Home Top 128 Rankings/Polls Picks/Scores Feature Picks Odds Standings Tickets Teams Bowls News Forum Season Preview History More...

College Football
Season Preview

Computer Rankings and National Titles: 1993-1995 | 1996-1998 | 1999-2002 | 2003-2005 | 2006-2008 | 2009-2011 | 2012-2015 |

Computer Rankings And National Titles


National Champion Prediction: Florida State
Predicted Participants (Sugar): Florida State (11-0) vs. Tennessee (11-0)
Actual Participants (Sugar): Florida State (11-0) vs. Virginia Tech (11-0)
Computer Line: Florida State by 6
Final: Florida State 46, Virginia Tech 29
National Champ: Florida State
Comment: The College Football website was launched, and the second year of the BCS produced an undisputed champion. Still, Nebraska fans complained loudly that they were more deserving than Virginia Tech as the Hokies barely eked past the Cornhuskers in the final BCS Standings system.

The game, however, was a thriller. After Florida State staked out a 28-7 lead, Michael Vick rallied his troops for a 29-28 advantage after three quarters. But the Seminoles pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Tennessee did not get to defend its title after finishing behind Florida in the SEC East. The Vols ended the year at 9-3, including a 31-21 loss to Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl.

See: 1999 Final Computer Rankings

National Champion Prediction: Florida State
Predicted Participants (Orange): Florida State (11-0) vs. Wisconsin (12-0)
Actual Participants (Orange): Florida State (11-1) vs. Oklahoma (12-0)
Computer Line: Florida State by 12
Final: Oklahoma 13, Florida State 2
National Champ: Oklahoma
Comment: The Sooners came out of nowhere to claim the title in Bobby Stoops second season as head coach. The former defensive coordinator from Florida shut down FSU's high-powered offense.

There was controversy before, and after, this game that Miami (which beat FSU in the regular season) deserved the bid more than the Seminoles. The controversy resulted in the BCS amending their rankings formula for the 2001 season.

Wisconsin finished the season 8-4 after beating UCLA 21-20 in the Sun Bowl.

See: 2000 Final Computer Rankings

National Champion Prediction: Oklahoma
Predicted Participants (Rose): Florida (12-0) vs. Oklahoma (13-0)
Actual Participants (Rose): Miami, Fla. (11-0) vs. Nebraska (11-1)
Computer Line: Miami by 11
Final: Miami 37, Nebraska 14
National Champ: Miami, Fla.
Comment: Under first-year head coach Larry Coker, Miami won its 5th national title. Controversy reigned supreme as Nebraska gained a spot in the national championship game without even playing for its own conference championship. But the Cornhuskers "backed in" as the other teams ranked in front of them fell out of contention with losses.

After Nebraska lost to Colorado in its final regular season game, Oklahoma was shocked by Oklahoma State, and Florida lost to Tennessee. Then, in their conference title games, Texas fell to Colorado, and Tennessee lost to LSU.

Voila! The other contenders had fallen behind Nebraska again.

PAC-10 champs Oregon complained loudly that they weren't in the title game. With a 10-1 record, they proceeded to the Fiesta Bowl where they ripped Big 12 champ Colorado 38-16. The Ducks had finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the Coaches and AP Polls, but were fourth in the BCS. Colorado, with a 10-2 record, was third in the BCS.

The computer's preseason picks of Florida and Oklahoma were both in the hunt until the very end. The Gators finished the year at 10-2 after demolishing Maryland 56-23 in the Orange Bowl. The Sooners completed an 11-2 campaign with a 10-3 win over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.

It was only the third time in the nine-year history of the Congrove Computer Rankings that they didn't predict at least one of the two finalists.

See: 2001 Final Computer Rankings

National Champion Prediction: Oklahoma
Predicted Participants (Fiesta): Miami, Fla. (12-0) vs. Oklahoma (13-0)
Actual Participants (Fiesta): Miami, Fla. (12-0) vs. Ohio State (13-0)
Computer Line: Miami, Fla. by 11
Final: Ohio State 31, Miami, Fla. 24 (2 OT)
National Champ: Ohio State
Comment: Ohio State shocked the nation with a double-overtime 31-24 victory in what many quickly termed one of the greatest college football games ever. It ended with some controversy, however.

After falling behind 17-7, Miami rallied to tie the game at 17 on a 40-yard field goal as time expired. The Hurricanes then seemingly won 24-17 in the first overtime after successfully defending a 4th-down pass attempt by Ohio State. But a referee hesitated, then threw a penalty flag a few seconds later. His interference call gave the Buckeyes one more shot which they obviously took advantage of, and under second-year head coach Jim Tressel, Ohio State claimed their first national title since 1968.

The computer's predicted national champ, Oklahoma, finished the season at 12-2 with a 34-14 romp over Washington State in the Rose Bowl and was 3rd in the final computer rankings. But Miami lived up to the computer's expectations by taking a 34-game winning streak into the Fiesta Bowl.

For the seventh time in ten seasons the Congrove Computer Rankings predicted at least one of the two finalists.

See: 2002 Final Computer Rankings


is a proud
"Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties"