Bowl Coalition

The Bowl Coalition was formed through an agreement among Division I-A college football bowl games and conferences for the purpose of forcing a national championship game between the top two teams and to provide quality bowl game matchups for the champions of its member conferences. It was established for the 1992 season after there were co-national champions for both the 1990 and 1991. The agreement was in place for the 1992, 1993, and 1994 college football seasons. It was the predecessor of the Bowl Alliance, and later the Bowl Championship Series.

Bowl Coalition
In operation19921994
Preceded byNational Polls (1869–1991)
Succeeded byBowl Alliance (19951997)
Number of Coalition bowls6–7 per season
Championship trophyAFCA National Championship Trophy
Most Coalition bowl appearancesFlorida, Florida St., Miami (FL), Nebraska, Notre Dame (3)
Most Coalition bowl winsFlorida St. (3)
Most Coalition bowl championshipsAlabama, Florida St., Nebraska (1)
Conference with most appearancesACC, Big East, Big 8, SEC, SWC (6)
Conference with most game winsSEC (5)
Conference with most championshipsACC, Big 8, SEC (1)
Last championship game1995 Orange Bowl
Last championNebraska

Background

Since the AP Poll began crowning its national champion after the bowl games in 1968, the two top-ranked teams going into the bowls had only played each other in a bowl six times, most recently after the 1987 season. This raised the possibility that the two top-ranked teams at the end of the regular season would never meet on the field, even when there was a clear-cut #1 and #2. Following two consecutive seasons of split national championships in 1990 and 1991, there was a renewed effort in devising a system that would force a #1 vs. #2 national championship bowl game.

The Bowl Coalition consisted of five conferences (the SEC, Big 8, SWC, ACC, and Big East), independent Notre Dame, and seven bowl games (the Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Gator, John Hancock/Sun, and, for the 1992 season only, the Blockbuster bowl).

Under the agreement, bowl bids would be extended to the five member conference champions plus five at-large teams. The at-large teams would come from a pool of four member conferences' runners-up (the SEC, Big Eight, SWC, ACC AND Big East), the runner-up of the Pac-10, the SEC's third-place team (since the SEC started playing a championship game in the 1992 season and the championship game loser was tied to the Citrus Bowl) and independent Notre Dame. The Orange, Sugar, Cotton, and Fiesta Bowls were "Tier 1 Bowls" under the Coalition agreement, and the Gator, John Hancock/Sun, and Blockbuster were "Tier 2 Bowls." The Orange, Sugar, and Cotton bowls retained their long-standing agreements to invite the Big 8, SEC, and SWC champs, respectively. However, the SEC, Big 8, and SWC champs would be released to play in another bowl if it was necessary to force a "title game." For example, if the SEC and SWC champions were ranked first and second, the Cotton Bowl would have released the SWC champ to play in the Sugar Bowl, or the Sugar Bowl would have released the SEC champ to play in the Cotton Bowl. This did not happen in any of the three years, as either the Big East or ACC champion qualified for the championship in those years.

The top "host" team played the top "at-large" team in the host team's affiliated bowl. Slots for the games were chosen by the "Bowl Poll" in which the points from the AP and Coaches polls were combined. If the top 2 teams were both "at-large", then the Fiesta would have hosted the "title game." The #3 team from the SEC hosted the Gator Bowl. The American Football Coaches Association agreed to rank the winner of the Bowl Coalition's "title game" as the top team in the final Coaches' Poll, thus guaranteeing the winner of the game at least a share of the national championship.

The system worked perfectly in its first year. Big East champion Miami was ranked first in both polls, while SEC champion Alabama was ranked second. Miami was free to choose a bowl, and it opted to play in the 1993 Sugar Bowl against host Alabama.

Criticism

The Coalition was flawed in several respects. Most significantly, it did not include the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-10, both of whom were contractually obligated to play in the Rose Bowl. The Coalition's founders tried to get the Tournament of Roses Association to release the Big Ten and Pac-10 champions to play in a title game if one of them was ranked #1 or #2 in the Bowl Poll, but it refused to do so due to concerns about this potentially violating its television contract with ABC.

