was 12-0, and defeated 9-3 Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. I have no idea what the rationale is there. UPDATE! I had no idea what the rationale was. Now I do. Mike Riter has written me an email and explained this issue: "I included other teams under the stipulation 'If you consider Clemson ineligible because of known violations.' In that case Nebraska would only have two losses etc."So it's good to have that reasoning. Clemson was alleged to have committed recruiting violations at the time, and the NCAA would punish them a year later. However, they were not on probation in 1981 (eligible for a bowl, and for the coaches poll), so I find this strange. If we were to disregard teams because we know they have committed recruiting violations, then a great many teams would have to have their MNCs stripped. Oklahoma would likely lose all but one of theirs. Furthermore, SMU actually was on probation in 1981 (no bowl, no coaches poll), so why list them? And even with "just" 2 losses, Nebraska makes for a very poor MNC contender for 1981.
Still, for all that, the NCF has its merits. They are often better than the AP poll (though the above choices are not at all examples of that). After all, they correctly tab Tennessee for 1950, when the AP's team, Oklahoma, lost their bowl game.As you may have noticed, they hand out a lot of ties, which I generally applaud (though not in the above examples). Their 1973 tie amongst Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Michigan makes perfect sense. They recognize Penn State along with Nebraska in 1994, when no one else does. It seems unfair and arbitrary that Michigan shares the 1997 title with Nebraska, but PSU '94 does not.