|1975 NCAA Division I football season|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Oklahoma|
|Regular season||September 4 – December 6, 1975|
|Number of bowls||11|
|Bowl games||December 20, 1975 – January 1, 1976|
|Champion(s)||Oklahoma (AP, Coaches, FWAA, NFF)|
|Heisman||Archie Griffin (running back, Ohio State)|
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.
During the 20th century, the NCAA had no playoff for major college football, teams that would later be described 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). The AP poll consisted of the votes of as many as 63 writers, though not all voted in each poll, and the UPI poll was taken of a 25-member board of coaches.
In addition to the following programs the Southland Conference was also classified as University Division.
|School||1974 Conference||1975 Conference|
|Ball State Cardinals||D-II Independent||MAC|
|Central Michigan Chippewas||D-II Independent||MAC|
|Indiana State Sycamores||D-II Independent||D-I Independent|
|Louisville Cardinals||Missouri Valley||D-I Independent|
|Northern Illinois Huskies||D-I Independent||MAC|
|North Texas State Mean Green||Missouri Valley||D-I Independent|
|Wisconsin–Milwaukee Panthers||D-II Independent||Dropped Program|
In the preseason poll released on September 1, the AP ranked Oklahoma first, followed by Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State and USC.
September 6 Most teams had yet to open their seasons, but No. 2 Alabama lost its home opener in Birmingham to unranked Missouri, 20–7. No. 6 Penn State was the only other top 10 team to play the weekend, and struggled to defeat Temple in a game in Philadelphia, winning 26–25. In the next poll, Missouri rose to fifth place, while Alabama dropped to 13th. Penn State fell from 6th to 10th. The poll: 1.Oklahoma 2.Michigan 3.Ohio State 4.USC 5.Missouri
September 13 No. 1 Oklahoma beat Oregon 62–7. No. 2 Michigan won at Wisconsin, 23–6. No. 3 Ohio State won at No. 11 Michigan State, 21–0. No. 4 USC beat Duke 35–7 at home and No. 5 Missouri was idle. The poll was unchanged: 1.Oklahoma 2.Michigan 3.Ohio State 4.USC 5.Missouri
September 20 No. 1 Oklahoma beat No. 15 Pittsburgh 46–10, and Michigan was tied by Stanford at home, 19–19. No. 3 Ohio State beat No. 7 Penn State 17–9. No. 4 USC defeated Oregon State 24–7. No. 5 Missouri won at Illinois, 30–20. Missouri's Big Eight rival, No. 6 Nebraska, beat Indiana 45–0, and rose to fourth. The poll: 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Missouri
In a Friday night game September 26 at Miami, No. 1 Oklahoma eked out a win over the Hurricanes, 20–17. The next day, September 27 No. 2 Ohio State beat North Carolina 32–7. No. 3 USC beat visiting Purdue, 19–6. Nebraska beat TCU 56–14, and No. 5 Missouri edged Wisconsin, 27–21. The poll was unchanged: 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Missouri
October 4 No. 1 Oklahoma had another narrow win, beating visiting No. 19 Colorado, 21–20, while in Los Angeles, No. 2 Ohio State had no problems in defeating No. 13 UCLA, 41–20. The Buckeyes and Bruins would meet again at season's end. No. 3 USC won 27–16 at Iowa, and No. 4 Nebraska defeated the Miami Hurricanes at home, 31–16. No. 5 Missouri played its third straight game against a Big Ten team, losing at No. 12 Michigan, 31–7. After a promising start, the Tigers would go on to a 6–5–0 finish. No. 7 Texas, which beat Utah State 61–7, rose to fifth. Ohio State took over first place from Oklahoma, with 47 of the 62 first place votes. The poll was 1.Ohio State 2.Oklahoma 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Texas