The possibility also still existed that an undefeated and untied team would not get a chance to play for the national championship. This actually occurred during the 1993 season. Nebraska and West Virginia both finished the season undefeated and untied. However, West Virginia, ranked #2 in the final regular season Coaches Poll behind #1 Nebraska, was ranked #3 in the final regular season AP Poll behind #1 Florida State and #2 Nebraska. The margin between West Virginia and Florida State was large enough to drop the Mountaineers to third in the Bowl Coalition Poll, forcing them to settle for a berth in the Sugar Bowl.

Also, the Coalition did not include the so-called "mid-major" I-A conferences—the WAC, Big West, and Mid-American, nor any of the Division I-A independents other than Notre Dame. However, it was argued that most of these schools did not have schedules strong enough to be legitimate title contenders. For example, when BYU won the national championship in 1984—the last time a team from a mid-major conference has won a national championship as of the 2018 season—some college football pundits argued that the Cougars had not played a legitimate schedule, since they had only played one ranked team all season. Despite criticism of their schedule, the Cougars were a near-unanimous pick as national champion at the end of the season. The Coalition's exclusion of mid-major conferences made it difficult for this to ever happen again.

Demise

The Bowl Coalition's demise came about, in large part, as the result of two events that occurred in the 1994 season. First, the Southwest Conference, which had seen a marked decline in its quality of play over the past decade, announced it would dissolve after the 1995 season. Also, Notre Dame slipped from 10–1–1 in 1992 and 11–1 in 1993 to 6–4–1 in 1994. Notre Dame was still invited to the Fiesta Bowl in the 1994 season, losing 41–24 to Colorado in a game played on January 2, 1995. The sudden fall of Notre Dame led some involved in the Bowl Coalition to be concerned about the possibility of Notre Dame failing to win the minimum six games to be eligible for a bowl invitation. To alleviate these concerns, before the 1995 season the Bowl Coalition was reconfigured into the Bowl Alliance, breaking up the conference tie-ins and tweaking a system that still did not include the Big Ten and the Pac 10.

The final year of the Bowl Coalition saw its formula break down completely. Nebraska and Penn State both finished the regular season undefeated and untied. Nebraska finished ranked #1 and Penn State #2 in both the AP and coaches' polls. However, Penn State had given up its independent status to join the Big Ten a year earlier and thus was bound, as the conference's champion, to play Pac-10 champion Oregon in the Rose Bowl. This created a distinct possibility for a split national championship, as Nebraska would take on #3 Miami, on New Year's night in the Orange Bowl; if Miami won, they would be declared the Bowl Coalition National Champions and would be consensus champion if Penn State lost the Rose Bowl. As it turned out, Nebraska defeated Miami to win the Orange Bowl and clinch the national championship in both polls despite Penn State's win against Oregon the previous day.

One legacy of the Bowl Coalition was that it cemented the status of the Fiesta Bowl as a major bowl. The Fiesta Bowl was by far the youngest of the "Tier 1" bowls. Indeed, it was the only "Tier 1" bowl that was less than a half-century old at the time, and was far newer than the "Tier 2" Gator and Sun Bowls.

Bowl Coalition games

1992 season

Tier I
Bowl Date Winner Con. Score Loser Con. Score
Cotton January 1, 1993 5 Notre Dame (10–1–1) Ind. 28 4 Texas A&M (12–1) SWC 3
Fiesta January 1, 1993 6 Syracuse (10–2) Big East #2 26 10 Colorado (9–2–1) Big 8 #2 22
Orange January 1, 1993 3 Florida State (11–1) ACC 27 11 Nebraska (9–3) Big 8 14
Sugar January 1, 1993 2 Alabama (12–0) SEC 34 1 Miami (FL) (11–0) Big East 13
Tier II
Bowl Date Winner Con. Score Loser Con. Score
Hancock December 31, 1992 Baylor (7–5) SWC #2 20 22 Arizona (6–5–1) Pac-10 15
Gator December 31, 1992 14 Florida (9–4) SEC #3 27 12 NC State (9–3–1) ACC #2 10
Blockbuster January 1, 1993 13 Stanford (9–3) Pac-10 #2 24 21 Penn State (7–5) Ind. 3

1993 season

Tier I
Bowl Date Winner Con. Score Loser Con. Score
Cotton January 1, 1994 4 Notre Dame (10–1) Ind. 24 7 Texas A&M (10–1) SWC 21
Fiesta January 1, 1994 16 Arizona (9–2) Pac-10 #2 29 10 Miami (FL) (9–2) Big East #2 0
Sugar January 1, 1994 8 Florida (10–2) SEC 41 3 West Virginia (11–0) Big East 7
Orange January 1, 1994 1 Florida State (11–1) ACC 18 2 Nebraska (11–0) Big 8 16
Tier II
Bowl Date Winner Con. Score Loser Con. Score
Hancock December 24, 1993 19 Oklahoma (8–3) Big 8 #2 41 Texas Tech (6–5) SWC #2 10
Gator December 31, 1993 18 Alabama (8–3–1) SEC #3 24 12 North Carolina (10–2) ACC #2 10

1994 season

Tier I
Bowl Date Winner Con. Score Loser Con. Score
Cotton January 2, 1995 21 USC (7–3–1) Pac-10 #2 55 Texas Tech (6–5) SWC 14
Fiesta January 2, 1995 4 Colorado (10–1) Big 8 #2 41 Notre Dame (6–4–1) Ind. 24
Sugar January 2, 1995 7 Florida State (9–1–1) ACC 23 5 Florida (10–1–1) SEC 17
Orange January 1, 1995 1 Nebraska (12–0) Big 8 24 3 Miami (10–1) Big East 17
Tier II
Bowl Date Winner Con. Score Loser Con. Score
Sun December 30, 1994 Texas (8–3) SWC #2 35 19 North Carolina (8–3) ACC #2 31
Gator December 30, 1994 Tennessee (7–4) SEC #3 45 17 Virginia Tech (8–3) Big East #2 23

Notes:

  • Bold denotes Bowl Coalition National Championship Game
  • Rankings are from the AP Poll. Records and Rankings are prior to bowl games.
  • The Blockbuster Bowl was a coalition bowl in 1992, but not in 1993 or 1994. The John Hancock Bowl, which had previously pitted the final Coalition team against an at-large opponent, inherited the Blockbuster's coalition pick, and pitted the final two Coalition teams against each other in 1993 and 1994
  • After the 1993 game, the John Hancock Bowl reverted to its original name of the Sun Bowl.

Appearances

Bowl Coalition appearances by team

Appearances School W L Pct Games
3 Florida State 3 0 1.000 Won 1993 Orange Bowl
Won 1994 Orange Bowl+
Won 1995 Sugar Bowl (January)
3 Florida 2 1 .666 Won 1992 Gator Bowl
Won 1994 Sugar Bowl
Lost 1995 Sugar Bowl (January)
3 Notre Dame 2 1 .666 Won 1993 Cotton Bowl Classic
Won 1994 Cotton Bowl Classic
Lost 1995 Fiesta Bowl
3 Nebraska 1 2 0.333 Lost 1993 Orange Bowl
Lost 1994 Orange Bowl+
Won 1995 Orange Bowl+
3 Miami (FL) 0 3 .000 Lost 1993 Sugar Bowl+
Lost 1994 Fiesta Bowl
Lost 1995 Orange Bowl+
2 Alabama 2 0 1.000 Won 1993 Sugar Bowl+
Won 1993 Gator Bowl
2 Arizona 1 1 .500 Lost 1992 John Hancock Bowl
Won 1994 Fiesta Bowl
2 Colorado 1 1 .500 Lost 1993 Fiesta Bowl
Won 1994 Fiesta Bowl
2 North Carolina 0 2 .000 Lost 1993 Gator Bowl
Lost 1994 Sun Bowl
2 Texas A&M 0 2 .000 Lost 1993 Cotton Bowl Classic
Lost 1994 Cotton Bowl Classic
2 Texas Tech 0 2 .000 Lost 1993 John Hancock Bowl
Lost1995 Cotton Bowl Classic
1 Baylor 1 0 1.000 Won 1992 John Hancock Bowl
1 Oklahoma 1 0 1.000 Won 1993 John Hancock Bowl
1 Stanford 1 0 1.000 Won 1993 Blockbuster Bowl
1 Syracuse 1 0 1.000 Won 1993 Fiesta Bowl
1 Tennessee 1 0 1.000 Won 1994 Gator Bowl
1 Texas 1 0 1.000 Won 1994 Sun Bowl
1 USC 1 0 1.000 Won 1995 Cotton Bowl Classic
1 N.C. State 0 1 .000 Lost 1992 Gator Bowl
1 Penn State 0 1 .000 Lost 1993 Blockbuster Bowl
1 Virginia Tech 0 1 .000 Lost 1994 Gator Bowl
1 West Virginia 0 1 .000 Lost 1994 Sugar Bowl

