Jan. 4, 2002
NEW YORK – So much for split champions. Miami made it all moot.
The Hurricanes won their fifth national title and first in 10 years
unanimously, receiving all 72 first-place votes in the final Associated
Miami (12-0) finished the season as the nation’s only major unbeaten team
with a 37-14 victory over Nebraska in the Rose Bowl on Thursday night.
In the final, post-bowl AP poll, the No. 1 votes from the sports writers and
broadcasters gave the Hurricanes 1,800 points.
“It’s an unbelievable honor,” Miami coach Larry Coker said. “It’s
tremendously gratifying to be around such great players, to be able to coach
kids at such a high level.”
Coker joined Michigan’s Bennie Oosterbaan (1948) as the only first-year head
coaches to win a national title.
A Nebraska win in the Rose Bowl might have created the fourth split title
since 1990. The Cornhuskers would have automatically been crowned the
champion of the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll, but Oregon would have had a
shot at being the AP winner, which is selected independently.
“I just would have liked to have a shot,” Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington
The Ducks, who beat Colorado 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl, finished No. 2 in the
AP poll – their highest ranking ever. Florida was third, followed by
Tennessee and Texas. The coaches had the same Top Five as the AP.
Nebraska fell from No. 4 to No. 8, behind Oklahoma and LSU. Colorado and
Washington State rounded out the Top 10.
Coker took over for Butch Davis after the Hurricanes finished No. 2 last
season. The Hurricanes started the season ranked No. 2 and moved into the
No. 1 spot for good on Oct. 6 when Florida lost to Auburn.
The title completes Miami’s return to prominence. The Hurricanes finished
with a 5-6 record as recently as 1997, but Davis rebuilt the team before
leaving to coach the Cleveland Browns.
Coker took over and moved Miami into fourth place for the most AP
championships ever, trailing only Alabama (six), Oklahoma (seven) and Notre
Dame (eight). The Hurricanes also won titles in 1983, ’87, ’89 and ’91.
Maryland, which lost the Orange Bowl 56-23 to Florida, finished 11th,
followed by Illinois, South Carolina, Syracuse and Florida State.
The Seminoles’ streak of 14 straight Top Five seasons ended with their
lowest finish since being unranked in the final poll in 1986.
Stanford, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Washington, Michigan, Boston College,
Georgia, Toledo, Georgia Tech and BYU were the final 10 teams.
Boston College and Georgia Tech moved into the final poll after bowl wins,
while Ohio State and Fresno State dropped out after bowl losses.
The Southeastern Conference led the way with five teams in the Top 25, while
the Big East, Pac-10 and Big 12 all had four.
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Sports Writer
The Final AP Top 25 Poll
The Top Twenty Five teams in The Associated Press final college football
poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, final records, total points
based on 25 points for a first place vote through one point for a 25th place
vote and previous ranking: