| Florida Gators|
| December 18, 2001 –
January 3, 2002|
Eric Crouch, Nebraska QB
2002 BCS National Championship Game
2002 NCAA Division I, 1999 NCAA Division I, 1998 NCAA Division I, 2005 NCAA Division I, 1982 NCAA Division I
The 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the University of Miami winning the national title for the fifth time.
The Hurricanes were led by Larry Coker, who was in his first year as head coach after five years as Miami's offensive coordinator under Butch Davis and became the first head coach since 1989's Dennis Erickson from the University of Miami to win a national title in his first season. Coker had the benefit of inheriting a star-studded program that Davis had rebuilt in the aftermath of NCAA sanctions in the mid-to-late '90s. Miami completed a perfect 12–0 season, which culminated in a 37–14 win over Nebraska in the Rose Bowl BCS National Championship Game.
In yet another controversial season for the BCS, (AP) #4 Nebraska was chosen as the national title opponent despite not having even played in the Big 12 championship game. The Huskers went into their last regularly scheduled game at Colorado undefeated, but left Boulder having lost the game by a score of 62–36. The Buffaloes went on to win the Big 12 championship game. The BCS computers, among other things, didn't weigh later games any more heavily than earlier games, and one-loss Nebraska came out ahead of two-loss #3 Colorado and one-loss, #2 Oregon. Some fans chanted "number 4" at the title game held at the Rose Bowl.
Florida State did not win the ACC championship for the first time since joining the conference in 1991, losing out to Maryland. Steve Spurrier left the Florida Gators at the end of the season to coach the Washington Redskins, accepting what was then the largest salary for an NFL head coach.
The season had one of the more competitive Heisman Trophy races with Eric Crouch of Nebraska winning by only a small margin over Rex Grossman of Florida. All of the five finalists played the quarterback position. Two of the finalists were coached at some point by Oregon offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford. Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El earned first-team All-America honors from the FWAA after becoming the first NCAA Division I-A quarterback to throw for 40 touchdowns and rush for 40 touchdowns in a career. He also became the first player in NCAA I-A history to record 2,500 total yards from scrimmage in four consecutive seasons.
The newly formed Boise State/Fresno State rivalry would be a major factor in the race to be the "BCS buster" for several seasons.
The Aloha Bowl and Oahu Bowl lost funding after Chrysler Corporation, which owned the former bowl's sponsor of Jeep, was acquired by Daimler-Benz and became DaimlerChrysler. The Aloha Bowl moved to Seattle and became the Seattle Bowl.
The New Orleans Bowl began play, the host team being the Sun Belt champion.
2001 NCAA Division I-A football season Wikipedia
The final 3 weeks of the regular season saw an incredible amount of drama as several teams were in prime position to earn their way to the Rose Bowl to play Miami. On November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, Nebraska was the number one team in the BCS heading to Boulder to play the Colorado Buffaloes. After a devastating 62–36 loss, they were unable to win their division and their season seemed to fall by the wayside, allowing the Florida Gators the inside track to meet Miami if they were able to win out.
This also gave the Oklahoma Sooners the opportunity to earn their way to the National Championship if Florida was to stumble against either Tennessee or in the SEC Championship game. Those hopes would soon dissolve the day after Nebraska's loss as the Sooners were upset at home by Oklahoma State 16–13, ending their title hopes and knocking them out of the Big 12 Championship game as well.
Florida had an inside track to the National Championship game until the following week in their matchup with Tennessee, losing that game 34–32 in Gainesville. The loss not only ended their dreams of a trip to the Rose Bowl, but also ended their shot at going to Atlanta for the SEC title game. Tennessee then stepped into the number 2 spot the following week going into the SEC Championship against LSU, but was upset by the Tigers 31–20, and their hopes of National Championship appearance were gone as quickly as they had come.
Later that evening, Texas entered the Big 12 Championship game against Colorado in prime time television knowing that a win would seal their spot in the Rose Bowl as the number 2 team in the BCS. Unfortunately they, too, were upset by the Buffaloes, feeling the same sting that Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Nebraska had felt the previous few weeks.
Miami was left at the top of all the polls, and the debate began about who deserved to play in the Rose Bowl. Many felt Colorado was the hottest team in the country after dismantling Nebraska and then beating the Longhorns in the Big 12 title game, but their 2 losses at the beginning of the year were tough to ignore. Others felt Oregon deserved the honor, being ranked in some polls as the number 2 team in the country. Ultimately, after all of the upsets, Nebraska ended up as the number 2 team in the BCS, despite being the team to start all of the drama 3 weeks earlier.
The NCAA Rules Committee adopted the following rules changes for the 2001 season:Charged team time-outs are reduced to 30 seconds if the team taking the time-out requests it. Otherwise, team time-outs are 90 seconds in length.
Eliminated TV/Radio time-outs during overtime periods.