+ Denotes Bowl Coalition National Championship Game

Bowl Coalition National Championship Game appearances by team

Appearances School W L Pct Games
2 Nebraska 1 1 .500 Lost 1994 Orange Bowl
Won 1995 Orange Bowl
2 Miami (FL) 0 2 .000 Lost 1993 Sugar Bowl
Lost 1995 Orange Bowl
1 Alabama 1 0 1.000 Won 1993 Sugar Bowl
1 Florida State 1 0 .500 Won 1994 Orange Bowl

Bowl Coalition appearances by conference

Conference Appearances W L Pct # Schools School(s)
SEC 6 5 1 .833 3 Florida (2–1)
Alabama (2–0)
Tennessee (1–0)
Big 8 6 3 3 .500 3 Nebraska (1–2)
Colorado (1–1)
Oklahoma (1–0)
ACC 6 3 3 .500 3 Florida State (3–0)
North Carolina (0–2)
NC State (0–1)
SWC 6 2 4 .333 4 Texas A&M (0–2)
Texas Tech (0–2)
Texas (1–0)
Baylor (1–0)
Big East 6 1 5 .167 4 Miami, FL (0–3)
Syracuse (1–0)
Virginia Tech (0–1)
West Virginia (0–1)
Pac-10 4 3 1 .750 3 Arizona (1–1)
USC (1–0)
Stanford (1–0)
Independent 4 2 2 .500 2 Notre Dame (2–1)
Penn State (0–1)

Bowl Coalition National Championship Game appearances by Conference

Conference Appearances W L Pct # Schools School(s)
Big 8 2 1 1 .500 1 Nebraska (1–1)
Big East 2 0 2 .000 1 Miami, FL (0–2)
SEC 1 1 0 1.000 1 Alabama (1–0)
ACC 1 1 0 1.000 1 Florida State (1–0)

References

  • "College Bowl Games". HickokSports.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2002. Retrieved September 20, 2005.
1992 Gator Bowl

The 1992 Gator Bowl was an American college football bowl game that was played on December 31, 1992 at Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The game matched the Florida Gators against the NC State Wolfpack. It was the final contest of the 1992 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams. It was the first of three Gator Bowls sponsored by Outback Steakhouse; thus, the game was also known as the 1992 Outback Gator Bowl. The game ended in a 27–10 victory for the Gators.

1992 John Hancock Bowl

The 1992 John Hancock Bowl was college football bowl game played on December 31, 1992 at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas. The game pitted the Baylor Bears against the Arizona Wildcats. It was final contest of the 1992 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams, and ended in a 20–15 victory for Baylor. It was also the final game for Grant Teaff, the long-time Baylor coach, who previously announced his retirement.

1993 Cotton Bowl Classic

The 1993 Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1993, at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. The bowl game featured the Notre Dame Fighting Irish versus the Southwest Conference champions, Texas A&M. Notre Dame upset the previously undefeated Aggies in a 28–3 victory.

1993 Fiesta Bowl

The 1993 IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl, played on January 1, 1993, was the 22nd edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game featured the Colorado Buffaloes and the Syracuse Orangemen.

1993 Gator Bowl

The 1993 Outback Gator Bowl, part of the 1993 bowl game season, took place on December 31, 1993, at the Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The competing teams were the Alabama Crimson Tide, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the North Carolina Tar Heels, representing the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Alabama won the game 24–10.

1993 John Hancock Bowl

The 1993 John Hancock Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game that featured the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Oklahoma Sooners.

1993 Orange Bowl

The 1993 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1993. This 59th edition to the Orange Bowl featured the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and the Florida State Seminoles. Nebraska came into the game ranked number 11 at 9-2. Florida State entered the game ranked number 3 at 10-1.

