2007 BCS National Championship Game

The 2007 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game was an American football game played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on January 8, 2007. It was the first time that the BCS had staged its own standalone national title game (previously the four BCS bowls each took turns serving as the title game). The #1 Ohio State Buckeyes lost to the #2 Florida Gators, 41–14.

The Buckeyes secured a spot by finishing the regular season undefeated and ranked #1 in the BCS. It was the first time the Buckeyes and Gators had ever met on the football field.[4] The 12–1 Florida Gators earned a spot after defeating Arkansas in the SEC Championship Game in early December, and jumping from #4 to #2 in the final BCS Rankings, passing #3 Michigan and previous #2 USC.

The game was the first BCS National Championship Game to be televised on the Fox TV network.

2007 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game
BCS Bowl Game.
2007 BCS Natl Championship logo
Florida Gators Ohio State Buckeyes
(12–1) (12–0)
41 14
Head coach: 
Urban Meyer
Head coach: 
Jim Tressel
1234 Total
Florida 142007 41
Ohio State 7700 14
DateJanuary 8, 2007
StadiumUniversity of Phoenix Stadium
LocationGlendale, Arizona
MVPOffense: QB Chris Leak (Florida)
Defense: DE Derrick Harvey (Florida)
FavoriteOhio State by 7[1]
National anthemU.S. Military Academy Cadet Glee Club
RefereeJack Folliard (Pac-10)
Halftime showOhio State and Florida bands; Habitat for Humanity presentation
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersThom Brennaman, Barry Alvarez, and Charles Davis
Nielsen ratings17.4, 28.8M viewers, 27 share[2][3]

Pre-game buildup

The Ohio State Buckeyes were the No. 1 ranked team for the entire 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season, anchored by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Troy Smith. The Buckeyes were 12–0 with several wins over ranked opponents: the defending national champions, then No. 2 Texas Longhorns, then No. 24 Penn State Nittany Lions, then No. 13 Iowa Hawkeyes, and their then undefeated Big Ten Conference rival, then No. 2 Michigan. The win over Michigan to finish the regular season essentially guaranteed the Buckeyes a spot in the National Championship game. Who they would play remained a highly debated question. Despite the loss to Ohio State, Michigan remained No. 2 in the polls, followed by No. 3 Southern California (USC), No. 4 Florida, and No. 5 Notre Dame.

The next week, with both No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan's regular season complete, No. 3 USC defeated then No. 5 Notre Dame. Fourth-ranked Florida defeated unranked in-state rival Florida State. With the victory over Notre Dame, USC passed Michigan in the polls, taking over the BCS No. 2 spot. Michigan fell to No. 3 with Florida remaining No. 4 and Notre Dame falling to No. 10.

The last week of the regular season was dynamic for the national championship race. Third-ranked Michigan remained idle. Fourth-ranked Florida faced No. 9 Arkansas in the SEC Championship, while No. 2 USC faced unranked, in-city rival UCLA. Both Florida and Michigan cheered as USC fell to UCLA 13–9. Florida defeated Arkansas 38-28 to claim the 2006 SEC Championship Title. USC's loss knocked them out of contention, leaving No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Florida as the most likely teams to earn the No. 2 ranking and face Ohio State for the BCS National Championship. The final BCS poll passed Florida over Michigan to take the No. 2 spot while Michigan remained unchanged at No. 3, with .0101 points separating the two teams. This small difference was a result of the human polls (the Coaches Poll and Harris Interactive Poll) ranking Florida above Michigan while the computer polls had the two teams tied for second.

Controversy over No. 2: Rematch or new opponent?

There were many theories how Florida jumped Michigan in the final poll. Some sportswriters theorized that it was not a matter of which was the better team, claiming Florida had an advantage in the polls because they had played the last two weeks while Michigan had not, or that voters were swayed due to Florida coach Urban Meyer's "campaign" to get Florida into the BCS National Championship Game.[5][6][7] The fact that the difference in the final BCS Poll was due to human voters, not computer rankings, gives some credence to these theories. Other theories suggest that since Michigan did not win their conference title, they did not deserve to play for the BCS National Championship, or that a rematch between Michigan and Ohio State was not favored by the poll voters.[8] The controversy was largely resolved when USC defeated Michigan 32–18 in the 2007 Rose Bowl, and Florida beat top-ranked Ohio State 41–14 in the BCS Championship Game.

