1995 NCAA Division I-A football season

Last updated
1995 NCAA Division I-A season
Number of teams108 [1]
Preseason AP No. 1 Florida State [2]
Post-season
Bowl games 18
Heisman Trophy Eddie George (running back, Ohio State)
Bowl Alliance Championship
1996 Fiesta Bowl
Site Sun Devil Stadium,
Tempe, Arizona
Champion(s) Nebraska (AP, Coaches, FWAA)
Division I-A football seasons
  1994
1996  

The 1995 NCAA Division I-A football season was the first year of the Bowl Alliance.

Contents

Tom Osborne led Nebraska to its second straight national title with a victory over Florida in the Fiesta Bowl.

This matchup was only possible because of the new Bowl Alliance. Under the old system, Nebraska would have been tied to the Orange Bowl and Florida to the Sugar Bowl. The Bowl Alliance created a national championship game which would rotate between the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta Bowls free of conference tie-ins and featuring the No. 1 and No. 2 teams as chosen by the Bowl Alliance Poll. The Pac-10 and Big Ten chose not to participate, keeping their tie-ins with the Rose Bowl.

Nebraska was a football dynasty, playing in its third consecutive national title game, and became the first school to claim back-to-back titles since the 1970s. This was a dominant Nebraska team, averaging 52 points per game and a 39-point average margin of victory, including a 62–24 victory over Florida. This lopsided victory came after Florida was picked by many sportswriters to win the game.

Ohio State almost created a national title controversy, going into its final regular season game against Michigan undefeated and ranked No. 2. Had they finished the season No. 2 the Bowl Alliance would have been unable to pit No. 1 vs. No. 2 as the Big Ten champ was tied to the Rose Bowl. However, Michigan upset Ohio State. Buckeye running back Eddie George still won the Heisman Trophy.

Things were lively in the state of Florida, where the Florida Gators won their third straight SEC championship. Florida State started the season No. 1, but lost an ACC game for the first time ever when Virginia stopped a last-minute drive a few inches from the end zone, knocking them out of the national title race.

However, Northwestern was able to steal the show as the year's Cinderella story. Its only regular season loss came against Miami-OH. Northwestern began the season with an upset of Notre Dame and went on to defeat Michigan and Penn State later in the season. Undefeated in the Big Ten after decades as a doormat, the Wildcats went on to face USC in the Rose Bowl. However, the Wildcats lost to the Trojans in what was a see-saw game until USC pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Miami and Alabama had to sit the post season out, as they were on NCAA probation.

The Southwest Conference played its final game ever, an 1817 Houston win over Rice. Four of its members would join the Big 8 to form the Big 12; the other four were split between the WAC and the newly formed Conference USA.

The Hall of Fame Bowl, originally played in Birmingham, then moved to Tampa, Florida gained corporate sponsorship, and was now known as the Outback Bowl. The Freedom Bowl was discontinued and the Holiday Bowl absorbed its WAC tie-in.

The first ever Division I-A overtime game was played during the 1995 bowl season, the Las Vegas Bowl between Toledo and Nevada. Overtime would be adopted permanently for all games in 1996. Due to the adoption of overtime, the season-ending 3–3 game between Wisconsin and Illinois on November 25 is the last tied game in Division I-A. [3]

Rule changes

Conference and program changes

One team upgraded from Division I-AA prior to the season. As such, the total number of Division I-A schools increased to 108.

School1994 Conference1995 Conference
North Texas Mean Green Southland Conference I-A Independent

