The National Championship Tournament (NCT) was held annually by the College Bowl Company, Inc., to determine its format's national title.
College Bowl conducted the NCT from 1978 to 2008, with occasional matches appearing on radio or TV during that time. Various formats were used to determine the field in the initial years. From the mid-1990s on, the champions of each of the fifteen ACUI region tournaments, as well as one second-place finisher chosen at "random," were invited to the NCT, held on a different ACUI-affiliated college campus each year.
Due to the inferior quality of the questions, game format, and officiating at College Bowl, the tournament was considered less legitimate than good quizbowl events such as ACF Nationals and, ultimately, the NAQT ICT. Compounding the inherent issues in determining a fair champion out of the College Bowl field was the rapid withdrawal of elite quizbowl teams from College Bowl participation from the 1990s onward. Early defections by Maryland and Georgia Tech were followed by the exit of nearly all contending ACF programs by the end of the 1990s save for Chicago and Michigan, who themselves did not compete after the 2003-2004 season. Of the last five champions of College Bowl NCT, only one, 2006 UCLA, was good enough to even make the championship playoff bracket of the ICT or ACF Nationals.
College Bowl NCT top finishers/locations