|1964 NCAA University Division football season|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Ole Miss|
|Regular season||September 19 – November 28, 1964|
|Number of bowls||8|
|Bowl games||December 19, 1964 – January 2, 1965|
|Champion(s)|| Alabama (AP, Coaches)|
Notre Dame (NFF)
|Heisman||John Huarte (quarterback, Notre Dame)|
The NCAA was without a playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A, during the 20th century. The NCAA recognizes Division I-A national champions based on the final results of polls including the "wire service" (AP and UPI), FWAA and NFF. The 1964 AP poll continued to rank only ten teams, compiling the votes of 55 sportswriters, each of whom would give their opinion of the ten best. Under a point system of 10 points for first place, 9 for second, etc., the "overall" ranking was determined.
The 1964 season ended with controversy as to whether Alabama or Arkansas should be recognized as the national champion:
After a one-year trial run in 1965, the AP Poll began its current practice of naming their national champion at the conclusion of the bowl games in 1968. The UPI Poll followed suit in 1974, after its choice for national champions in each of 1965, 1970, and 1973 lost their respective bowl games.
|School||1963 Conference||1964 Conference|
|Abilene Christian Wildcats||Independent||Southland|
|Arkansas State Indians||Independent||Southland|
|Arlington State Mavericks||Independent||Southland|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||Southeastern||Independent|
|Lamar Tech Cardinals||Independent||Southland|
|Oregon State Beavers||Independent||AAWU|
|Trinity (TX) Tigers||Independent||Southland|
In the preseason poll released on September 14, Mississippi (Ole Miss) was ranked first and Oklahoma second. Big Ten rivals Illinois and Ohio State were ranked No. 3 and No. 5 respectively, while 1963 champion Texas was No. 4. On September 19, No. 1 Mississippi beat Memphis State 30–0 at home, while No. 2 Oklahoma beat Maryland 13–3 on the road at College Park. No. 4 Texas defeated Tulane 31–0 at home.
The following week (September 26), No. 1 Mississippi was upset 27–21 by a late Kentucky touchdown at Jackson, and No. 2 Oklahoma was crushed by the USC Trojans, 40–14, before a record home crowd. No. 3 Illinois beat California 20–14, and No. 4 Texas shut out Texas Tech 23–0. No. 5 Ohio State defeated SMU at home, 27–8. In the poll that followed, the Texas Longhorns were the new No. 1 and USC No. 2, followed by Illinois, Alabama, and Ohio State.
On October 3, No. 1 Texas beat Army 17–6 at home. Meanwhile, No. 2 USC lost 17–7 at Michigan State and No. 3 Illinois won 17–6 over Northwestern. No. 3 Alabama beat Tulane in a neutral site game at Mobile, 36–6. No. 5 Ohio State beat Indiana at home, 17–9. Previously unranked Kentucky earned a spot in the next poll after beating Auburn 20–0 in Birmingham. Two games, Duke at Tulane and Florida at LSU, were postponed until the end of the season due to the threat of Hurricane Hilda, which made landfall in Louisiana that day.
The top 5: 1.Texas 2.Illinois 3.Alabama 4.Ohio State 5.Kentucky.
Top-ranked Texas beat Oklahoma 28–7 at Dallas on October 10. Visiting No. 4 Ohio State shut out No. 2 Illinois 26–0 in the Big Ten, and No. 3 Alabama beat North Carolina State 21–0. No. 5 Kentucky, previously 3–0, was beaten 48–6 by Florida State, the start of a four-game losing streak en route to a 5–5 season. Two road wins moved teams into the top five: No. 6 Notre Dame won 34–7 at Air Force and No. 8 Michigan won 17–10 at Michigan State.
The top 5 were 1.Texas 2.Ohio State 3.Alabama 4.Notre Dame 5.Michigan.
On October 17, No. 8 Arkansas beat No. 1 Texas at Austin, 14–13, stopping a late two-point conversion attempt. No. 2 Ohio State beat the USC Trojans in Columbus, 17–0. No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Notre Dame remained unbeaten, defeating Tennessee (19–8) and UCLA (24–0) respectively. No. 5 Michigan lost to Purdue 21–20. Ohio State was the new No. 1. No. 6 Nebraska, which had beaten Kansas State 47–0 (and outscored its opponents 171–34 in five wins), took over fifth place.
