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
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... Read More