Game summary

First half

The Buckeyes got off to a fast start when receiver Ted Ginn Jr. returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, giving Ohio State a 7–0 lead only 16 seconds into the game. During the celebration following the return, Ginn was injured and would miss the remainder of the game. The Gators quickly rebounded, however, leading a quick 46-yard drive for a score, capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Chris Leak to Dallas Baker. After stuffing the Ohio State offense to a quick punt, Florida drove 36 yards for a touchdown on a 4-yard run by Percy Harvin. On their next possession, the Gators once again drove in for a score, going 71 yards on 10 plays and getting it in the end zone on a 2-yard run by DeShawn Wynn on the first play of the second quarter.

Ohio State came back for a score of their own with an 18-yard touchdown run by Antonio Pittman to bring the score to 21–14. After a Florida field goal, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel took a gamble by going for a fourth-and-one from the Buckeyes' own 29-yard line. The Gator defensive line stopped Chris Wells in his tracks and the ball was turned over on downs. Chris Hetland, Florida's much-maligned kicker who was only 4-of-13 for the year, hit his second field goal of the night, making the score 27–14, and with just over two minutes left to play in the half, it appeared that would be the score heading to the break. As Ohio State started from their own 20, quarterback Troy Smith dropped back to pass and was hit by Florida lineman Jarvis Moss, jarring the ball loose. Florida recovered on the Buckeye 5-yard line and punched it in with a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Tebow to Andre Caldwell. The half ended and the teams went off the field with Florida leading 34–14.

Second half

The second half saw a much more defensive game, with no scoring in the third quarter. The Gator offense used up the clock, while the defense continued to stifle Ohio State's purportedly explosive attack. The lone score of the half came with just over 10 minutes left in the game, when Tim Tebow ran in a one-yard touchdown score, bringing the tally to 41–14, which was the final score.

Chris Leak was named the offensive player of the game, and Derrick Harvey earned the defensive honors. The Gators held the Buckeye offense to only 82 total yards for the game, and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith completed only four passes for 35 yards and an interception. The Gators also dominated in time of possession, limiting the Ohio State offense to just over 19 minutes.

Scoring summary

Scoring Play Time Score
1st quarter
Ted Ginn, Jr. – 93-yard kickoff return for TD 14:44 OSU 7–0
Chris Leak – 14-yard pass to Dallas Baker 10:31 Tie 7–7
Percy Harvin – 4-yard TD rush 5:51 UF 14–7
2nd quarter
DeShawn Wynn – 2-yard TD rush 14:56 UF 21–7
Antonio Pittman – 18-yard TD rush 13:32 UF 21–14
Chris Hetland – 43-yard FG 6:00 UF 24–14
Chris Hetland – 40-yard FG 1:53 UF 27–14
Tim Tebow – 1-yard TD pass to Andre Caldwell 0:23 UF 34–14
3rd quarter
No scoring
4th quarter
Tim Tebow – 1-yard TD rush 10:20 UF 41–14

Game records

Individual Performance, Team vs. Opponent Year
Field goals 2, Chris Hetland, Florida vs. Ohio State (tied with 3 others) 2007
Sacks 3, Derrick Harvey, Florida vs. Ohio State 2007
Long Plays Performance, Team vs. Opponent Year
Kickoff return 93, Ted Ginn Jr., Ohio State vs. Florida (TD) 2007


  • Florida later defeated Ohio State 84–75 in the 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Game on April 2, 2007, marking both the first time in NCAA history that the same two schools have played for the football and basketball championships in the same year and the first time that a school has held both the football and basketball championships in the same academic and calendar year.[9][10]
  • This marked the first year in history that the losing team in both the college football national championship game and the Super Bowl returned the opening kickoff for a TD. Chicago Bears wide receiver/returner Devin Hester took the Super Bowl kickoff for a TD against the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI. The Bears lost 29-17.
  • This was the first of the SEC's streak of seven consecutive national championships. The streak would not be broken until Florida State defeated Auburn in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game.
  • This was the first time these two teams faced each other in football. The next football game between Florida and Ohio State would not occur until the 2012 Gator Bowl, which was notable for being a matchup between Urban Meyer's former team and the team he had just been hired to coach at that point, and was therefore nicknamed the "Urban Meyer bowl" even though he had no role in the game itself. Florida won that game as well, 24-17.

