1997 NCAA Division I-A football season

1997 NCAA Division I-A Football Season

NCAA Division I-A Season
NCAA Division I-A Season Less

1997 NCAA Division I-A football season

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The 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with a split championship for the third time in the 1990s. It was the final year under the predecessor to the Bowl Championship Series, the Bowl Alliance system. (which had itself replaced the Bowl Coalition system)

In Tom Osborne's last season as head coach, Nebraska took over the #1 ranking in the nation after defeating Texas Tech midway through the season. Three weeks later, despite winning at in an overtime game, in which a kick-ball deflection touchdown pass by Nebraska tied the game up in regulation, Nebraska slipped to a #2 ranking in the polls; the University of Michigan moved ahead of Nebraska after its 34-8 victory over #3 ranked Penn State University.

The consensus #1 team going into the bowl season was undefeated Michigan, coached by coach of the year Lloyd Carr and led by Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson. Michigan went into the 1998 Rose Bowl against #8 Washington State ranked #1 in both the AP and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Michigan defeated Washington State 21–16.

Undefeated #2 Nebraska squared off in the 1998 Orange Bowl versus the #3 ranked Tennessee Volunteers football team. Nebraska defeated Tennessee 42-17.

After the bowl games, the AP poll awarded the national championship to Michigan, and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll awarded the national championship to Nebraska, giving Tom Osborne his third national title in four seasons to cap his career.

Fortunately this wouldn't be a problem again as...
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