2001 NCAA Division I-A football season

Last updated
2001 NCAA Division I-A season
Rosebowl.JPG
The Rose Bowl stadium was the site of the BCS National Championship Game for the 2001 season.
Number of teams117 [1]
Preseason AP No. 1 Florida
Post-season
DurationDecember 18, 2001 –
January 3, 2002
Bowl games 25
Heisman Trophy Eric Crouch (quarterback, Nebraska)
Bowl Championship Series
2002 Rose Bowl
Site Rose Bowl Stadium,
Pasadena, California
Champion(s) Miami (FL)
Division I-A football seasons
  2000
2002  

The 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season was the first college football season of the 21st Century. It ended with the University of Miami winning the national title for the fifth time.

Contents

The Hurricanes were led by Larry Coker, who was in his first year as head coach after five years as Miami's offensive coordinator under Butch Davis and became the first head coach since 1989's Dennis Erickson from the University of Miami to win a national title in his first season. Coker had the benefit of inheriting a star-studded program that Davis had rebuilt in the aftermath of NCAA sanctions in the mid-to-late '90s. Miami completed a perfect 12–0 season, which culminated in a 37–14 win over Nebraska in the Rose Bowl BCS National Championship Game.

In yet another controversial season for the BCS, (AP) No. 4 Nebraska was chosen as the national title opponent despite not having even played in the Big 12 championship game. The Huskers went into their last regularly scheduled game at Colorado undefeated, but left Boulder having lost the game by a score of 62–36. The Buffaloes went on to win the Big 12 championship game. The BCS computers, among other things, didn't weigh later games any more heavily than earlier games, and one-loss Nebraska came out ahead of two-loss No. 3 Colorado and one-loss, No. 2 Oregon. Some fans chanted "number 4" at the title game held at the Rose Bowl.

Florida State did not win the ACC championship for the first time since joining the conference in 1991, losing out to Maryland. Steve Spurrier left the Florida Gators at the end of the season to coach the Washington Redskins, accepting what was then the largest salary for an NFL head coach.

The season had one of the more competitive Heisman Trophy races with Eric Crouch of Nebraska winning by only a small margin over Rex Grossman of Florida. All of the five finalists played the quarterback position. Two of the finalists were coached at some point by Oregon offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford. Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El earned first-team All-America honors from the FWAA after becoming the first NCAA Division I-A quarterback to throw for 40 touchdowns and rush for 40 touchdowns in a career. He also became the first player in NCAA I-A history to record 2,500 total yards from scrimmage in four consecutive seasons.

Joe Paterno needed just 2 victories to pass legendary Alabama Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant as the winningest coach in Division I-A college football, However, after the Nittany Lions started the season 0–4 it looked like Bear Bryant's record would remain intact for at least 1 more year. After a 20–0 drubbing Penn State took against Michigan at home on Oct. 6, the Nittany Lions were a dismal 1–6 since Paterno notched his 321st coaching win on Oct. 28, 2000. [2]

At Northwestern on October 20, the Lions lost a late 31–28 lead to fall behind 35–31 with two minutes to go. With their starting quarterback, Matt Senneca, out with an injury, Penn State put its collective hopes on the shoulders of redshirt freshman quarterback Zack Mills. Mills drove the Lions 69 yards in 1:41, leading Penn State to its first victory of the year by a 38–35 margin. The victory gave Paterno 323 career wins, tying Bear Bryant's record. [3]

A week later, Penn State hosted Ohio State, who held on to a small lead for most of the game until the Buckeyes started to pull away with a 27–9 lead following a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown by Derek Ross in the third quarter. Penn State would fight all the way back with a 69-yard touchdown run by Mills and a 26-yard pass to Tony Johnson to cut the lead to 27–22, and they would take the lead early in the fourth quarter with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Eric McCoo. [4] Penn State's 29–27 win moved Paterno in to first place on the all-time coaching victories list with 324 wins. He would later slip behind Bobby Bowden at Florida State, but he would relinquish the top spot a few years later. Paterno remains the winningest coach in Division I-A college football with a final record of 409–136–3. [5]

The newly formed Boise State/Fresno State rivalry would be a major factor in the race to be the "BCS buster" for several seasons. Both teams ultimately lost the race to Utah, who became the first to bust the BCS in 2004, and the first to make a second trip in 2008.

The Aloha Bowl and Oahu Bowl lost funding after Chrysler Corporation, which owned the former bowl's sponsor of Jeep, was acquired by Daimler-Benz and became DaimlerChrysler. The Aloha Bowl moved to Seattle and became the Seattle Bowl.

The New Orleans Bowl began to play, the host team being the Sun Belt champion.

End of season upsets and BCS drama

The final 3 weeks of the regular season saw an incredible amount of drama as several teams were in prime position to earn their way to the Rose Bowl to play Miami. On November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, Nebraska was the number one team in the BCS heading to Boulder to play the Colorado Buffaloes. After a devastating 62–36 loss, they were unable to win their division and their season seemed to fall by the wayside, allowing the Florida Gators the inside track to meet Miami if they were able to win out.