October 11 No. 1 Ohio State beat visiting Iowa 49–0. In their annual meeting in Dallas, No. 2 Oklahoma defeated No. 5 Texas 24–17 to regain the top spot. No. 3 USC beat Washington State 28–10. No. 4 Nebraska beat visiting Kansas 16–0. No. 6 Texas A&M, which won 38–9 at Texas Tech, rose to fifth. The poll was 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Texas A & M
October 18 No. 1 Oklahoma won 25–3 at Kansas State, and No. 2 Ohio State had a second straight shutout at home, 56–0 over Wisconsin. No. 3 USC beat visiting Oregon 17–3. No. 4 Nebraska won 28–20 at Oklahoma State, and No. 5 Texas A&M won at TCU, 14–6. The poll was unchanged: 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.USC 4.Nebraska 5.Texas A & M
October 25 No. 1 Oklahoma beat Iowa State, 39–7, No. 2 Ohio State won 35–6 at Purdue, and No. 3 USC won at No. 14 Notre Dame, 24–17. No. 4 Nebraska beat No. 10 Colorado, 63–21, and No. 5 Texas A&M beat Baylor at home, 19–10. The poll was 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.Nebraska 4.USC 5.Texas A & M
November 1 No. 1 Oklahoma won 27–7 at No. 19 Oklahoma State, No. 2 Ohio State defeated Indiana at home, 24–14, and No. 3 Nebraska won 30–7 at No. 12 Missouri. Coach John McKay announced he would be leaving USC after the season to coach the NFL's expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and No. 4 USC abruptly lost 28–14 at California, beginning a four-game losing streak after a 7–0 start. No. 5 Texas A&M was idle, and No. 6 Alabama beat Mississippi State in Jackson, 21–10. The poll was 1.Oklahoma 2.Ohio State 3.Nebraska 4.Texas A & M 5.Alabama
November 8 No. 1 Oklahoma were stunned 23–3 in Norman by the visiting Kansas Jayhawks, led by quarterback Nolan Cromwell. No. 2 Ohio State won at Illinois, 40–3, and No. 3 Nebraska won at Kansas State, 12–0. No. 4 Texas A&M beat SMU, 36–3, and No. 5 Alabama won 23–10 at LSU. No. 6 Michigan, which beat Purdue 28–0, rose to fourth. The poll was: 1.Ohio State 2.Nebraska 3.Texas A & M 4.Michigan 5.Alabama
November 15 No. 1 Ohio State beat Minnesota 38–6, and No. 2 Nebraska beat Iowa State 52–0. No. 3 Texas A&M won 33–14 at Rice, 33–14, and No. 4 Michigan won 21–15 at Illinois to extend its record to 8–0–2, while No. 5 Alabama beat Southern Mississippi at home, 27–6. The poll was unchanged: 1.Ohio State 2.Nebraska 3.Texas A & M 4.Michigan 5.Alabama
November 22 The game that determined the Big Ten championship took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as unbeaten (10–0) No. 1 Ohio State visited unbeaten, but twice tied (8–0–2) No. 4 Michigan. OSU won 21–14 and got the trip to the Rose Bowl, where it would have a rematch with 11th-ranked UCLA (The Bruins would beat out Cal for the Rose Bowl bid by beating USC, 25–22, the following Friday). In Norman, Oklahoma, a trip to the Orange Bowl was on the line as No. 2 Nebraska (10–0) closed its season against No. 7 Oklahoma (9–1) in a game for the Big Eight title. Oklahoma handed the Cornhuskers their first loss, 35–10, and Nebraska settled for a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 5 Alabama were both idle, No. 6 Texas (9–1) was also idle, but rose to fifth. The poll was: 1.Ohio State 2.Texas A & M 3.Oklahoma 4.Alabama 5.Texas
November 29 No. 2 Texas A&M (9–0) hosted the No. 5 Texas (9–1) at College Station, with the Aggies winning, 20–10. No. 4 Alabama closed its season with its tenth straight win after its opening loss, a 28–0 win over Auburn in Birmingham. In the final AP poll released on December 1, No. 1 Ohio State (11–0), No. 2 Texas A&M (10–0) and No. 7 Arizona State (11–0) were all undefeated. On December 6, however, the Aggies lost in Little Rock to No. 18 Arkansas, 31–6. The Southwest Conference race finished with a three way tie between Arkansas, Texas and Texas A&M, all 6–1 in conference play. Arkansas got the Cotton Bowl berth, while Texas went to the Bluebonnet Bowl and Texas A&M to the Liberty Bowl.
