|1974 NCAA Division I football season|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Oklahoma|
|Regular season||September 7 – November 30, 1974|
|Number of bowls||11|
|Bowl games||December 16, 1974 – January 1, 1975|
|Champion(s)|| Oklahoma (AP)|
USC (Coaches, FWAA, NFF)
|Heisman||Archie Griffin (running back, Ohio State)|
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).
During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for the major college football teams, later known as "Division I-A". The NCAA Football Guide, however, did note an "unofficial national champion" based on the top ranked teams in the "wire service" (AP and UPI) polls. The "writers' poll" by Associated Press (AP) was the most popular, followed by the "coaches' poll" by United Press International) (UPI). Starting in 1974, the UPI joined AP in issuing its final poll after the bowl games were completed. Both polls operated under a point system of 20 points for first place, 19 for second, etc., whereby the overall ranking was determined. The AP poll consisted of the votes of 60 writers, though not all voted in each poll, and the UPI poll was taken of a 25-member board.
|School||1973 Conference||1974 Conference|
|Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles||PCAA (D-I)||CCAA (D-II)|
|Cal State Fullerton Titans||CCAA (D-II)||PCAA (D-I)|
|Xavier Musketeers||Independent||Dropped Program|
In the preseason poll released on September 2, 1974, the AP ranked Oklahoma No. 1, followed by No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Alabama and No. 5 USC.
September 7 No. 3 Notre Dame, the defending national champion, beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta, 31–7, in a nationally televised game on Monday night, September 9. Arizona State, UCLA and Houston were among the few other schools playing that weekend. Elsewhere, the scheduled Ole Miss-Tulane game in New Orleans was postponed until November 30 due to the threat of Hurricane Carmen. The poll was: 1.Oklahoma 2.Notre Dame 3.Alabama 4.Ohio State 5.USC
September 14 No. 1 Oklahoma beat Baylor, 28–11. No. 2 Notre Dame was idle. No. 3 Alabama won at No. 14 Maryland, 21–16. No. 4 Ohio State won at Minnesota, 34–19. No. 5 USC lost to Arkansas in Little Rock, 22–7. No. 7 Nebraska, which beat Oregon in its opener, 61–7, rose to fourth. The poll was 1.Notre Dame 2.Ohio State 3.Oklahoma 4.Nebraska 5.Alabama
September 21 No. 1 Notre Dame won at Northwestern, 49–3. No. 2 Ohio State beat Oregon State 51–10. No. 3 Oklahoma was idle. No. 4 Nebraska lost at Wisconsin, 21–20. No. 5 Alabama beat Southern Mississippi at Alabama, 52–0. No. 6 Michigan, which beat Colorado, 31–0, rose to fifth. The poll was 1.Notre Dame 2.Ohio State 3.Oklahoma 4.Alabama 5.Michigan
September 28 No. 1 Notre Dame was upset at home by Purdue, 31–20. No. 2 Ohio State defeated SMU, 28–9. No. 3 Oklahoma rolled over visiting Utah State, 72–3.No. 4 Alabama beat Vanderbilt 23–10. No. 5 Michigan beat Navy, 52–0 No. 9 Texas A&M, which won at Washington 28–15, rose to fifth. The poll was 1.Ohio State 2.Oklahoma 3.Alabama 4.Michigan 5.Texas A & M
October 5 No. 1 Ohio State beat Washington State 42–7 in Seattle. No. 2 Oklahoma shut out Wake Forest 63–0. No. 3 Alabama beat Mississippi at Jackson, 35–21. No. 4 Michigan won at Stanford, 27–16. No. 5 Texas A&M lost at Kansas, 28–10. No. 6 Nebraska, which beat Minnesota 54–0, rose to fifth. The poll was 1.Ohio State 2.Oklahoma 3.Alabama 4.Michigan 5.Nebraska