In the first quarter, FSU quarterback Charlie Ward found wide receiver Tamarick Vanover for a 25-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 Seminole lead. FSU's placekicker Dan Mowerey nailed a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter to give Florida State a 10-0 lead. Florida State's Charlie Ward threw a second touchdown pass to give Florida State a 17-0 second quarter lead. Dan Mowerey added 1 24-yard field goal with 2:34 left in the half to give FSU a 20-0 lead.

Tommie Frazier threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Corey Dixon with just over a minute in the half to make the halftime score 20-7 FSU. Late in the third quarter, Florida State's Sean Jackson took a handoff, and rushed 11 yards for a touchdown giving FSU a 27-7 lead. Tommie Frazier threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Armstrong in the fourth quarter to make the margin 27-14, but the Cornhuskers would get no closer. Florida State held on for a 27-14 win.

1993 Sugar Bowl

The 1993 Sugar Bowl took place on January 1, 1993, in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was the final game of the 1992 college football season and served as the first ever National Championship game selected by the Bowl Coalition, predecessor to the Bowl Alliance and later the Bowl Championship Series. The game featured two unbeaten teams in the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Miami Hurricanes.

1994 Cotton Bowl Classic

The 1994 Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic was the fifty-eighth edition of the college football bowl game, played January 1, 1994, at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. The game featured the Notre Dame Fighting Irish versus the Southwest Conference champion Texas A&M Aggies. The game was a rematch of the 1993 Cotton Bowl, which Notre Dame also won. Furthermore, Notre Dame had the chance with its win to split the national championship with Florida State, whom they had beaten earlier in the season.

1994 Fiesta Bowl

The 1994 IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl, played on January 1, 1994, was the 23rd edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game featured the Arizona Wildcats, and the Miami Hurricanes. The game featured the only shutout in Fiesta Bowl history, as Arizona shut-out Miami. The shutout loss was the first for Miami in 168 games, since they lost 30–0 to Alabama on November 17, 1979.

The scoring started with Dan White throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Troy Dickey. The ensuing extra point failed, and Arizona settled for a 6–0 lead. Kicker Steve McLaughlin kicked a 39-yard field goal to increase the lead to 9–0, at the end of the 1st quarter. Late in the second quarter, running back Chuck Levy scored on a 68-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 16–0.

In the third quarter, McLaughlin added two field goals of 31 and 21 yards respectively, as the Wildcats opened up a 22–0 lead. In the 4th quarter, White connected with Dickey again for a 13-yard touchdown, to provide the final margin. Arizona gained revenge for an 8–7 Miami win the previous year, when McLaughlin missed a last second 51-yard field goal.

1994 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season was the main college football season sanctioned by the NCAA. The season began in August 1994 and ended on January 2, 1995. Nebraska, who finished the season undefeated, ended the year ranked #1 in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls. This was the first national championship of coach Tom Osborne's career at Nebraska, despite coming close in two prior attempts; in 1983, his team lost to Miami after Osborne, with his team trailing 31-30 late in the game, elected to try for the lead instead of the tie and failed. In the previous season, Osborne's team lost to eventual national champion Florida State on a missed field goal as time expired.

Although Osborne's team finished the season unbeaten, the national championship picture again was engulfed in controversy. For much of the second half of the season, Nebraska and Penn State were regarded as the top two teams in the country. This raised the possibility of a split national championship for the third time since 1990, due in large part to the system in place that had been concocted to avoid a split title.

Following the 1991 season, where Miami and Washington split the national championship in the AP and Coaches' polls, the Bowl Coalition was founded. The Coalition consisted of six bowls, with the Orange, Fiesta, Cotton, and Sugar bowls were all considered potential hosts for a national championship game. Since three of these bowls already had specific tie-ins with conferences, an agreement was struck where the conferences would agree to release those teams from their contractual obligations in order to achieve a #1 vs #2 matchup. For the first two years of the Coalition, this did occur without incident as the Sugar and Orange Bowls in 1993 and 1994 featured #1 vs. #2 matchups in their respective games.