Thursday, January 1, 1976
|COTTON||No. 18 Arkansas Razorbacks||31||No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs||10|
|SUGAR||No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide||13||No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions||6|
|ROSE||No. 11 UCLA Bruins||23||No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes||10|
|ORANGE||No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners||14||No. 5 Michigan Wolverines||6|
This was the first season that both the Pac-8 and Big Ten conferences allowed their teams to play in bowl games other than the Rose Bowl. Unranked USC (7–4), fifth in the Pac-8 (3–4), was invited to the Liberty Bowl, head coach John McKay's final game before going to the NFL to coach the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. California, who tied UCLA for the Pac-8 title (UCLA earned the Rose Bowl berth due to their win over Cal) was left out of any bowls, as were Washington and Stanford, all of whom beat and finished ahead of USC. Michigan, the Big Ten runner up, was invited to play Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, which passed over higher-ranked Alabama (10–1), who met Penn State in the Sugar Bowl, rather than the higher-ranked Big 8 runner-up, Nebraska. The Huskers went to the Fiesta Bowl to play host Arizona State (11–0).
USC sent McKay out a winner and climbed to 17th, as they shut out uninspired Texas A&M, still reeling from being upset by Arkansas on December 6 and losing out on the Cotton Bowl bid. The day after Christmas, Arizona State, the WAC champion, won arguably the biggest game to date in their history over Big 8 runner-up Nebraska, 17–14. Arizona State was one of two Division I teams to finish undefeated and untied as they completed a 12–0 season. Another ASU, Arkansas State, also finished unbeaten and untied, but were unranked. New Year's Eve saw Alabama beat Penn State 13–6 in the Sugar Bowl. On New Year's Day, Arkansas beat SEC runner up Georgia in the Cotton Bowl 31–10. The Rose Bowl was a rematch between No. 1 Ohio State and No. 11 UCLA; Ohio State had beaten UCLA in Los Angeles on October 4, 41–20. After that game, Ohio State coach Woody Hayes was so impressed by UCLA in defeat, he predicted that his Buckeyes would be playing the Bruins again in the Rose Bowl. This time, the 11th-ranked Bruins (8–2–1) handed the previously undefeated and No. 1 ranked Buckeyes a 23–10 loss. UCLA was the only team to score more than 14 points on Ohio State all season, and they did it twice. No. 3 Oklahoma (10–1) defeated No. 5 Michigan (8–1–2), 14–6, in the Orange Bowl to claim the national title. The final rankings were 1.Oklahoma 2. Arizona State 3.Ohio State 4.Alabama 5.UCLA
|FIESTA||Tempe, AZ||December 26||No. 7 Arizona State||17–14||No. 6 Nebraska|
|SUN||El Paso, TX||December 26||No. 20 Pittsburgh||33–19||No. 19 Kansas|
|LIBERTY||Memphis, TN||December 22||USC||20–0||No. 2 Texas A&M|
|GATOR||Jacksonville, FL||December 29||No. 17 Maryland||13–0||No. 13 Florida|
|TANGERINE||Orlando, FL||December 20||No. 16 Miami (OH)||20–7||South Carolina|
|ASTRO-BLUEBONNET||Houston, TX||December 27||No. 9 Texas||38–21||No. 10 Colorado|
|PEACH||Atlanta, GA||December 31||West Virginia||13–10||NC State|
The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player
Through 2020, Griffin is the only multiple winner of the Heisman Trophy.
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 1982 NCAA Division I-A football season was the last for Paul "Bear" Bryant as head coach at Alabama, retiring with 323 victories in 38 seasons.
The 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with Miami winning its second national championship during the '80s in an Orange Bowl match-up featuring a rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between the top ranked Oklahoma Sooners and the Hurricanes.
The 1985 NCAA Division I-A football season saw the Oklahoma Sooners, led by head coach Barry Switzer, win the national championship.
The 1983 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the University of Miami, led by Bernie Kosar, winning their first national championship over perennial power and top ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.
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 1980 NCAA Division I-A football season saw a university from the state of Georgia take its first national title since 1942.
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 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 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 1952 college football season ended with the unbeaten Michigan State Spartans (9–0) and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12–0) each claiming a national championship from different polls. Michigan State finished first according to two of the "wire service" polls, which both placed Georgia Tech second. Georgia Tech was first in the International News Service poll. UP and INS merged in 1958 to form UPI. Although the Spartans became members of the Big Ten Conference in 1950, full participation did not come until 1953, and under the terms of their entry into the conference, they were not allowed to participate in postseason play. Georgia Tech won the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day in New Orleans.