2001 NCAA Division I-A football season

2001 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season saw the hurricane winds blow again as the University of Miami, the team of the 80s, returned to form winning the national title.

In yet another controversial season for the BCS, #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 at the short end of a 62-36 pasting. The Buffaloes went on to win the Big 12 championship game. However, the BCS computers didn't take into account time of loss, so one-loss Nebraska came out ahead of two-loss Colorado and one-loss, second-ranked Oregon. (* This criticism is inane; "time of loss" is immaterial to a team's body of work and is rightly not a factor in any reputable computer ranking. Instead, Nebraska's overrating should be seen as a direct result of the hysterical decision to remove margin of victory from the computer rankings; the drubbing the Cornhuskers received was now treated the same as a last-second, one-point loss by the computers, while observers were able to properly factor it in to their assessment of the team.) Chants of #4 were heard throughout the title game held at the Rose Bowl.

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. Coker had the benefit of coaching a team Davis had built up despite NCAA sanctions and a reputation for roguish behavior. Coker critics claimed this national title should be credited to Davis, and Coker's ability as a head coach would show more clearly in later years.

Florida State did not win the ACC championship for the first time since joining the conference in 1991, losing out to recent boom team Maryland. This would ultimately fall short of a change in the tide, as Florida State would return to form the following year. The SEC, however, would not be the same, as 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 in recent memory with Eric Crouch of Nebraska barely edging out Rex Grossman of Florida. It was definitely the year of the quarterback as all of the five finalists played the position. Two of the finalists were coached at some point by Oregon offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, whose work with the Oregon offense, and Oregon's subsequent rise in prominence, was getting him head coach offers.

The Big West Conference stopped sponsoring football, as had many of its members in the past decade. Its football playing members all went in different directions: Boise State joined the WAC, Arkansas State, New Mexico State and North Texas joined the Sun Belt Conference, which sponsored football for the first time this year. University of Idaho joined as a football-only member. Utah State would stay in the Big West, playing football as an Independent.

The newly formed Boise State/Fresno State rivalry would be a major factor in the race to be the "BCS buster" for years to come.

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 play, the host team being the Sun Belt champion.

Bowl Championship Series Rankings

Final BCS Standings

# Miami
# Nebraska
# Colorado
# Oregon
# Florida
# Tennessee
# Texas
# Illinois
# Stanford
# Maryland
# Oklahoma
# Washington State
# South Carolina
# Washington

Bowl games

BCS bowls

*Rose Bowl: #1 Miami (FL) (BCS #1) 37, #4 Nebraska (BCS #2) 14
*Fiesta Bowl: #2 Oregon (Pac 10 champ) 38, #3 Colorado (Big 12 champ) 16
*Sugar Bowl: #12 LSU (SEC champ) 47, #7 Illinois (Big 10 champ) 34
*Orange Bowl: #5 Florida (At Large) 56, #6 Maryland (ACC champ) 23

Other New Years Day Bowls

*Cotton Bowl: #10 Oklahoma 10, Arkansas 3
*Florida Citrus Bowl: #8 Tennessee 45, #17 Michigan 17
*Gator Bowl: #24 Florida State 30, #15 Virginia Tech 17
*Outback Bowl: #14 South Carolina 31, #22 Ohio State 28

December Bowl Games

*Holiday Bowl: #9 Texas 47, #21 Washington 43
*Peach Bowl: North Carolina 16, Auburn 10
*Tangerine Bowl: Pittsburgh 34, NC State 19
*Sun Bowl: #13 Washington State 33, Purdue 27
*Independence Bowl: Alabama 14, Iowa State 13
*Alamo Bowl: Iowa 19, Texas Tech 16
*Insight.com Bowl: #18 Syracuse 26, Kansas State 3
*Liberty Bowl: #23 Louisville (C-USA champ) 28, #19 BYU (MWC champ) 10
*Humanitarian Bowl: Clemson 49, Louisiana Tech (WAC Champ) 24
*Motor City Bowl: #25 Toledo (MAC Champ) 23, Cincinnati 16
*Seattle Bowl: Georgia Tech 24, #11 Stanford 14
*Music City Bowl: Boston College 20, #16 Georgia 16
*Las Vegas Bowl: Utah 10, Southern California 6
*GMAC Bowl: Marshall 64, East Carolina 61 (2 OT) (notes)
*Silicon Valley Classic: Michigan State 44, #20 Fresno State 35
*Galleryfurniture.com bowl: Texas A&M 28, TCU 9
*New Orleans Bowl: Colorado State 45, North Texas (Sun Belt Champ) 20

Heisman Trophy voting

"The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the

Most Outstanding Player of the year"
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

*Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year) - Ken Dorsey, Miami
*Walter Camp Award (Back) - Eric Crouch, Nebraska
*Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback) - Eric Crouch, Nebraska
*Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (Senior Quarterback) - David Carr, Fresno State
*Doak Walker Award (Running Back) - Luke Staley, BYU
*Fred Biletnikoff Award (Wide Receiver) - Josh Reed, Louisiana State
*John Mackey Award (Tight End) - Daniel Graham, Colorado
*Dave Rimington Trophy (Center) - LeCharles Bentley, Ohio State
*Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defensive Player) - Roy Williams, Oklahoma
*Chuck Bednarik Award - Julius Peppers, North Carolina
*Dick Butkus Award (Linebacker) - Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma
*Lombardi Award (Lineman or Linebacker) - Julius Peppers, North Carolina
*Outland Trophy (Interior Lineman) - Bryant McKinnie, Miami, 0T
*Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive Back) - Roy Williams, Oklahoma
*Lou Groza Award (Placekicker) - Seth Marler, Tulane
*Ray Guy Award (Punter) - Travis Dorsch, Purdue
*Paul "Bear" Bryant Award - Larry Coker, Miami
*The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award: Ralph Friedgen, Maryland

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