This also gave the Oklahoma Sooners the opportunity to earn their way to the National Championship if Florida was to stumble against either Tennessee or in the SEC Championship game. Those hopes would soon dissolve the day after Nebraska's loss as the Sooners were upset at home by Oklahoma State 16–13, ending their title hopes and knocking them out of the Big 12 Championship game as well.

Florida had an inside track to the National Championship game until the following week in their matchup with Tennessee, losing that game 34–32 in Gainesville. The loss not only ended their dreams of a trip to the Rose Bowl but also ended their shot at going to Atlanta for the SEC title game. Tennessee then stepped into the number 2 spot the following week going into the SEC Championship against LSU but was upset by the Tigers 31–20, and their hopes of National Championship appearance were gone as quickly as they had come.

Later that evening, Texas entered the Big 12 Championship game against Colorado in prime time television knowing that a win would seal their spot in the Rose Bowl as the number 2 team in the BCS. Unfortunately they, too, were upset by the Buffaloes, feeling the same sting that Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Nebraska had felt the previous few weeks.

Miami was left at the top of all the polls, and the debate began about who deserved to play in the Rose Bowl. Many felt Colorado was the hottest team in the country after dismantling Nebraska and then beating the Longhorns in the Big 12 title game, but their 2 losses at the beginning of the year were tough to ignore. Others felt Oregon deserved the honor, being ranked in some polls as the number 2 team in the country. Ultimately, after all of the upsets, Nebraska ended up as the number 2 team in the BCS, despite being the team to start all of the drama 3 weeks earlier.

Rules changes

The NCAA Rules Committee adopted the following rules changes for the 2001 season:

Conference and program changes

One team upgraded from Division I-AA, thus increasing the number of Division I-A schools from 116 to 117.

School2000 Conference2001 Conference
Arkansas State Indians Big West Sun Belt
Boise State Broncos Big West WAC
Idaho Vandals Big West Sun Belt
Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns I-A Independent Sun Belt
Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks I-A Independent Sun Belt
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs I-A Independent WAC
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders I-A Independent Sun Belt
New Mexico State Aggies Big West Sun Belt
North Texas Mean Green Big West Sun Belt
TCU Horned Frogs WAC Conference USA
Troy State Trojans I-AA Independent I-A Independent
Utah State Aggies Big West I-A Independent

Conference standings

2001 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 11 Maryland $ 71    102 
No. 15 Florida State  62    84 
North Carolina  53    85 
Clemson  44    75 
No. 24 Georgia Tech  44    85 
NC State  44    75 
Wake Forest  35    65 
Virginia  35    57 
Duke  08    011 
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Big 12 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Northern Division
No. 9 Colorado xy$ 71    103 
No. 8 Nebraska x% 71    112 
Iowa State  44    75 
Kansas State  35    66 
Missouri  35    47 
Kansas  17    38 
Southern Division
No. 5 Texas xy 71    112 
No. 6 Oklahoma  62    112 
Texas Tech  44    75 
Texas A&M  44    84 
Oklahoma State  26    47 
Baylor  08    38 
Championship: Colorado 39, Texas 37
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
  • % BCS at-large representative
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Big East Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 1 Miami (FL) $# 70    120 
No. 14 Syracuse  61    103 
No. 21 Boston College  43    84 
No. 18 Virginia Tech  43    84 
Pittsburgh  43    75 
Temple  25    47 
West Virginia  16    38 
Rutgers  07    29 
    1. BCS National Champion
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 12 Illinois $ 71    102 
No. 20 Michigan  62    84 
Ohio State  53    75 
Iowa  44    75 
Purdue  44    66 
Penn State  44    56 
Indiana  44    56 
Michigan State  35    75 
Wisconsin  35    57 
Minnesota  26    47 
Northwestern  26    47 
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Conference USA football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 17 Louisville $ 61    112 
Cincinnati  52    75 
UAB  52    65 
East Carolina  52    66 
Southern Miss  43    65 
TCU  43    66 
Memphis  34    56 
Army  25    38 
Tulane  16    39 
Houston  07    011 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Mid-American Conference football standings
Div  Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L    W L 
East Division
Marshall x 60    80    112 
Miami  42    62    75 
Bowling Green  42    53    83 
Kent State  33    53    65 
Akron  33    44    47 
Buffalo  15    17    38 
Ohio  06    17    110 
West Division
No. 23 Toledo xy$ 41    52    102 
Northern Illinois x 41    43    65 
Ball State x 41    43    56 
Western Michigan  23    44    56 
Central Michigan  14    26    38 
Eastern Michigan  05    16    29 
Championship: Toledo 41, Marshall 36
  • $ Conference champion
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • Due to an unbalanced conference schedule, the team with best division record within each division was awarded that division's championship game berth.
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Mountain West Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 25 BYU $ 70    122 
Colorado State  52    75 
Utah  43    84 
New Mexico  43    65 
Air Force  34    66 
UNLV  34    47 
San Diego State  25    38 
Wyoming  07    29 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Pacific-10 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
No. 2 Oregon $ 71    111 
No. 10 Washington State  62    102 
No. 16 Stanford  62    93 
No. 19 Washington  62    84 
USC  53    66 
UCLA  44    74 
Oregon State  35    56 
Arizona  26    56 
Arizona State  17    47 
California  08    110 
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Eastern Division
No. 4 Tennessee x 71    112 
No. 3 Florida % 62    102 
No. 13 South Carolina  53    93 
No. 22 Georgia  53    84 
Kentucky  17    29 
Vanderbilt  08    29 
Western Division
No. 7 LSU xy$ 53    103 
Auburn x 53    75 
Ole Miss  44    74 
Alabama  44    75 
Arkansas  44    75 
Mississippi State  26    38 
Championship: LSU 31, Tennessee 20
  • $ BCS representative as conference champion
  • % BCS at-large representative
  • x Division champion/co-champions
  • y Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Sun Belt Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Middle Tennessee + 51    83 
North Texas + 51    57 
New Mexico State  42    57 
Louisiana–Lafayette  24    38 
Arkansas State  24    29 
Louisiana–Monroe  24    29 
Idaho  15    110 
  • + Conference co-champions
2001 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
Louisiana Tech $ 71    75 
Fresno State  62    113 
Boise State  62    84 
Hawaii  53    93 
Rice  53    84 
SMU  44    47 
Nevada  35    38 
San Jose State  35    39 
UTEP  17    29 
Tulsa  08    110 
  • $ Conference champion
2001 NCAA Division I-A independents football records
Conf  Overall
Team W L    W L 
South Florida      83 
Troy State      74 
UCF      65 
Notre Dame      56 
Utah State      47 
Connecticut      29 
Navy      010 
Rankings from AP Poll