See also


  1. ^ "Gators attack: Florida gets title with rout of Ohio State". ESPN. Associated Press. January 8, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2008.
  2. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 6, 2010). "Don't look for Texas vs. Alabama BCS Championship to Top Texas vs. USC". TVbythenumbers.com. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  3. ^ "BCS title game ratings down from last year". signonsandiego.com. January 8, 2008. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
  4. ^ "BCS Championship Notebook". bcsfootball.org. January 8, 2007. Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  5. ^ Forde, Pat (December 4, 2006). "Whining, politics, voting reversals part of BCS system". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 9, 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2006.
  6. ^ Wojciechowski, Gene (December 4, 2006). "Florida's fine, but how is Michigan left out?". ESPN. Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2006.
  7. ^ Albom, Mitch (December 4, 2006). "U-M wronged by BCS voters". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved December 5, 2006.
  8. ^ Coulter, Jay (December 4, 2006). "Ohio State-Florida Was The Right Choice". AOLSports.com. Retrieved December 5, 2006.
  9. ^ "FCS History". Retrieved June 29, 2008.
  10. ^ "Division I Men's Basketball History". Retrieved June 29, 2008.
1950 Rose Bowl

The 1950 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game played between Ohio State University and University of California at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The game was a rematch of the 1921 Rose Bowl where both Ohio State and Cal played in the teams' first bowl game. Ohio State came out with the win, 17–14. The MVP was Fred "Curly" Morrison of Ohio State. The game took place on January 2, 1950, because New Year's Day had fallen on a Sunday.

1953 Gator Bowl

The 1953 Gator Bowl was a post-season college football bowl game between the Tulsa Golden Hurricane of the Missouri Valley Conference and the Florida Gators representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Florida defeated Tulsa 14–13. This was the Gators' first appearance in a NCAA-sanctioned bowl game

1958 Gator Bowl

The 1958 Gator Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game between the Florida Gators and the Ole Miss Rebels.

1962 Gator Bowl

The 1962 Gator Bowl was a post-season college football bowl game between the Penn State Nittany Lions an independent and the Gators of the University of Florida representing the SEC. Florida upset Penn State 17–7. To inspire the underdog Gators against a northern foe, the Confederate Battle Flag was worn on their helmets.

1967 Orange Bowl

The 1967 Orange Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

1969 Gator Bowl

The 1969 Gator Bowl was a post-season college football bowl game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Gators of the University of Florida, both representing the SEC. Florida defeated Tennessee 14–13. This is Tampa native's Steve Kiner's only game against the Gators.

1975 Gator Bowl

The 1975 Gator Bowl was a college football bowl game played between the Maryland Terrapins and the Florida Gators on December 29, 1975. Maryland won the game by a score of 13–0.

1981 Liberty Bowl

The 1981 Liberty Bowl was a postseason college football bowl game held on December 30, 1981, in Memphis, Tennessee, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The game featured the conference independent Navy Midshipmen facing the Ohio State Buckeyes from the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State won the game 31–28.

1983 Gator Bowl

The 1983 Gator Bowl was an American college football bowl game played on December 30, 1983, at Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, FL. The matchup featured the #10 Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten Conference and the #11 Florida Gators of the Southeastern Conference. The Gators won 14–6 to secure their first top 10 ranking in the final polls. It was the coldest football game ever played in the State of Florida with the wind chill reported at -13 degrees fahrenheit.

