1992 NCAA Division I-A football season

Last updated
1992 NCAA Division I-A season
Number of teams107 [1]
Preseason AP No. 1 Miami (FL) [2]
Post-season
Bowl games 18
Heisman Trophy Gino Torretta (quarterback, Miami (FL))
Bowl Coalition Championship
1993 Sugar Bowl
Site Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Champion(s) Alabama
Division I-A football seasons
  1991
1993  

The 1992 NCAA Division I-A football season was the first year of the Bowl Coalition and concluded with Alabama's first national championship in thirteen years—their first since the departure of Bear Bryant. One of Bryant's former players, Gene Stallings, was the head coach, and he used a style similar to Bryant's, a smashmouth running game combined with a tough defense.

Contents

The top-tier games of the Bowl Coalition were the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl Classic, and Fiesta Bowl. Under the agreement, the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Cotton Bowl Classic hosted the Southeastern Conference, Big 8, and Southwest Conference champions, respectively, and then a pool of at large teams was formed between the Atlantic Coast Conference champ, the Big East champ, Notre Dame, and two conference runners-up from the Big 8, SWC, ACC, Big East and Pac-10. The highest ranked host team would play the highest ranked at-large team. If the two highest ranked teams were both at-large teams, the championship game would be hosted by the Fiesta Bowl. Three other bowls—the Blockbuster Bowl, Gator Bowl, and John Hancock Bowl—were second-tier games of the Bowl Coalition.

For this year, (host) SEC champ Alabama played (at-large) Big East Champ Miami-FL, the Orange Bowl featured (host) Big-8 champ Nebraska and (at-large) ACC champ Florida St., the Cotton Bowl Classic featured (host) SWC champ Texas A&M and (at-large) independent Notre Dame, and the Fiesta Bowl featured (at-large) Big East runner up Syracuse and (at-large) Big 8 runner up Colorado.

The 1992 season also saw the expansion of the SEC and the first conference championship game to be played in the country. Before the 1992 season, the Arkansas Razorbacks and the South Carolina Gamecocks joined the SEC, which expanded the conference to twelve teams. The conference then split into two divisions, and the winner of each division would face off in the SEC Championship Game in Birmingham's historic Legion Field (later moved to Atlanta's Georgia Dome, in 1994). In the first year of the new system, Alabama won the SEC West, Florida won the SEC East, and the Tide won the match-up 28–21 on an Antonio Langham interception return for a touchdown in the closing minutes.

In the Sugar Bowl, to decide the national champion, Miami came in a heavy favorite with even heavier swagger. The Tide defense, however, with its eleven-man fronts and zone blitzes, heavily confused Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta and Alabama won in a defensive rout, 34–13.

In other circles, the Big West Conference lost two members; Fresno State left for the WAC and Long Beach State stopped sponsoring football, but they also gained a member in Nevada, which made the jump from Division I-AA. Nevada went 5–1 in conference, winning the Big West championship and representing the conference in the 1992 Las Vegas Bowl (formerly the California Bowl held in Fresno, California).

Rule changes

Conference and program changes

School1991 Conference1992 Conference
Akron Zips I-A Independent MAC
Arkansas Razorbacks SWC SEC
Arkansas State I-AA Independent I-A Independent
Florida State Seminoles I-A Independent ACC
Fresno State Bulldogs Big West WAC
Long Beach State 49ers Big West Dropped Program
Nevada Wolf Pack Big Sky (I-AA) Big West (I-A)
South Carolina Gamecocks I-A Independent SEC

Conference standings

1992 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 2 Florida State $800  1110
No. 17 NC State 620  931
No. 19 North Carolina 530  930
No. 25 Wake Forest 440  840
Virginia 440  740
Georgia Tech 440  560
Clemson 350  560
Maryland 260  380
Duke 080  290
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1992 Big East Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Miami (FL) 400  1110
No. 6 Syracuse 610  1020
Rutgers 420  740
No. 21 Boston College 211  831
West Virginia 231  542
Pittsburgh 130  390
Virginia Tech 140  281
Temple 060  1100
  • The Big East did not crown an official champion until 1993 when full league play began.
Rankings from AP Poll
1992 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 14 Nebraska $610  930
No. 13 Colorado %511  921
No. 22 Kansas 430  840
Oklahoma 322  542
Oklahoma State 241  371
Kansas State 250  560
Iowa State 250  470
Missouri 250  380
  • $ – Bowl Coalition representative as champion
    % – Bowl Coalition at-large representative
Rankings from AP Poll
1992 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 5 Michigan $602  903
No. 18 Ohio State 521  831
Michigan State 530  560
Illinois 431  651
Iowa 440  570
Indiana 350  560
Wisconsin 350  560
Purdue 350  470
Northwestern 350  380
Minnesota 260  290
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1992 Big West Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Nevada $510  750
San Jose State 420  740
Utah State 420  560
New Mexico State 330  650
UNLV 330  650
Pacific (CA) 240  380
Cal State Fullerton 060  290
  • $ Conference champion
1992 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Bowling Green $800  1020
Western Michigan 630  731
Toledo 530  830
Akron 530  731
Miami 530  641
Ball State 540  560
Central Michigan 450  560
Kent State 270  290
Eastern Michigan 170  1100
Ohio 170  1100
  • $ Conference champion
1992 Pacific-10 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 11 Washington +620  930
No. 9 Stanford +620  1030
No. 15 Washington State 530  930
USC 530  651
Arizona 431  651
Arizona State 440  650
Oregon 440  660
UCLA 350  650
California 260  470
Oregon State 071  191
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1992 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Eastern Division
No. 10 Florida xy620  940
No. 8 Georgia x620  1020
No. 12 Tennessee 530  930
South Carolina 350  560
Vanderbilt 260  470
Kentucky 260  470
Western Division
No. 1 Alabama x$800  1300
No. 16 Ole Miss 530  930
No. 23 Mississippi State 440  750
Arkansas 341  371
Auburn 251  551
LSU 170  290
Championship: Alabama 28, Florida 21
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll
1992 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 7 Texas A&M $700  1210
Baylor 430  750
Rice 430  650
Texas 430  650
Texas Tech 430  560
SMU 250  560
Houston 250  470
TCU 160  281
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1992 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 20 Hawaii +620  1120
No. 24 Fresno State +620  940
BYU +620  850
San Diego State 530  551
Air Force 440  750
Utah 440  660
Colorado State 350  570
Wyoming 350  570
New Mexico 260  380
UTEP 170  1100
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1992 NCAA Division I-A independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 4 Notre Dame     1011
Southern Miss     740
Penn State     750
Memphis State     650
Army     560
East Carolina     560
Louisiana Tech     560
Louisville     560
Northern Illinois     560
Tulsa     470
Cincinnati     380
Arkansas State     290
Southwestern Louisiana     290
Tulane     290
Navy     1100
Rankings from AP Poll

No. 1 and No. 2 progress

Until the November 10, 1992, poll, No. 1 and No. 2 shifted between Miami and Seattle, as the Miami Hurricanes and the Washington Huskies were only points apart at the top. In the preseason poll, Miami had 40 of the 62 first place votes cast, and Washington 12. After both teams went 5–0, they each got first place votes from 31 electors, split 31½ each, and on October 13, the Huskies were ahead by a single point 1,517½ to 1,516½. The following week, there was a tie for first place for the first time in the history of the AP poll, with Miami and Washington each collecting 1,517 points (Miami had more first place votes, 31 to 30, as another writer went with 7–0–0 Alabama). The next week, Miami was ahead 1,517 to 1,516, and the week after, Washington was on top again. On November 7, the Huskies lost at Arizona, 16–3 to fall to 8–1–0. In the remaining polls, Miami was the clear cut favorite for No. 1, with 61 of the 62 votes, and Alabama was everyone's favorite No. 2. Both finished the regular season unbeaten. Since Miami was an "at-large" school, and Alabama was the highest ranked of the "host schools" (qualifying for the Sugar Bowl as the Southeastern Conference champion), the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup would take place in New Orleans.

Bowl games

Bowl GameWinning TeamLosing TeamDate
Peach Bowl No. 19 North Carolina 21No. 24 Mississippi State 171/2/93
Sugar Bowl (National Championship Game) No. 2 Alabama 34No. 1 Miami 131/1/93
Orange Bowl No. 3 Florida State 27No. 11 Nebraska 141/1/93
Cotton Bowl Classic No. 5 Notre Dame 28No. 4 Texas A&M 31/1/93
Fiesta Bowl No. 6 Syracuse 26No. 10 Colorado 221/1/93
Rose Bowl No. 7 Michigan 38No. 9 Washington 311/1/93
Florida Citrus Bowl No. 8 Georgia 21No. 15 Ohio State 141/1/93
Blockbuster Bowl No. 13 Stanford 24No. 21 Penn State 31/1/93
Hall of Fame Bowl No. 17 Tennessee 38No. 16 Boston College 231/1/93
Gator Bowl No. 14 Florida 27No. 12 NC State 1012/31/92
Liberty Bowl No. 20 Ole Miss 13 Air Force 012/31/92
Independence Bowl Wake Forest 39 Oregon 3512/31/92
John Hancock Bowl Baylor 20No. 22 Arizona 1512/31/92
Holiday Bowl Hawaii 27 Illinois 1712/30/92
Copper Bowl No. 18 Washington St. 31 Utah 2812/29/92
Freedom Bowl Fresno State 24No. 23 USC 712/28/92
Aloha Bowl Kansas 23No. 25 BYU 2012/25/92
Las Vegas Bowl Bowling Green 35 Nevada 3412/18/92

Final rankings

Final AP Poll

  1. Alabama
  2. Florida State
  3. Miami (FL)
  4. Notre Dame
  5. Michigan
  6. Syracuse
  7. Texas A&M
  8. Georgia
  9. Stanford
  10. Florida
  11. Washington
  12. Tennessee
  13. Colorado
  14. Nebraska
  15. Washington State
  16. Mississippi
  17. N.C. State
  18. Ohio State
  19. North Carolina
  20. Hawaii
  21. Boston College
  22. Kansas
  23. Mississippi State
  24. Fresno State
  25. Wake Forest

Final Coaches Poll

  1. Alabama
  2. Florida State
  3. Miami (FL)
  4. Notre Dame
  5. Michigan
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Syracuse
  8. Georgia
  9. Stanford
  10. Washington
  11. Florida
  12. Tennessee
  13. Colorado
  14. Nebraska
  15. N.C. State
  16. Mississippi
  17. Washington State
  18. North Carolina
  19. Ohio State
  20. Hawaii
  21. Boston College
  22. Fresno State
  23. Kansas
  24. Penn State
  25. Wake Forest

Awards and honors

Heisman Trophy

The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the Most Outstanding Player of the year.

Winner: Gino Torretta, Miami-FL, Sr. QB (1400 votes)

Other major awards

Coaching changes

In-season

SchoolOutgoing coachDateReasonReplacement
Arkansas Jack Crowe September 6resigned [3] Joe Kines (interim)
Eastern Michigan Jim Harkema September 29resigned [4] Jan Quarless (interim)
Pittsburgh Paul Hackett November 25resigned [5] Sal Sunseri (interim)

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References

  1. http://www.jhowell.net/cf/cf1992.htm
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Arkansas Coach Quits After Loss to The Citadel". Los Angeles Times . Associated Press. September 7, 1992. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  4. Blade staff and wire reports (September 30, 1992). "Harkema Quits". Toledo Blade . Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  5. "Sunseri takes over Panthers for now". Observer–Reporter . Associated Press. November 28, 1992. Retrieved December 11, 2013.