Bowl Championship Series rankings

WEEKNo. 1No. 2EVENT
OCT 22 Oklahoma Nebraska Nebraska 20, Oklahoma 10
OCT 29NebraskaOklahoma Miami 38, Temple 0
NOV 5NebraskaMiamiNebraska 31, Kansas St. 21
NOV 12NebraskaMiamiMiami 59, Syracuse 0
NOV 19NebraskaMiami Colorado 62, Nebraska 36
NOV 26Miami Florida Tennessee 34, Florida 32
DEC 3MiamiTennessee LSU 31, Tennessee 20
FINALMiamiNebraska

Final BCS standings

  1. Miami
  2. Nebraska
  3. Colorado
  4. Oregon
  5. Florida
  6. Tennessee
  7. Texas
  8. Illinois
  9. Stanford
  10. Maryland
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Washington State
  13. LSU
  14. South Carolina
  15. Washington

Source: [6]

Bowl games

BCS bowls

Other New Year's Day bowls

December bowl games

Heisman Trophy voting

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

  1. Eric Crouch , Nebraska, Quarterback (770 points)
  2. Rex Grossman, Florida (708 points)
  3. Ken Dorsey, Miami-FL (638 points)
  4. Joey Harrington, Oregon (364 points)
  5. David Carr, Fresno St. (101 points)

Other annual awards

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1999 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 1999 NCAA Division I-A football season saw Florida State named national champions, defeating Virginia Tech in the BCS Sugar Bowl.

2000 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 2000 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the Oklahoma Sooners claiming their first national championship and their first conference championship since the departure of head coach Barry Switzer.

2002 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 2002 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with a double overtime national championship game. Ohio State and Miami both came into the Fiesta Bowl undefeated. The underdog Buckeyes defeated the defending-champion Hurricanes 31–24, ending Miami's 34-game winning streak. Jim Tressel won the national championship in only his second year as head coach.

2003 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with an abundance of controversy, resulting in a split national championship. This was the first split title since the inception of the BCS, something the BCS intended to eliminate.

2004 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 2004 NCAA Division I-A football season was the highest level of college football competition in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The regular season began on August 28, 2004 and ended on December 4, 2004. The postseason concluded on January 4, 2005 with the Orange Bowl, which served as the season's BCS National Championship Game.

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The 1985 NCAA Division I-A football season saw the Oklahoma Sooners, led by head coach Barry Switzer, win the national championship.

2001 Miami Hurricanes football team American college football season

The 2001 Miami Hurricanes football team represented the University of Miami during the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the Hurricanes' 76th season of football and 11th as a member of the Big East Conference. The Hurricanes were led by first-year head coach Larry Coker and played their home games at the Orange Bowl. They finished the season 12–0 overall and 7–0 in the Big East to finish as conference champion. They were invited to the Rose Bowl, which served as the BCS National Championship Game, and defeated Nebraska, 37–14, to win the school's 5th national championship. Rivals.com named the 2001 Miami Hurricanes the greatest team in the first decade of the 2000s.

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References

  1. http://www.jhowell.net/cf/cf2001.htm
  2. Estle, Sarah; ONeil, Dave. "Nothing easy about win No. 324". The Lantern. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  3. Patriot-News, The (2009-10-30). "Penn State vs. Northwestern: The last 10 meetings". pennlive.com. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  4. "Ohio State vs. Penn State - Game Summary - October 27, 2001 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  5. "Paterno passes the Bear". DeseretNews.com. 2001-10-28. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  6. "2001 BCS Standings, BCS Rankings". Archived from the original on 2013-08-07. Retrieved 2013-07-05.