Conference standings

1995 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 4 Florida State + 71    102 
No. 16 Virginia + 71    94 
Clemson  62    84 
Georgia Tech  53    65 
North Carolina  44    75 
Maryland  44    65 
NC State  26    38 
Duke  17    38 
Wake Forest  08    110 
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1995 Big East Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 10 Virginia Tech + 61    102 
No. 20 Miami (FL) + 61    83 
No. 19 Syracuse  52    93 
West Virginia  43    56 
Boston College  43    48 
Rutgers  25    47 
Temple  16    110 
Pittsburgh  07    29 
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1995 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Nebraska $700  1200
No. 5 Colorado 520  1020
No. 7 Kansas State 520  1020
No. 9 Kansas 520  1020
Oklahoma 250  551
Oklahoma State 250  480
Missouri 160  380
Iowa State 160  380
Rankings from AP Poll
1995 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 8 Northwestern $800  1020
No. 6 Ohio State 710  1120
No. 13 Penn State 530  930
No. 17 Michigan 530  940
Michigan State 431  651
No. 25 Iowa 440  840
Illinois 341  551
Wisconsin 341  452
Purdue 251  461
Minnesota 170  380
Indiana 080  290
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1995 Big West Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Nevada $700  930
Southwestern Louisiana 420  650
Utah State 430  470
Arkansas State 330  650
Northern Illinois 330  380
New Mexico State 340  470
San Jose State 340  380
Louisiana Tech 240  560
Pacific (CA) 240  380
UNLV 150  290
  • $ Conference champion
1995 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 24 Toledo $701  1101
Miami 611  821
Ball State 620  740
Western Michigan 620  740
Eastern Michigan 530  650
Bowling Green 350  560
Central Michigan 260  470
Akron 260  290
Ohio 161  281
Kent State 071  191
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1995 Pacific-10 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 12 USC ^ +611  921
Washington +611  741
No. 18 Oregon 620  930
Stanford 530  741
UCLA 440  750
Arizona 440  650
Arizona State 440  650
California 260  380
Washington State 260  380
Oregon State 080  1100
  • + Conference co-champions
  • ^ – Rose Bowl representative per tie-breaking rules based on overall record, due to Washington-USC tie
Rankings from AP Poll
1995 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Eastern Division
No. 2 Florida x$800  1210
No. 3 Tennessee 710  1110
Georgia 350  660
South Carolina 251  461
Kentucky 260  470
Vanderbilt 170  290
Western Division
Arkansas x620  850
No. 21 Alabama 530  830
No. 22 Auburn 530  840
LSU 431  741
Ole Miss 350  650
Mississippi State 170  380
Championship: Florida 34, Arkansas 3
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1995 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 14 Texas $700  1021
No. 15 Texas A&M 520  930
No. 23 Texas Tech 520  930
Baylor 520  740
TCU 340  650
Houston 250  290
Rice 160  281
SMU 070  1100
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1995 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Colorado State + 62    84 
BYU + 62    74 
Utah + 62    74 
Air Force + 62    85 
San Diego State  53    84 
Wyoming  44    65 
Fresno State  26    57 
New Mexico  26    47 
Hawaii  26    48 
UTEP  17    210 
  • + Conference co-champions
1995 NCAA Division I-A independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
East Carolina     930
No. 11 Notre Dame     930
Louisville     740
Cincinnati     650
Southern Miss     650
Army     551
Navy     560
Tulsa     470
Memphis     380
Northeast Louisiana     290
North Texas     290
Tulane     290
Rankings from AP Poll

No. 1 and No. 2 progress

WEEKSNo. 1No. 2EventDate
PRE-9 Florida State Nebraska Nebraska 44, Colorado 21Oct 28
10NebraskaFlorida State Virginia 33, Florida St. 28Nov 2
11-13Nebraska Ohio State+ Michigan 31, Ohio State 23Nov 25
14-15Nebraska Florida Nebraska 62, Florida 24Jan 1

+Ohio State, a Big Ten school, was not part of the Bowl Alliance. Florida was No. 3 during weeks 11 through 13.

Bowl games

Final AP Poll

  1. Nebraska
  2. Florida
  3. Tennessee
  4. Florida State
  5. Colorado
  6. Ohio State
  7. Kansas State
  8. Northwestern
  9. Kansas
  10. Virginia Tech
  11. Notre Dame
  12. USC
  13. Penn State
  14. Texas
  15. Texas A&M
  16. Virginia
  17. Michigan
  18. Oregon
  19. Syracuse
  20. Miami-FL
  21. Alabama
  22. Auburn
  23. Texas Tech
  24. Toledo
  25. Iowa

Final Coaches Poll

  1. Nebraska
  2. Tennessee
  3. Florida
  4. Colorado
  5. Florida St.
  6. Kansas St.
  7. Northwestern
  8. Ohio St.
  9. Virginia Tech
  10. Kansas
  11. Southern California
  12. Penn St.
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Texas
  15. Texas A&M
  16. Syracuse
  17. Virginia
  18. Oregon
  19. Michigan
  20. Texas Tech
  21. Auburn
  22. Iowa
  23. East Carolina
  24. Toledo
  25. LSU

Heisman Trophy voting

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

Winner: Eddie George, Ohio State, Running Back (1460 votes)

Other major awards

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References

  1. "1995 NCAA Division IA Football Power Ratings". www.jhowell.net.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Sometimes history isn't always pretty as the CFB's last tie shows". ESPN.com.