October 12 No. 1 Ohio State beat visiting No. 13 Wisconsin 52–7. No. 2 Oklahoma barely defeated No. 17 Texas in Dallas, 16–13. No. 3 Alabama survived a game against winless (0–4–0)Florida State, winning 8–7 No. 4 Michigan beat Michigan State, 21–7. No. 5 Nebraska lost to Missouri, 21–10. No. 10 Auburn, which beat Kentucky 31–13, rose to fifth. The poll was 1.Ohio State 2.Oklahoma 3.Michigan 4.Alabama 5.Auburn
October 19 No. 1 Ohio State beat Indiana, 49–9 No. 2 Oklahoma won at Colorado, 49–14. No. 3 Michigan won at Wisconsin, 24–20. No. 4 Alabama won at Tennessee, 28–6. No. 5 Auburn beat Georgia Tech 31–22. The poll was unchanged: 1.Ohio State 2.Oklahoma 3.Michigan 4.Alabama 5.Auburn
October 26 No. 1 Ohio State won at Northwestern, 55–7. No. 2 Oklahoma beat Kansas State, 63–0. No. 3 Michigan beat Minnesota, 49–0. No. 4 Alabama beat TCU 41–3 at Birmingham. No. 5 Auburn beat Florida State 38–6. The poll was unchanged 1.Ohio State 2.Oklahoma 3.Michigan 4.Alabama 5.Auburn
November 2 No. 1 Ohio State defeated Illinois at home, 49–7. With a record of 8–0–0, the Buckeyes had outscored their opposition 360 to 75. No. 2 Oklahoma won at Iowa State, 28–10. No. 3 Michigan won at Indiana, 21–7. No. 4 Alabama beat No. 17 Mississippi State 35–0, and thereby jumped over Michigan to No. 3. No. 5 Auburn lost at No. 11 Florida, 25–14. No. 8 Texas A&M, which beat Arkansas 20–10, returned to the Top Five. The poll was 1.Ohio State 2.Oklahoma 3.Alabama 4.Michigan 5.Texas A & M
November 9 In East Lansing, Michigan, No. 1 Ohio State was upset by unranked (and 4–3–1) Michigan State, 16–13. No. 2 Oklahoma, which had beaten Missouri 37–0, took the first spot. No. 3 Alabama beat LSU in Birmingham, 30–0. No. 4 Michigan won at Illinois, 14–6. No. 5 Texas A&M lost at SMU, 18–14. No. 8 Notre Dame was idle, but rose to fifth place. The AP poll was 1.Oklahoma 2.Alabama 3.Michigan 4.Ohio State 5.Notre Dame while the UPI poll was 1.Alabama 2.Michigan 3.Ohio State 4.Notre Dame 5.USC
November 16 No. 1 Oklahoma won at Kansas, 45–14. No. 2 Alabama won in Florida over Miami, 28–7. The other Miami, Miami University, was ranked 12th with a record of 8–0–1. No. 3 Michigan beat Purdue, 51–0, to extend its record to 10–0–0. No. 4 Ohio State won at Iowa, 35–10. No. 5 Notre Dame beat No. 17 Pittsburgh, 14–10. The AP poll was unchanged: 1.Oklahoma 2.Alabama 3.Michigan 4.Ohio State 5.Notre Dame, while the UPI poll was 1.Alabama 2.Michigan 3.Ohio State 4.Notre Dame 5.USC
November 23 No. 1 Oklahoma beat No. 6 Nebraska, 28–14. No. 2 Alabama was idle as it prepared for its season ender with Auburn. The game that determined the Big Ten championship took place in Columbus, Ohio, as No. 3 Michigan (10–0–0) met No. 4 Ohio State (10–1–0). OSU won, 12–10. No. 5 Notre Dame beat Air Force, 38–0. USC topped UCLA 34–9 for the Pac-8 title and Rose Bowl berth. The AP poll was 1.Oklahoma 2.Alabama 3.Ohio State 4.Notre Dame 5.USC and the UPI poll was 1.Alabama 2.Ohio State 3.Notre Dame 4.USC 5.Michigan
The annual Alabama-Auburn game took place on a Friday night, played in Birmingham on November 29, with No. 2 Alabama winning 17–13 over No. 7 Auburn to close its season at 11–0–0. On November 30 No. 1 Oklahoma won its annual season ender against OK State, 44–13, to also close its season 11–0–0. Alabama would go to the Sugar Bowl, while Oklahoma would stay home due to NCAA probation. No. 4 Notre Dame met No. 5 USC in Los Angeles. USC won, 55–24 after trailing 24–0, and reached the Top four.
In other action, Tulane lost its final game at Tulane Stadium 26–10 to Ole Miss. The Green Wave played 38 of their next 39 seasons at the Superdome, except for 2005, when they were forced to play all of their games away from New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Tulane returned to campus in 2014 when Yulman Stadium opened.