All penalties committed by the offense behind the neutral zone are enforced from the previous spot, completely repealing the 1991 rule that enforced offensive holding, clipping, and illegal use of hands occurring behind the line from the spot of the foul.
Stopping the clock once a runner's helmet comes off.
Runners are exempt from being called for hurdling.
Roughing the passer penalties committed during a two-point conversion will be assessed on the ensuing kickoff or, if committed during overtime, on the succeeding spot.
Guidelines for officials on lightning-related game issues are included in the rulebook.
One team upgraded from Division I-AA, thus increasing the number of Division I-A schools from 116 to 117.The Big West Conference stopped sponsoring football after the 2000 season. Its remaining football playing members departed for the WAC, the Sun Belt (see below), or independence:
Boise State joined the WAC
Utah State opted to become an Independent.
The Sun Belt Conference, previously a non-football conference, began sponsoring football during the 2001 season, absorbing many of the Big West's former members.
Arkansas State, New Mexico State and North Texas joined from the Big West.
Idaho joined the Sun Belt as a football-only member
Louisiana–Lafayette, Louisiana–Monroe, and Middle Tennessee joined after playing as independents.
TCU joined Conference USA from the Western Athletic Conference
Louisiana Tech joined the Western Athletic Conference after five years as an independent.
Troy University joined Division 1-A football this season.
Rose Bowl: #1 Miami (FL) (BCS #1) 37, #4 Nebraska (BCS #2) 14
Fiesta Bowl: #2 Oregon (Pac-10 champ) 38, #3 Colorado (Big 12 champ) 16
Sugar Bowl: #12 LSU (SEC champ) 47, #7 Illinois (Big 10 champ) 34
Orange Bowl: #5 Florida (At Large) 56, #6 Maryland (ACC champ) 23
Cotton Bowl Classic: #10 Oklahoma 10, Arkansas 3
Florida Citrus Bowl: #8 Tennessee 45, #17 Michigan 17
Gator Bowl: #24 Florida State 30, #15 Virginia Tech 17
Outback Bowl: #14 South Carolina 31, #22 Ohio State 28
Holiday Bowl: #9 Texas 47, #21 Washington 43
Peach Bowl: North Carolina 16, Auburn 10
Tangerine Bowl: Pittsburgh 34, NC State 19
Sun Bowl: #13 Washington State 33, Purdue 27
Independence Bowl: Alabama 14, Iowa State 13
Alamo Bowl: Iowa 19, Texas Tech 16
Insight.com Bowl: #18 Syracuse 26, Kansas State 3
Liberty Bowl: #23 Louisville (C-USA champ) 28, #19 BYU (MWC champ) 10
Humanitarian Bowl: Clemson 49, Louisiana Tech (WAC Champ) 24
Motor City Bowl: #25 Toledo (MAC Champ) 23, Cincinnati 16
Seattle Bowl: Georgia Tech 24, #11 Stanford 14
Music City Bowl: Boston College 20, #16 Georgia 16
Las Vegas Bowl: Utah 10, Southern California 6
GMAC Bowl: Marshall 64, East Carolina 61 (2 OT)
Silicon Valley Classic: Michigan State 44, #20 Fresno State 35
Galleryfurniture.com bowl: Texas A&M 28, TCU 9
New Orleans Bowl: Colorado State 45, North Texas (Sun Belt Champ) 20
- Washington State
- South Carolina
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the
Most Outstanding Player of the year2. Rex Grossman, Florida (708 points)
3. Ken Dorsey, Miami-FL (638 points)
4. Joey Harrington, Oregon (364 points)
5. David Carr, Fresno St. (101 points)
Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year) – Ken Dorsey, Miami
Walter Camp Award (Back) – Eric Crouch, Nebraska
Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback) – Eric Crouch, Nebraska
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (Senior Quarterback) – David Carr, Fresno State
Doak Walker Award (Running Back) – Luke Staley, BYU
Fred Biletnikoff Award (Wide Receiver) – Josh Reed, Louisiana State
John Mackey Award (Tight End) – Daniel Graham, Colorado
Dave Rimington Trophy (Center) – LeCharles Bentley, Ohio State
Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defensive Player) – Roy Williams, Oklahoma
Chuck Bednarik Award – Julius Peppers, North Carolina
Dick Butkus Award (Linebacker) – Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma
Lombardi Award (Lineman or Linebacker) – Julius Peppers, North Carolina
Outland Trophy (Interior Lineman) – Bryant McKinnie, Miami, OT
Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive Back) – Roy Williams, Oklahoma
Lou Groza Award (Placekicker) – Seth Marler, Tulane
Ray Guy Award (Punter) – Travis Dorsch, Purdue
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award – Larry Coker, Miami
The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award: Ralph Friedgen, Maryland
Winner: Eric Crouch, Nebraska, Quarterback (770 points)