2005 NCAA Division I-A football season


2005 NCAA Division I-A football season

Infobox NCAA Division I-A season
year = 2005


image_caption =
regular_season = September 1 - December 3
bowl_start = December 20
nc_date = 2006-01-04
championship = Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
champions = Texas Longhorns
heisman = Reggie Bush
The 2005 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the least amount of controversy surrounding the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title game in many years.

The BCS saw good fortune as two teams, the University of Southern California USC Trojans and the University of Texas Longhorns, started the season as #1 and #2, then proceeded to stay there the entire season undefeated, the second year in a row that had happened. The title game was played at the Rose Bowl, where Texas defeated the Trojans, in great part due a stunning performance by Texas quarterback Vince Young who ran the ball into the end zone for the game's winning touchdown. Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush also made a tide turning play, but his was more a benefit for the opponent, as an attempted mid-field pitch came close to being highlight reel material but instead ended up blooper reel. Matt Leinart attempted a last second comeback but fell quite short. The 2005 Longhorns were National Champs and for once no one was trying to dispute that. Unlike the 2005 Orange Bowl national championship game where USC annihilated the Sooners, 55-19, the game didn't turn into a blowout.

There was an unlikely comeback team in the season. UCF came from a helpless 0-11 record in 2004, to a respectable 8-5 record and an appearance in the Conference USA Championship game and a Hawaii Bowl berth. Although their season apparently got off to a poor start with a loss to South Carolina on opening day and a pasting by their intrastate rival, South Florida, they pulled off 8 wins over a 9 game span (only loss was a 31-52 rout by Southern Miss) including getting a win over eventual conference champions, Tulsa. Tulsa got redemption from their earlier loss to Central Florida, destroying them 44-27. In the Hawaii Bowl, the Golden Knights were an extra-point-miss away from sending Nevada to OT.

The Heisman Trophy voting was basically a 3 man show: Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart (who won the Heisman Trophy in 2004), and Vince Young, who helped Texas win the national championship for the 1st time since 1970. Bush won the trophy, with Young coming in second.

To an extent it was a return to classic football. Seven of the eight BCS teams were traditional powerhouses, many of the schools having worn the same uniforms for half a century, and Penn State and Florida State having the same coaches for nearly half a century. Alabama was back in the mix for the SEC title, shaking off the residual effects of NCAA sanctions. And though Penn State is a relative newcomer to the Big Ten, Ohio State and Michigan were still in the running for the conference title until the last game.

Steve Spurrier returned to the college coaching ranks for the first time since 2001, taking the reins at South Carolina and turning out a respectable 7-5 season. Urban Meyer, last year's hot coach after leading Utah to an undefeated season took over at Spurrier's old job, Florida. Charlie Weis left the New England Patriots to take over the head coach job at his alma mater Notre Dame and was able to lead them to a BCS bowl.

Barry Alvarez, who turned around a 1-10 Wisconsin program and made it a Big Ten force retired, as did Bill Snyder who turned around Big 8 doormat Kansas State and turned them into a Big 12 power. Dan Hawkins who brought Boise State to the status of a mid-major powerhouse left the Broncos to coach the Colorado Buffaloes, a team trying to change its image after recruiting scandals broke out last year.

One controversy that emerged was Notre Dame, ranked 6th in the BCS Standings with a 9-2 record being selected to play in the Fiesta Bowl over Oregon, ranked 5th in the BCS Standings with a 10-1 record. Notre Dame went on to lose 34-20 against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, while Oregon went on to lose 17-14 against Oklahoma in the Holiday Bowl.

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Bowl Games

BCS Bowls

"Rankings given are AP rankings going into bowl games"
*Rose Bowl: #2 (BCS #2) Texas 41, #1 (BCS #1) Southern California 38
*Fiesta Bowl: (At Large) #4 Ohio State 34, (At Large) #6 Notre Dame 20
*Sugar Bowl: (Big East Champ) #7 West Virginia 38, (SEC Champ) #8 Georgia 35
*Orange Bowl: (Big Ten Champ) #3 Penn State 26, (ACC Champ) #15 Florida State 23 (3 OT)

Other New Years Day Bowls

*Cotton Bowl: Alabama 13, Texas Tech 10
*Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin 24, Auburn 10
*Gator Bowl: Virginia Tech 35, Louisville 24
*Outback Bowl: Florida 31, Iowa 24

December Bowl Games

*Peach Bowl: LSU 40, Miami (FL) 3
*Houston Bowl: TCU 27, Iowa State 24
*Liberty Bowl: (C-USA Champ) Tulsa 31, Fresno State 24
*MPC Computers Bowl: Boston College 27, Boise State 21
*Meineke Car Care Bowl: NC State 14, South Florida 0
*Independence Bowl: Missouri 38, South Carolina 31
*Sun Bowl: UCLA 50, Northwestern 38
*Music City Bowl: Virginia 34, Minnesota 31
*Holiday Bowl: Oklahoma 17, Oregon 14
*Emerald Bowl: Utah 38, Georgia Tech 10
*Alamo Bowl: Nebraska 32, Michigan 28
*Insight Bowl: Arizona State 45, Rutgers 40
*Champs Sports Bowl: Clemson 19, Colorado 10
*Motor City Bowl: Memphis 38, (MAC Champ) Akron 31
*Hawai'i Bowl: (WAC Champ) Nevada 49, UCF 48 (OT)
*Fort Worth Bowl: Kansas 42, Houston 13
*Las Vegas Bowl: California 35, BYU 28
*Poinsettia Bowl: Navy 51, Colorado State 30
*GMAC Bowl: Toledo 45, UTEP 13
*New Orleans Bowl: Southern Mississippi 31, Arkansas State 19

Heisman Trophy voting

"The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player"

*Winner: Reggie Bush, Jr. USC TB (2,541 pts)
*2. Vince Young, Jr. Texas QB (1,608 pts)
*3. Matt Leinart, Sr. USC QB (797 pts)
*4. Brady Quinn Jr. Notre Dame QB (191 pts)
*5. Michael Robinson, Sr. Penn State QB (49 pts)

Other major award winners

*Walter Camp Award (top player): Reggie Bush, RB, USC
*Maxwell Award (top player): Vince Young, QB, Texas
*AP Player Of the Year: Reggie Bush, RB, USC
*Lombardi Award (top lineman/linebacker): A.J. Hawk, Ohio State
*John Mackey Award (tight end): Marcedes Lewis, UCLA
*Doak Walker Award (running back): Reggie Bush, RB, USC
*Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player): Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn State
*Outland Trophy (interior lineman): Greg Eslinger, C, Minnesota
*Dave Rimington Trophy (center): Greg Eslinger, Minnesota
*Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Vince Young, QB, Texas
*Johnny Unitas Award (Sr. quarterback): Matt Leinart, USC
*Fred Biletnikoff Award (wide receiver): Mike Hass, Oregon State
*Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Michael Huff, Texas
*Lou Groza Award (placekicker): Alexis Serna, Oregon State
*Ray Guy Award (punter): Ryan Plackemeier, Wake Forest
*The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award: Joe Paterno, Penn State
*Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (head coach): Mack Brown, Texas
*Broyles Award (assistant coach): Greg Davis, Texas


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