The first BCS National Championship Ring came out in 2002 and was presented to Ohio State. That year the players only got 2 rings one the BCS ring paid for by the NCAA and the One School National Championship Ring the school designs and pays for. That year they put the Big Ten and the Fiesta Bowl on the same ring. Not sure why in 2002 the school did not give out a separate conference Ring as in past years going back to the 1990 season when Colorado split the title with Georgia Tech Colorado gave out a separate Big 8 ring and the National Championship Ring. I have both of those rings in my collection. I believe that Washington may have issued out a Rose Bowl ring from that 1992 game to go along with the 1991 split National Championship ring. I don't think the school got a separate 1991 Pac Ten Ring. In 1991 Miami only gave out one ring. In 1992 Alabama did the same thing and the players only got ONE ring. FSU gave out a ACC ring along with a Natl Champs ring in 1993, Nebraska got Big 8 rings in 1994 and in 1995 and a Big XII ring in 1997 along with the National champs rings. Florida did put out a separate 1996 SEC Ring along with the Natl Champs ring. In 1997 Michigan only gave out one ring and NO Big Ten ring that year. A few other years since then did school put out a separate Conference ring and a National Champs rings those years include 1998 Tennessee, 1999 FSU, and 2000 OU, The practice of handing out 3 rings started in 2006 with Florida players getting a total of 3 separate rings. For some strange reason the school was allowed to give out a separate conference ring and the school national Championship ring. That era was a bonus ring that the NCAA Pays for and gives the players and the schools don't have to pay for them. That practice continued with the College Football playoff Ring. In 2006 the team however did not get three 10K gold rings they only got 2 with the BCS and the School Natl Champs ring being 10K gold. The 2006 SEC ring was a non gold ring. 2006 was the last year that a Div 1 FB National Championship ring would also be issued out in real 10K gold due to the rising cost of gold and the limits set forth by the NCAA. Also in 2006 they started to present the rings in a big wooden box too. So when you see the current players who get 3 Monster rings they are only getting 2 of the rings from the college or they are paying for them and the BCS/CFP ring is a bonus given to them by the NCAA. So far NO team has ever gotten a separate CFP, Bowl, Conference and a School National Champs ring in one season. Now there was a chance back in the day when a team would play for the title in the Rose Bowl as in prior years the Rose Bowl actually gave out rings to the players NOT the NCAA but with limits that the NCAA puts on how much a player can receive as a gift I would guess if a team happened to win the title in the Rose Bowl Game the players would not be allowed to receive a 4th ring.
If you think that schools are ring happy since most schools give out players rings even if they lose their bowl games check out how stingy Bob Stoops was when he was Head Coach at OU I hear he might have borrowed his reasoning in regards to rings from his old boss Steve Spurier at Florida. Bob had a rule that if your team did NOT win a conference or the National Title that year you did not get rings or at least the school did NOT pay for them. For Example in 2003 when OU was going into the Big XII Title game as the #1 ranked and undefeated team in the country they were getting close to being called the greatest team of all time. OU had the reigning Heisman winner in Jason White and but they overlooked K-State an got beat on a bitter cold field at Arrowhead stadium. The Sooners still had enough points in the BCS poll to be locked in at #2 and got to play for the National Title vs. LSU in the 2004 Sugar Bowl Game. OU loses the game 21-14 and thus they don't win their conference and they don't win the National Championship. How many rings did the players in 2003 for OU get?? NONE that's correct they got nothing. They could have gotten 2004 Sugar Bowl Rings or even 2003 Big XII South Championship rings but as I said Stoops has never ever gave the players rings if they didn't win a conference or a National Championship. Now a Big XII South is considered somewhat a championship as you still get a big trophy from the Big XII but in all of the years that Stoops has been Head Coach OU has only LOST one Big XII title game and the price for losing that game was clear you dont get any rings that year period.
The very next year when OU went on to play USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl game OU got killed 55-19 and they could have gotten a separate Orange Bowl ring as a lot of them who played in the Orange Bowl in that era got Orange Bowl Ring paid for by the Orange Bowl or the school. In 2004 even though OU got killed by USC they still walked away with a nice Big XII Championship Ring. On a side note even though USC won handily over OU they team had their BCS Title taken away from them due to Reggie Bush getting extra benefits and the NCAA put pressure on the Downtown Athletic Club to ask for the Heisman back so Reggie no longer has his trophy. The BCS Rings along with the regular National Championship rings the players were allowed to keep them as I see no way you can ask for the rings back years after the players left college.
Even before the 2004 BCS Title vacated by USC years later the other team who finished the regular season undefeated Auburn of the SEC was not voted #1 or #2 in the final BCS poll after the regular season so they didn’t get to play in the BCS Title game as OU played USC. Auburn went on to the 2005 Sugar Bowl game and only beat Virginia Tech who was #8 in the BCS poll 16-13. With such a close game and not a blowout like the USC victory the slim chance there could be an official split championship like there was the year before (2003) when USC won the AP National Championship and LSU won the BCS and Coaches poll National Championship.
If USC had not blown out OU who was the undefeated #2 team in the BCS and if Auburn would have easily won the Sugar Bowl I could have seen consecutive Split Title but that did not happen. USC was voted the champions In all of the polls in 2004. Now the fact that USC was voted #1 didn’t stop Auburn from actually putting out “National Championship” rings of their own and they later on justified doing it since they won one very small poll that no one ever heard of. They must have pissed off a lot of USC fans.
I have one of these 2004 Auburn National Champs /SEC rings. It’s not a bad looking ring. And even though years down the road USC would be stripped of the BCS title they still felt that the title didn’t automatically should go to Auburn and it still remains vacant till this day. Auburn had its shot to impress the voters and if they had destroyed VA Tech they might be considered real champions instead of the team that got snubbed out of the BCS title game and put National Champions on their rings anyway.