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The 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the University of Miami winning the national title for the fifth time.

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 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, #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. However, the BCS computers didn't take into account time of loss, so one-loss Nebraska came out ahead of two-loss #3 Colorado and one-loss, #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.

The Big West Conference stopped sponsoring football after the 2000 season, concluding a pattern that had been started by many of its previous members of the past decade. Its remaining football playing members left to join other conferences for the 2001 season: 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 in 2001. Idaho also joined the Sun Belt, but 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 several seasons.

Troy State joined Division 1-A football this season.

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.

End of Season Upsets and BCS DramaEdit

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 one 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.

Conference standingsEdit

2001 ACC football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#11 Maryland   7 1         10 2  
#15 Florida State   6 2         8 4  
North Carolina   5 3         8 5  
#24 Georgia Tech   4 4         9 4  
Clemson   4 4         7 5  
NC State   4 4         7 5  
Wake Forest   3 5         6 5  
Virginia   3 5         5 7  
Duke   0 8         0 11  
† – BCS representative as champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Big 12 football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
North
#9 Colorado xy   7 1         10 3  
#8 Nebraska x   7 1         11 2  
Iowa State   4 4         7 5  
Kansas State   3 5         6 6  
Missouri   3 5         4 7  
Kansas   1 7         3 8  
South
#5 Texas x   7 1         11 2  
#6 Oklahoma   6 2         11 2  
Texas A&M   4 4         8 4  
Texas Tech   4 4         7 5  
Oklahoma State   2 6         4 7  
Baylor   0 8         3 8  
Championship: Colorado 39, Texas 37
† – BCS representative as champion
‡ – BCS at-large representative
x – Division champion/co-champions
y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Big East football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#1 Miami   7 0         12 0  
#14 Syracuse   6 1         10 3  
#21 Boston College   4 3         8 4  
#18 Virginia Tech   4 3         8 4  
Pittsburgh   4 3         7 5  
Temple   2 5         4 7  
West Virginia   1 6         3 8  
Rutgers   0 7         2 9  
† – BCS representative as champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Big Ten football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#12/12 Illinois   7 1         10 2  
#20/20 Michigan   6 2         8 4  
Ohio State   5 3         7 5  
Iowa   4 4         7 5  
Purdue   4 4         6 6  
Indiana   4 4         5 6  
Penn State   0* 4         0* 6  
Michigan State   3 5         7 5  
Wisconsin   3 5         5 7  
Minnesota   2 6         4 7  
Northwestern   2 6         4 7  
† – BCS representative as champion
2001 Conference USA football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#17 Louisville   6 1         11 2  
Cincinnati   5 2         7 5  
UAB   5 2         6 5  
East Carolina   5 2         6 6  
Southern Miss   4 3         6 5  
TCU   4 3         6 6  
Memphis   3 4         5 6  
Army   2 5         3 8  
Tulane   1 6         3 9  
Houston   0 7         0 11  
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Division I-A independents football records
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
South Florida           8 3  
Troy State           7 4  
UCF           6 5  
Notre Dame           5 6  
Utah State           4 7  
Connecticut           2 9  
Navy           0 10  
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Mid-American Conference football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East
Marshall x   8 0         11 2  
Miami   6 2         7 5  
Bowling Green   5 3         8 3  
Kent State   5 3         6 5  
Akron   4 4         4 7  
Buffalo   1 7         3 8  
Ohio   1 7         1 10  
West
#23 Toledo x   5 2         10 2  
Northern Illinois   4 3         6 5  
Ball State   4 3         5 6  
Western Michigan   4 4         5 6  
Central Michigan   2 6         3 8  
Eastern Michigan   1 6         2 9  
Championship: Toledo 41, Marshall 36
† – Conference champion
x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Mountain West Conference football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#25 BYU   7 0         12 2  
Colorado State   5 2         7 5  
Utah   4 3         8 4  
New Mexico   4 3         6 5  
Air Force   3 3         6 6  
UNLV   3 4         4 7  
San Diego State   2 5         3 8  
Wyoming   0 7         2 9  
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
Template:2001 Pacific-10 football standings
2001 SEC football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Eastern Division
#4 Tennessee x   7 1         11 2  
#3 Florida   6 2         10 2  
#13 South Carolina   5 3         9 3  
#22 Georgia   5 3         8 4  
Kentucky   1 7         2 9  
Vanderbilt   0 8         2 9  
Western Division
#7 LSU xy   5 3         10 3  
Auburn x   5 3         7 5  
Ole Miss   4 4         7 4  
Alabama   4 4         7 5  
Arkansas   4 4         7 5  
Mississippi State   2 6         3 8  
Championship: LSU 31, Tennessee 20
† – BCS representative as champion
‡ – BCS at-large representative
x – Division champion/co-champions
y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 Sun Belt football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Middle Tennessee §   5 1         8 3  
North Texas §   5 1         5 7  
New Mexico State   4 2         5 7  
Louisiana–Lafayette   2 4         3 8  
Arkansas State   2 4         2 9  
Louisiana–Monroe   2 4         2 9  
Idaho   1 5         1 10  
§ – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
2001 WAC football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Louisiana Tech   7 1         7 5  
Fresno State   6 2         11 3  
Boise State   6 2         8 4  
Hawaii   5 3         9 3  
Rice   5 3         8 4  
SMU   4 4         4 7  
Nevada   3 5         3 8  
San Jose State   3 5         3 9  
UTEP   1 7         2 9  
Tulsa   0 8         1 10  
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Bowl Championship Series RankingsEdit

WEEK #1 #2 EVENT
OCT 22 Oklahoma Nebraska Nebraska 20, Oklahoma 10
OCT 29 Nebraska Oklahoma Miami 38, Temple 0
NOV 5 Nebraska Miami Nebraska 31, Kansas St. 21
NOV 12 Nebraska Miami Miami 59, Syracuse 0
NOV 19 Nebraska Miami Colorado 62, Nebraska 36
NOV 26 Miami Florida Tennessee 34, Florida 32
DEC 3 Miami Tennessee LSU 31, Tennessee 20
FINAL Miami Nebraska

Final BCS StandingsEdit

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

Bowl gamesEdit

BCS bowlsEdit

Other New Years Day BowlsEdit

December Bowl GamesEdit

Heisman Trophy votingEdit

The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the

Most Outstanding Player of the year
Winner: Eric Crouch, Nebraska, Quarterback (770 points)

Other annual awardsEdit

ReferencesEdit


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