The 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season saw Florida State crowned national champions, but not without controversy.
Under the Bowl Coalition, undefeated Big 8 champ and #2 ranked Nebraska hosted ACC champ and #1 ranked Florida State in the Orange Bowl. In theory this should have produced a clear champion, however then #2 Notre Dame had beaten then #1 Florida State 31-24 during the regular season, in a game known by many as the "Game of the Century". This much hyped clash between #1 and #2 was the site of the first ever "live" broadcast of the ESPNCollege GameDay show and did not fail to live up to expectations as Irish defensive back Shawn Wooden batted down a Charlie Ward pass in the end zone with three seconds left to play. Though Notre Dame's title chances ended when they lost to #17 Boston College. Further controversy surrounded the inclusion of one-loss Florida State in the national title game over undefeated West Virginia, who was ranked #2 (ahead of Florida State) by the final regular season coaches' poll. Further complicating the issue was that Auburn finished the regular season undefeated, but was on probation and ineligible for postseason play.
Despite beating Florida State in the regular season and finishing the year with the same record as the Seminoles, Notre Dame finished #2 in both major polls.
Florida State's Charlie Ward threw for 3,032 yards, completed 70 percent of his passes and became the first player to win the Heisman Trophy and the national championship in the same season since Pittsburgh's Tony Dorsett in 1976.
The Sunshine Classic was no longer sponsored by Blockbuster Entertainment, and was now known as the Carquest Bowl.
Prior to this season, the distance between the hashmarks was narrowed from 53 feet, 4 inches (the same as high school football) to 40 feet (the standard used by the National Football League through the 1971 season). This cut down on severe angles for kickers who attempted short field goals, although angles would still be far greater than those encountered by kickers in the NFL, where the hashmarks are the same width as the goalposts, 18 feet, 6 inches.
† – Conference champion x – Division champion/co-champions
Auburn had the best division record, but did not participate in postseason play due to NCAA probation. Alabama later forfeited all 1993 regular season wins and one tie due to NCAA violations. Rankings from AP Poll
Florida State's Seminoles were the unanimous choice for #1 beginning with the October 19 poll and the three after that, receiving all 62 votes. After Notre Dame's 31-24 defeat of Florida State on November 13, Notre Dame got all 62 first place votes in the next poll.