The rankings were 1.Ohio State 2.Notre Dame 3.Alabama 4.Arkansas 5.Nebraska.
October 24 had No. 1 Ohio State over Wisconsin at home, 28–3. No. 2 Notre Dame beat Stanford 26–7, No. 3 Alabama beat Florida 17–14. No. 4 Arkansas beat Wichita State 17–0, and No. 5 Nebraska beat Colorado 21–3. The top five remained unchanged.
October 31, No. 1 Ohio State beat Iowa 21–19, while No. 2 Notre Dame defeated Navy 40–0. In the next poll, the Fighting Irish rose to No. 1. No. 3 Alabama (23–6 over Ole Miss), No. 4 Arkansas (17–0 over Texas A&M) and No. 5 Nebraska (9–0 over Missouri) remained unbeaten.
November 7, No. 1 Notre Dame beat the Pitt Panthers at Pittsburgh 17–15. Meanwhile, No. 2 Ohio State suffered its first loss to unranked (3–4) Penn State, 27–0. No. 3 Alabama (17–9 over LSU), No. 4 Arkansas (21–0 vs. Rice) and No. 5 Nebraska (14–7 over Kansas) stayed unbeaten, and moved up in the poll. Texas (7–1), whose lone loss had been to Arkansas, was fifth after a 20–14 win at Baylor.
November 14, No. 1 Notre Dame defeated Michigan State 34–7, and No. 2 Alabama beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta, 14–7, to stay unbeaten. Also unblemished were No. 3 Arkansas (44–0 over SMU) and No. 4 Nebraska (27–14 vs. Oklahoma State). No. 5 Texas won 28–13 over TCU. The poll remained unchanged (1.Notre Dame 2.Alabama 3.Arkansas 4.Nebraska 5.Texas)
November 21, No. 1 Notre Dame beat Iowa in South Bend, 28–0. No. 3 Arkansas beat Texas Tech 17–0 to close its regular season with five straight shutouts, unbeaten at 10–0. No. 4 Nebraska suffered its first loss at Oklahoma, 17–7. Michigan defeated Ohio State 10–7 to win the Big Ten title and a berth in the Rose Bowl. In the November 23 AP poll, unbeaten Notre Dame, Alabama, and Arkansas were first, second, and third, followed by Texas and Michigan.
November 26–28, Thanksgiving Day saw No. 2 Alabama finish the regular season unbeaten (10–0) with a 21–14 win over Auburn in Birmingham. No. 5 Texas beat Texas A&M 26–7 to finish 10–1. On November 28 in Los Angeles, No. 1 Notre Dame led USC 17–0 at halftime but lost, 20–17. With only Alabama and Arkansas remaining unbeaten, both with records of 10–0, the final AP poll was taken on November 30. Alabama took over the top spot and recognition as the NCAA national champion. Arkansas was second, Texas rose to third, Notre Dame dropped to fourth, and Michigan was fifth.
Alabama won the SEC championship, but a "no repeat rule" prevented them from playing in the Sugar Bowl for a second straight year. The Orange Bowl invited Alabama and Texas on November 21.The Cotton Bowl had invited then-unbeaten Nebraska on November 15 to play unbeaten Southwestern Conference champion Arkansas. As such, there would be no No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Notre Dame declined to play in a bowl game. The Irish did not play in any bowl games for over forty years, until the 1969 season.
