2004 NCAA Division I-A football season


2004 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 2004 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with several undefeated teams vying for a spot in the national title game. Many fans were left unsatisfied with the result.

In the 2003 season, no team finished the season unbeaten, and five teams finished the season with one loss. In 2004, the situation became even more complicated, as five teams went without losing, a record in the BCS era. USC of the Pac-10, Oklahoma of the Big 12, Auburn of the SEC, Utah of the MWC, and Boise State of the WAC all finished the regular season undefeated. USC and Oklahoma started the season #1 and #2, but the other three teams were handicapped by starting out of the top 15. Thus USC and OU played for the national championship, while Auburn, Utah, and Boise State had to content themselves with other bowl games.

USC beat OU in a rout to win the championship. Auburn played in the Sugar Bowl and beat Virginia Tech, the #8 ranked ACC champion. Utah became the first BCS Buster and beat Pitt, the #21 ranked champion of the Big East, in the Fiesta Bowl. Boise State lost a close, high scoring game in the Liberty Bowl to Louisville, the #10 ranked Conference USA champion.

For all of the hubbub leading up to it the title game, the Orange Bowl was pretty unexciting, and did not live up to the hype, with USC dismantling Oklahoma 55 - 19. The Trojans could claim one split championship and an undisputed championship in the last two years, leading many to herald Pete Carroll as college football's best coach, Norm Chow as an offensive genius, and USC as college football's newest dynasty. Many LSU fans, feeling their share of the national championship from 2003 being ignored, would grow to resent this.

The season marked the highest point of fan outcry against the BCS system.Fact|date=June 2007 Fans of Auburn, Utah, and BSU were disappointed to have their teams finish unbeaten but not have a chance to play for a championship. Auburn was especially the focus of national media attention on this topic; many thought that since Auburn managed to go undefeated in the traditionally tough SEC, they deserved a shot at the title. Adding to the BCS frustration was the fact that Auburn and Utah, though both in BCS bowl games, would not be able to play each other as a matchup of high ranked unbeatens. Instead, each played weaker teams to somewhat unsatisfying victories.

There was also BCS controversy in the second at-large team selected to play in a BCS bowl game (with Utah being the first). Cal expected to get the invite, but, in a Hollywood twist, Texas, who had been left out of the BCS the year before, got enough voters to change their mind in the final vote to slide into the BCS #4 slot. Texas coach Mack Brown was criticized for publicly politicking voters to put Texas ahead of California. Cal coach Jeff Tedford called for coaches' votes to be made public. Texas went on to beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, while California was beaten by an unranked Texas Tech team in the Holiday Bowl.

The Associated Press, as a result of two consecutive seasons of BCS controversy, pulled its poll out of the BCS formula. The AP poll was replaced by the Harris poll, and the AP continues to give out its own national championship trophy.

In another first, the LSU Tigers lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Capital One Bowl, becoming the first school to lose a non-BCS bowl a year after winning the BCS National Championship Game.

Final AP Poll

# USC (13-0)
# Auburn (13-0)
# Oklahoma (12-1)
# Utah (12-0)
# Texas (11-1)
# Louisville (11-1)
# Georgia (10-2)
# Iowa (10-2)
# California (10-2)
# Virginia Tech (10-3)
# Miami (9-3)
# Boise St. (11-1)
# Tennessee (10-3)
# Michigan (9-3)
# Florida St. (9-3)
# Louisiana St. (9-3)
# Wisconsin (9-3)
# Texas Tech (8-4)
# Arizona St. (9-3)
# Ohio St. (8-4)
# Boston College (9-3)
# Fresno St. (9-3)
# Virginia (8-4)
# Navy (10-2)
# Pittsburgh (8-4)

Bowl Games

BCS Bowls

"Rankings given are AP rankings going into bowl games"
*Orange Bowl: #1 (BCS #1) USC 55, #2 (BCS #2) Oklahoma 19
*Rose Bowl: (At Large) #5 Texas 38, (Big 10 Champ) #13 Michigan 37
*Fiesta Bowl: (At Large, MWC Champ) #6 Utah 35, (Big East Co-Champ) #20 Pittsburgh 7
*Sugar Bowl: (SEC Champ) #3 Auburn 16, (ACC Champ) #8 Virginia Tech 13

Other New Years Day Bowls

*Cotton Bowl: Tennessee 38, Texas A&M 7
*Capital One Bowl: Iowa 30, LSU 25
*Gator Bowl: Florida State 30, West Virginia 18
*Outback Bowl: Georgia 24, Wisconsin 21

December Bowl Games

*Peach Bowl: Miami (FL) 27, Florida 10
*Houston Bowl: Colorado 33, UTEP 28
*Liberty Bowl: (C-USA Champ) Louisville 44, (WAC Champ) Boise State 40
*MPC Computers Bowl: Fresno State 37, Virginia 34 (OT)
*Continental Tire Bowl: Boston College 37, North Carolina 24
*Independence Bowl: Iowa State 17, Miami (Ohio) 13
*Silicon Valley Classic: Northern Illinois 34, Troy 21
*Sun Bowl: Arizona State 27, Purdue 23
*Music City Bowl: Minnesota 20, Alabama 16
*Holiday Bowl: Texas Tech 45, California 31
*Emerald Bowl: Navy 34, New Mexico 19
*Alamo Bowl: Ohio State 33, Oklahoma State 7
*Insight Bowl: Oregon State 38, Notre Dame 21
*Champs Sports Bowl: Georgia Tech 51, Syracuse 14
*Motor City Bowl: UConn 39, (MAC Champ) Toledo 10
*Hawaiokinai Bowl: Hawaiokinai 59, UAB 40
*Fort Worth Bowl: Cincinnati 32, Marshall 14
*Las Vegas Bowl: Wyoming 24, UCLA 21
*GMAC Bowl: Bowling Green 52, Memphis 35
*New Orleans Bowl: Southern Miss 31, (SBC Champ) North Texas 10

Heisman Trophy voting

"The Heisman Trophy is given annually to college football's most outstanding player."
Winner:
Matt Leinart (Jr.) USC, QB (1,325 pts.)
*2 Adrian Peterson (Fr.) Oklahoma, RB (997 pts.)
*3 Jason White (Sr.) Oklahoma, QB (957 pts.)
*4 Alex Smith (Sr.) Utah, QB (635 pts.)
*5 Reggie Bush (So.) USC, TB (597 pts.)

Other Major Awards

*Walter Camp Award (top player): Matt Leinart, USC
*Maxwell Award (top player): Jason White, Oklahoma
*AP Player of the Year: Matt Leinart, USC
*Lombardi Award (top linebacker): David Pollack, Georgia
*John Mackey Award (tight end): Heath Miller, Virginia
*Doak Walker Award (running back): Cedric Benson, Texas
*Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player): David Pollack, Georgia
*Outland Trophy (interior lineman): Jammal Brown, Oklahoma
*Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Jason White, Oklahoma
*Johnny Unitas Award (Sr. quarterback): Jason White, Oklahoma
*Fred Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver): Braylon Edwards, Michigan
*Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Carlos Rogers, Auburn
*Lou Groza Award (placekicker): Mike Nugent, Ohio State
*Ray Guy Award (punter): Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor
*Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (Coach of the Year): Tommy Tuberville, Auburn
*The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award: Urban Meyer, Utah


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