The AP poll was 1.Oklahoma 2.Alabama 3.Ohio State 4.USC 5.Michigan and the UPI poll was 1.Alabama 2.Ohio State 3.USC 4.Michigan 5.Auburn.
Oklahoma and Alabama, both 11–0–0, were the only undefeated and untied teams at season's end. AP ranked Oklahoma first, and UPI ranked Alabama No. 1.
Wednesday, January 1, 1975
|COTTON||No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions||41||No. 12 Baylor Bears||20|
|SUGAR||No. 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers||13||No. 18 Florida Gators||10|
|ROSE||No. 4 USC Trojans||18||No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes||17|
|ORANGE||No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish||13||No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide||11|
Nebraska erased a 10-point deficit by defeating Florida in the Sugar Bowl played on New Year's Eve. The following afternoon, Penn State defeated the surprise SWC champion Baylor in the Cotton Bowl. Third-ranked Ohio State (led by Woody Hayes) and No. 4 USC (coached by John McKay) played in the Rose Bowl before a crowd of 106,721 in Pasadena. Ohio State led 7–3 after three quarters, and 17–10 in the closing minutes. With 2:03 left, Pat Haden fired a 38-yard pass to John McKay Jr. (son of USC's coach) to make the score 17–16. Coach McKay then passed up a chance for a tie over the favored Buckeyes, and ordered the Trojans to go for two. Shelton Diggs dove and caught Haden's low pass in the end zone to give USC an 18–17 lead. Ohio State could only get close enough for a desperation 62-yard field goal attempt that fell about 8 yards short as time expired.
Alabama, coached by Bear Bryant was ranked No. 1 in the UPI poll, and No. 2 (behind on-probation Oklahoma) in the AP, as it went to the Orange Bowl, where it faced 9th ranked Notre Dame, playing its final game under Ara Parseghian. The Irish went out to a 13–0 lead early in the game, but Bama battled back with a field goal, a touchdown and a two-point run to close the score to 13–11 with three minutes left. After ruling out an onside kick attempt, the Tide force a Notre Dame punt and got the ball back with 1:37 left. Quarterback Richard Todd attempted to drive the team to field goal range, but he threw his 3rd interception of the game, and Notre Dame ran out the clock to preserve the upset win.
In the final polls, USC was ranked first by UPI, followed by Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Notre Dame. The Trojans were second in the AP poll, where the Oklahoma Sooners were the first place choice for 51 of the 60 writers. The NCAA recognized both the Sooners and the Trojans as champions in its football guide.
|SUN||El Paso||Texas||December 28||Mississippi State||26–24||North Carolina|
|GATOR||Jacksonville||Florida||December 30||No. 6 Auburn||27–3||No. 11 Texas|
|TANGERINE||Orlando||Florida||December 21||No. 15 Miami (Ohio)||21–10||Georgia|
|ASTRO-BLUEBONNET||Houston||Texas||December 23||Houston (tie)||31–31||No. 13 N.C. State (tie)|
|LIBERTY||Memphis||Tennessee||December 16||Tennessee||7–3||No. 10 Maryland|
|PEACH||Atlanta||Georgia||December 28||Texas Tech (tie)||6–6||Vanderbilt (tie)|
|FIESTA||Tempe||Arizona||December 28||Oklahoma State||16–6||No. 17 BYU|
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", 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 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with a split national championship and the ensuing controversy helped lead to the creation of the Bowl Coalition, a precursor to the Bowl Championship Series. The national title was split between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Buffaloes (11–1–1) took the AP poll while the Yellow Jackets (11–0–1) took the UPI Coaches poll by one vote over Colorado, 847 to 846. During the season Colorado had a particularly controversial victory over Missouri in what would later be known as the "Fifth Down Game".
The 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the Clemson Tigers, unbeaten and untied, claiming the national championship after a victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. This was also the first year of the California Bowl, played in Fresno, California; this game fancied itself as a "junior" version of the Rose Bowl as it pitted the Big West Conference champion vs. the Mid-American Conference champion.
The 1979 NCAA Division I-A football season saw the Alabama Crimson Tide bring home a national title with a perfect 12–0 season. The title was Alabama's 11th claimed, and their 6th Associated Press awarded title.
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.
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.
The 1967 NCAA University Division football season was the last one in which college football's champion was crowned before the bowl games. 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 and now as the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
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 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 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 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.