The problem with this as far as 1994 was concerned was that the Rose Bowl, which featured the Pac-10 and Big Ten champions playing each other, was not included in the Coalition and thus a team that finished #1 or #2 in the polls from those two conferences could not be considered by the Coalition to be its national champion. Nebraska, as a member of the Big Eight Conference, was part of the coalition while Penn State was not. As Nebraska went on to win the conference title, it earned an automatic bid to the Orange Bowl to face off against #3 Miami, who won the Big East title and was #2 in the Coalition pool. Thus Miami, who as recently as two years earlier was in the Coalition championship game, had a chance to stake a claim as the national champion with a win (as they would have been awarded the Coaches' Trophy) and all but ensure a split title with Penn State provided they defeated #13 Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

On January 1, 1995, Nebraska defeated Miami in the Orange Bowl 24-17 and clinched the championship. The next day Penn State defeated Oregon in the Rose Bowl by a count of 38-20 and secured the #2 spot in the polls.

In the offseason that followed, the Bowl Coalition was disbanded and in its place came the Bowl Alliance, which attempted to serve the same purpose by rotating a national championship game between the Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange Bowls. Like the Bowl Coalition before it, the Bowl Alliance did not include the Rose Bowl and two of the three national championship games did not feature a #1 vs. #2 matchup, with the 1997 season seeing another split national championship.

1994 Orange Bowl

The 1994 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1994. The contest was the Bowl Coalition National Championship Game for the 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season. This 60th edition to the Orange Bowl featured the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Eight Conference and the Florida State Seminoles of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

1994 Sugar Bowl

The 1994 Sugar Bowl took place on January 1, 1994, in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana between the Florida Gators, the champions of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and West Virginia Mountaineers, winners of the Big East Conference. The Mountaineers came into the game undefeated, with a shot at a share of the national title, while Florida came in 10–2 and ranked #8.

1994 Sun Bowl

The 1994 Sun Bowl was a college football bowl game played on December 29, 1994. The game pitted the unranked Texas Longhorns against the No. 19 North Carolina Tar Heels. The Tar Heels were led by eventual Texas head coach Mack Brown. The game was a seesaw offensive battle. Texas, down 31–21 midway through the fourth quarter, mounted a comeback to gain a 35–31 victory, with Priest Holmes's leap into the endzone proving to be the winning points. A record 50,612 attended this game, a high for both the bowl and the stadium.

1995 Cotton Bowl Classic

The 1995 Mobil Cotton Bowl was the 59th Cotton Bowl Classic. The USC Trojans defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 55–14. The Trojans took a 21–0 lead less than ten minutes into the game and led 34–0 at halftime. USC wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, who finished with eight catches for a Cotton Bowl-record 222 yards and three touchdowns, was named offensive MVP. Trojan cornerback John Herpin had two interceptions, one for a touchdown, and was named defensive MVP.The game was televised nationally by NBC for the third consecutive year. The Cotton Bowl Classic would return to its longtime television home, CBS, the next year. It was also the last year that Mobil served as the game's title sponsor; the following year, the Cotton Bowl organizers began a seventeen-year relationship with what is now AT&T.

1995 Fiesta Bowl

The 1995 IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl, played on January 2, 1995, was the 24th edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game featured the Colorado Buffaloes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

1995 Orange Bowl

The 1995 Orange Bowl was a college football bowl game played on January 1, 1995, as the 61st edition of the Orange Bowl and the national championship game for the 1994 season. It featured the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Eight and the Miami Hurricanes of the Big East. The game was a rematch of the historic 1984 Orange Bowl.

Although this was the Bowl Coalition's National Championship Game, it was a match-up of the first and third-ranked teams in the country, as second-ranked Penn State was obligated to play in the 1995 Rose Bowl as the Big Ten champion.

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.

Bowl Alliance

The Bowl Alliance was an agreement among college football bowl games (specifically the Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta Bowls) for the purpose of trying to match the top two teams in a national championship bowl game and to provide quality bowl game matchups for the champions of its member conferences. The agreement was in place for the 1995, 1996, and 1997 seasons and had replaced the Bowl Coalition. Each participating team in the Bowl Alliance Championship received $8.5 million from the television sponsors.

Systems used to determine college football national championships
NCAA Division I-A/FBS
NCAA Division I-AA/FCS
NCAA Division II
NCAA Division III
NAIA Divisions
Additional systems

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