Friday, January 1, 1965
|COTTON||No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks||10||No. 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers||7|
|SUGAR||No. 7 LSU Tigers||10||Syracuse Orangemen||7|
|ROSE||No. 4 Michigan Wolverines||34||No. 8 Oregon State Beavers||7|
|ORANGE||No. 5 Texas Longhorns||21||No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide||17|
Top-ranked Alabama, led by quarterback Joe Namath, fell to No. 5 Texas 21–17 in the Orange Bowl, the first night postseason bowl game. In the final minutes, down by four and facing 4th-and-goal at the Texas one-yard line, Namath's quarterback sneak was denied by the Longhorn defense. In the Cotton Bowl, quarterback Fred Marshall drove No. 2 Arkansas to a touchdown with 4:41 left to beat No. 6 Nebraska 10–7. Notable members of the 1964 Arkansas team include Jerry Jones, who would later become a billionaire as owner of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL, and Jimmy Johnson, whom Jones would hire as coach of the Cowboys. No. 5 Michigan routed No. 8 Oregon State 34–7 in the Rose Bowl, while in the Sugar Bowl, No. 7 LSU beat unranked Syracuse 10–7 on a late field goal.
A five-member committee of the Football Writers Association of America awarded Arkansas the "Grantland Rice Trophy" as the No. 1 team in a poll taken after the bowl games. The Helms Athletic Foundation, which also took polls after the bowl games, named Arkansas as the national champions. Notre Dame was named as the National Football Foundation's national champion. In 1965, the AP's final poll came after the bowl games, but the policy did not become permanent until 1968. The Coaches' Poll adopted the same policy in 1974, after similar issues in 1970 and 1973. These selectors, including the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll, were nationally syndicated in newspapers and magazines during the 1964 football season.
|SUN||El Paso, TX||December 26||Georgia||7–0||Texas Tech|
|GATOR||Jacksonville, FL||January 2||Florida State||36–19||Oklahoma|
|BLUEBONNET||Houston, TX||December 19||Tulsa||14–7||Mississippi|
|LIBERTY||Atlantic City, NJ||December 19||Utah||32–6||West Virginia|
The 1978 NCAA Division I-A football season was the first season of Division I-A college football; Division I-A was created in 1978 when Division I was subdivided into Division I-A and Division I-AA for football only. With the exception of seven teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Division I teams from the 1977 season played in Division I-A during the 1978 season. The SWAC teams, along with five conferences and five other teams formerly in Division II, played in Division I-AA.
The 1963 NCAA University Division football season was played by American football teams representing 120 colleges and universities recognized the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as major programs. The remaining 299 colleges and universities that were NCAA members and fielded football teams competed in the 1963 NCAA College Division football season.
The 1962 NCAA University Division football season was played by American football teams representing 140 colleges and universities recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as major programs. The remaining 370 colleges and universities that were NCAA members and fielded football teams competed in the 1962 NCAA College Division football season.
During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A. The NCAA did recognize a national champion based upon the final results of "wire service" polls. The "writers' poll" by Associated Press (AP) was the most popular, followed by the "coaches' poll" by United Press International) (UPI). Prior to 1965, both services issued their final polls at the close of the regular season, but before teams competed in bowl games. For the 1965 season, the AP took its final poll after the postseason games, an arrangement made permanent in 1968. The Associated Press presented the "AP Trophy" to the winner.
The 1966 University Division football season was marked by some controversy as the year of "The Tie", a famous 10–10 game between the two top-ranked teams, Michigan State and Notre Dame on November 19. Both teams were crowned national champions by various organizations after the regular season concluded, and neither participated in bowl game. Alabama finished the regular season undefeated and was third in the AP poll, while Georgia was fourth. Alabama went on to win the Sugar Bowl in dominant fashion. During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A.
In the 1968 NCAA University Division football season, the system of "polls and bowls" changed. The Associated Press returned to its pre-1961 system of ranking the Top 20 rather than the Top 10, and voted on the national champion after the bowl games, rather than before. During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams in the University Division, later known as Division I-A.
The 1969 college football season was celebrated as the centennial of college football.
The 1970 NCAA University Division football season was marked by tragedy, due to two airplane crashes. On October 2, one of the planes carrying the Wichita State football team crashed on the way to a game against Utah State, killing 31 people on board, including 14 players. Then, on November 14, the charter for the Marshall Thundering Herd crashed on the way home from a game against East Carolina, killing all 75 persons.
The 1971 NCAA University Division football season saw Coach Bob Devaney's Nebraska Cornhuskers repeat as national champions. Ranked a close second behind Notre Dame in the preseason poll, Nebraska moved up to first place the following week, remained there for the rest of 1971, and convincingly won the Orange Bowl 38–6 in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game against Alabama.