1985 Rose Bowl

The 1985 Rose Bowl Game was a postseason college football bowl game between the USC Trojans of the Pacific-10 Conference and Ohio State Buckeyes of the Big Ten Conference, held on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

The game resulted in a 20–17 victory for the underdog Trojans.

1987 Aloha Bowl

The 1987 Jeep Eagle Aloha Bowl was a college football bowl game, played as part of the 1987-88 bowl game schedule of the 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the sixth Aloha Bowl. It was played on December 25, 1987, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The game matched the Florida Gators of the Southeastern Conference against the UCLA Bruins of the Pac-10 Conference. The Bruins were led by quarterback Troy Aikman.

1993 Florida Citrus Bowl

The 1993 Florida Citrus Bowl was a college football bowl game played between the Big Ten Conference's Ohio State Buckeyes and the Southeastern Conference's Georgia Bulldogs. The game was dominated by the running back. Georgia's Garrison Hearst ad two touchdowns and was named the game's MVP. Ohio State's Robert Smith had a touchdown and ran for over 100 yards. Georgia won 21–14.

1995 Sugar Bowl (January)

The 1995 Sugar Bowl (January) was the 9th Sugar Bowl played on January 2 (since January 1 fell on a Sunday) and only the 13th to not be played on January 1st. This was the 61st held Sugar Bowl, and it was the postseason game for the 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season. The game was a bowl rematch between the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles who had played each other in the regular season on November 26.

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.

2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Game

The 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Game was the finals of the 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament and determined the national champion for the 2006–07 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The 2007 National Title game was played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia between the 2007 South Regional Champions, No. 1-seeded Ohio State and the 2007 Midwest Regional Champions, No. 1-seeded Florida.

For the second time in three years, the National Title Game was played between two No. 1 seeds. This game was a rematch of the game at O'Connell Center on December 23, 2006, which was won by Florida who crushed Ohio State in an 86–60 victory. This game featured the same two teams that participated in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game marking the first time that the same two schools were competing for the football and basketball national championships which saw Florida beat Ohio State 41–14 to be the national champions of college football.

2007 Rose Bowl

The 2007 Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 2007 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. It was the 93rd Rose Bowl Game and part of the 2006–2007 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) at the conclusion of the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. In the game, the University of Southern California Trojans, champions of the Pacific-10 Conference, defeated the University of Michigan Wolverines, second-place finishers in the Big Ten Conference, 32–18. USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett and USC outside linebacker Brian Cushing were named the Rose Bowl Players of the Game.Historically, the Rose Bowl has pitted the champions the Big Ten and Pac-10. What made the 2007 Rose Bowl a not-so-traditional matchup is that Michigan entered as the runner-up of the Big Ten. The Big Ten champions, Ohio State, were ranked #1 and instead participated in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. Michigan won their first 11 games in 2006, but lost their last regular season game to the undefeated Buckeyes in Columbus, 42–39.

2012 Gator Bowl

The 2012 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, the 67th edition of the game, was a post-season American college football bowl game, held on January 2, 2012 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida as part of the 2011–12 NCAA Bowl season. TaxSlayer.com was named the corporate title sponsor on September 1, 2011. The game, which was telecasted at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2, featured the Ohio State Buckeyes of the Big Ten Conference versus the Florida Gators of the Southeastern Conference.The game was a rematch of the 2007 BCS National Championship Game, where Florida emerged victorious. Florida's head coach for the 2007 game, Urban Meyer, was named head coach at Ohio State in November 2011 and took over the Buckeye football program in the 2012 season. As such, this game is sometimes referred to as the Urban Meyer Bowl.

Chris Leak

Christopher Patrick Leak (born May 3, 1985) is an American football coach and former gridiron football quarterback. He played college football for the University of Florida, and led the Florida Gators to victory in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. Leak played professionally for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL), the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL), and the Jacksonville Sharks and Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League (AFL).

Derrick Harvey

Derrick Harvey (born November 9, 1986) is a former American football defensive end. He played college football for the University of Florida, and was a member of a BCS National Championship team. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft, and also played for the Denver Broncos.

Rotating bowl
2006–07 NCAA Division I championships

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