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 and became the first head coach since 1989's Dennis Erickson from the University of Miami to win a national title in his first season. 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, (AP) #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. The BCS computers, among other things, didn't weigh later games any more heavily than earlier games, and 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. Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El earned first-team All-America honors from the FWAA after becoming the first NCAA Division I-A quarterback to throw for 40 touchdowns and rush for 40 touchdowns in a career. He also became the first player in NCAA I-A history to record 2,500 total yards from scrimmage in four consecutive seasons.
The newly formed Boise State/Fresno State rivalry would be a major factor in the race to be the "BCS buster" for several seasons.
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.
|2001 NCAA Division I-A season|
|Number of teams||117|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Florida Gators|
|Duration||December 18, 2001 – |
January 3, 2002
|Heisman Trophy||Eric Crouch, Nebraska QB|
|Bowl Championship Series|
|2002 Rose Bowl|
|Site||Rose Bowl Stadium, |
|Division I-A football seasons|
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 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.
The NCAA Rules Committee adopted the following rules changes for the 2001 season:
One team upgraded from Division I-AA, thus increasing the number of Division I-A schools from 116 to 117.
|School||2000 Conference||2001 Conference|
|Arkansas State Indians||Big West||Sun Belt|
|Boise State Broncos||Big West||WAC|
|Idaho Vandals||Big West||Sun Belt|
|Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns||I-A Independent||Sun Belt|
|Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks||I-A Independent||Sun Belt|
|Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||I-A Independent||WAC|
|Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||I-A Independent||Sun Belt|
|New Mexico State Aggies||Big West||Sun Belt|
|North Texas Mean Green||Big West||Sun Belt|
|TCU Horned Frogs||WAC||Conference USA|
|Troy State Trojans||I-AA Independent||I-A Independent|
|Utah State Aggies||Big West||I-A Independent|
|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|
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the
The 2001 Air Force Falcons football team represented Akron University in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season; they competed in the Mid-American Conference. They were led by seventh–year head coach Lee Owens. The Zips played their home games at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio. They were outscored by their opponents 281–360 and finished with a record of 4 wins and 7 losses (4–7).2001 Arizona Wildcats football team
The 2001 Arizona Wildcats football team represented the University of Arizona during the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. They were coached by John Mackovic.2001 Baylor Bears football team
The 2001 Baylor Bears football team (variously "Baylor", "BU", or the "Bears") represented Baylor University in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. They were represented in the Big 12 Conference in the South Division. They played their home games at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas. They were coached by head coach Kevin Steele.2001 College Football All-America Team
The 2001 College Football All-America Team is composed of the following All-American Teams: Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, Football News and CNN-Sports Illustrated.
The College Football All-America Team is an honor given annually to the best American college football players at their respective positions. The original usage of the term All-America seems to have been to such a list selected by football pioneer Walter Camp in the 1890s. For 2001 the NCAA officially recognized All-Americans selected by the AP, AFCA, CNNSI, FN, FWAA, TSN, and the WCFF to determine Consensus All-Americans.2001 Holiday Bowl
The 2001 Culligan Holiday Bowl was a college football bowl game played December 28, 2001, in San Diego, California. It was part of the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. It featured the Washington Huskies against the Texas Longhorns. Texas won 47–43 (a combined 90 points despite neither team scoring at all in the 1st quarter) after a dramatic comeback in the 4th quarter, scoring the winning touchdown with 38 seconds left. Earlier, Washington had led by as much as 19 points, and carried a 36-20 lead into the 4th quarter.2001 Kansas Jayhawks football team
The 2001 Kansas Jayhawks football team represented the University of Kansas in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. They participated as members of the Big 12 Conference in the North Division. They were coached by head coach Terry Allen, who was fired on November 4 and replaced by interim head coach Tom Hayes. They played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas.2001 Kentucky Wildcats football team
The 2001 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky during the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. They participated as members of the Southeastern Conference in the Eastern Division. They played their home games at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. The team was coached by Guy Morriss.2001 Mississippi State Bulldogs football team
The 2001 Mississippi State Bulldogs football team represented Mississippi State University during the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team's head coach was Jackie Sherrill. The Bulldogs played their home games in 2001 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi.2001 Missouri Tigers football team
The 2001 Missouri Tigers football team represented the University of Missouri during the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. They played their home games at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri. They were members of the Big 12 Conference in the North Division. The team was coached by head coach Gary Pinkel.2001 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 2001 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy (USNA) during the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. Navy competed as an independent with no conference affiliation. The team was led by head coach Charlie Weatherbie for most of the year. He was replaced by Rick Lantz for the last three games of the season.2001 Northwestern Wildcats football team
The 2001 Northwestern Wildcats football team represented Northwestern University during the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. They played their home games at Ryan Field and participated as members of the Big Ten Conference. They were coached by Randy Walker.2001 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team
The 2001 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Bob Davie and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.2001 Ole Miss Rebels football team
The 2001 Ole Miss Rebels football team represented the University of Mississippi during the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season.2001 Pittsburgh Panthers football team
The 2001 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season.2001 Stanford Cardinal football team
The 2001 Stanford Cardinal football team represented Stanford University in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was led by head coach Tyrone Willingham who resigned at the end of the season to become the head coach at Notre Dame.2001 Syracuse Orangemen football team
The 2001 Syracuse Orangemen football team represented Syracuse University during the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Orange were coached by Paul Pasqualoni and played their home games in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.2001 Virginia Cavaliers football team
The 2001 Virginia Cavaliers football team representative the University of Virginia in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team's head coach was Al Groh. They played their home games at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia.2001 West Virginia Mountaineers football team
The 2001 West Virginia Mountaineers football team represented West Virginia University in the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season. Under new head coach Rich Rodriguez the Mountaineers football suffered their worst season since 1978, finishing with a mark of 3–8. The season's lowest point was a home loss to Temple, the school's first loss to the Owls since 1984 and first home loss to the school since 1979.2002 Orange Bowl
The 2002 FedEx Orange Bowl game was a post-season college football bowl game between the Florida Gators and the ACC champion Maryland Terrapins on January 2, 2002. Florida defeated Maryland 56–23. The game was part of the 2001–2002 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) of the 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season and was the concluding game of the season for both teams. The Orange Bowl was first played in 1935, and the 2002 game was the 68th edition of the Orange Bowl. The contest was televised in the United States on ABC.
This was Steve Spurrier's last game as coach of the Florida Gators as he resigned two days after the game.
|NCAA University Division|
|NCAA Division I/I-A/FBS|
|NCAA Division I-AA/FCS|
|NCAA College Division|
|NCAA Division II|
|NCAA Division III|
2001 NCAA Division I-A football season