The 1957 NCAA University Division football season saw two different national champions. Auburn was ranked first in the AP writers' poll taken at season's end, while Ohio State was first in the UPI coaches' poll. Auburn was ineligible for a bowl game, however, having been placed on probation indefinitely by the Southeastern Conference, after having paid two high school players $500 apiece.
The 1972 NCAA University Division football season saw the USC Trojans, coached by John McKay, go undefeated and win the national championship as the unanimous choice of the 50 AP panelists. Eighth-ranked in the preseason, the Trojans were narrowly voted No. 1 in the first AP poll, and stayed out front for the rest of the year.
The 1973 NCAA Division I football season was the first for the NCAA's current three-division structure. Effective with the 1973–74 academic year, schools formerly in the NCAA "University Division" were classified as Division I. Schools in the former "College Division" were classified into Division II, which allowed fewer athletic scholarships than Division I, and Division III, in which athletic scholarships were prohibited.
The 1974 NCAA Division I football season finished with two national champions. The Associated Press (AP) writers' poll ranked the University of Oklahoma, which was on probation and barred by the NCAA from postseason play, No. 1 at season's end. The United Press International (UPI) coaches' poll did not rank teams on probation, by unanimous agreement of the 25 member coaches' board. The UPI trophy went to the University of Southern California (USC).
The 1975 NCAA Division I football season saw University of Oklahoma repeat as national champion in the Associated Press (AP) writers' poll, and were ranked No. 1 in the United Press International (UPI) coaches' poll, just ahead of runner up Arizona State, runner-up in both final polls, despite having an undefeated 12–0 season and a win over Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl.
The 1976 NCAA Division I football season ended with a championship for the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh. Led by head coach Johnny Majors, the Pitt Panthers brought a college football championship to the home of the defending pro football champions, the Steelers. Pitt also had the Heisman Trophy winner, Tony Dorsett; the Panthers had been ranked ninth in the preseason AP poll.
The 1977 NCAA Division I football season was one in which the top five teams finished with 11–1 records. Notre Dame, which beat top-ranked and undefeated Texas in the Cotton Bowl, became the national champion.
The 1956 NCAA University Division football season saw the University of Oklahoma Sooners finish a third consecutive season unbeaten and untied to again win the national championship.
The 1954 college football season saw three teams finish unbeaten and untied, with Ohio State Buckeyes and the UCLA Bruins sharing the national championship as the No. 1 picks of the AP Poll and the UPI Poll, respectively. Although the winners of the Big Ten and the Pacific conferences normally met in the Rose Bowl, a "no repeat" prevented the two champions from meeting. UCLA, which had been in the Rose Bowl earlier in the year, was replaced by conference runner-up USC.
The 1953 college football season finished with the Maryland Terrapins capturing the AP, INS, and UPI national championship after Notre Dame held the top spot for the first nine weeks. The No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners defeated Maryland in the Orange Bowl, but there was no further polling after the November 30 results were released. However, Notre Dame was selected as the National Champions by 10 other polls and the Oklahoma Sooners received first in two polls. However, despite the team receiving National Championship rings, the University of Notre Dame does not recognize this title due to their policy of only recognizing AP or coaches' poll titles during the polling era (1936–present). Maryland was also the first champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which had been formed earlier in 1953 by seven colleges formerly with the Southern Conference. The year 1953 also saw the Michigan State Spartans, previously an independent, join the Big Nine Conference, which then became the Big Ten; MSU won the conference title in that first year and was the conference representative to the Rose Bowl, which it won 28–20 over UCLA.
The 1946 college football season finished with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish crowned as the national champion in the AP Poll, the Georgia Bulldogs recognized as national champion by the Williamson poll and United States Military Academy named as national champion in various other polls and rankings. The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens were recognized by the AP as the small college national champion. Notre Dame and Army both won all of their games, with the exception of their November 9 meeting at New York's Yankee Stadium, where they had played to a 0–0 tie in a No. 1 vs No. 2 matchup regarded as a "Game of the Century". Neither team played in bowl game that season.