2000 College Football Recap
The 2000 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the Oklahoma Sooners claiming their first national championship and their first conference championship since the departure of head coach Barry Switzer. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was in his second season as head coach, having been the defensive coordinator of Steve Spurrier’s 1996 National Champion Florida Gators, and also having helped Bill Snyder turn the Kansas State Wildcats around in the early 1990s. Stoops erased a three-game losing streak against rival Texas by a score of 63–14, one of the worst defeats in Texas’ football history. Despite the lopsided victory, this game marked a return of the Red River Shootout to a rivalry game with national title implications.
The BCS title game was not without controversy, as the system shut fourth-ranked Washington out of the championship game, despite being the only team who had beaten each #2 Miami and #5 Oregon State and having the same 10-1 record as #3 Florida State during the regular season. 10–1 Miami, who handed #3 Florida State their only loss, was ranked higher in both the AP Writers’ Poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, and had the same record as the Seminoles, was also seen as a possible title contender. Virginia Tech also was left out of the BCS bowls, despite being ranked higher than one of the at-large teams, Notre Dame. The South Carolina Gamecocks broke a 21-game losing streak, stretching back into 1998, to go 8–4 including a win over Ohio State in the Outback Bowl. Two new bowl games began in the 2000 season: the Silicon Valley Bowl, which had a contractual tie-in with the WAC, and the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl. Nevada left the Big West Conference to become the ninth member of the Western Athletic Conference. Two new teams joined Division I-A football this season; University of Connecticut and University of South Florida.
2001 College Football Recap
The 2001 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the University of Miami winning the national title for the fifth time. The Hurricanes were led by Larry Coker, who was in his first year as head coach after five years as Miami’s offensive coordinator under Butch Davis. Coker had the benefit of inheriting a star-studded program that Davis had rebuilt in the aftermath of NCAA sanctions in the mid-to-late 90s. Miami completed a perfect 12-0 season, which culminated in a 37-14 win over Nebraska in the Rose Bowl BCS National Championship Game. In yet another controversial season for the BCS, (AP) #4 Nebraska was chosen as the national title opponent despite not having even played in the Big 12 championship game. The Huskers went into their last regularly scheduled game at Colorado undefeated, but left Boulder having lost the game by a score of 62-36. The Buffaloes went on to win the Big 12 championship game. The BCS computers, among other things, didn’t weigh later games any more heavily than earlier games, and one-loss Nebraska came out ahead of two-loss #3 Colorado and one-loss, #2 Oregon. Some fans chanted “number 4” at the title game held at the Rose Bowl.
Florida State did not win the ACC championship for the first time since joining the conference in 1991, losing out to Maryland. Steve Spurrier left the Florida Gators at the end of the season to coach the Washington Redskins, accepting what was then the largest salary for an NFL head coach. The season had one of the more competitive Heisman Trophy races with Eric Crouch of Nebraska winning by only a small margin over Rex Grossman of Florida. All of the five finalists played the quarterback position. Two of the finalists were coached at some point by Oregon offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford. Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El earned first-team All-America honors from the FWAA after becoming the first NCAA Division I-A quarterback to throw for 40 touchdowns and rush for 40 touchdowns in a career. He also became the first player in NCAA I-A history to record 2,500 total yards from scrimmage in four consecutive seasons.
The Big West Conference stopped sponsoring football after the 2000 season, concluding a pattern that had been started by many of its previous members of the past decade. Its remaining football playing members left to join other conferences for the 2001 season: Boise State joined the WAC, Arkansas State, New Mexico State and North Texas joined the Sun Belt Conference, which sponsored football for the first time in 2001. Idaho also joined the Sun Belt, but as a football-only member. Utah State would stay in the Big West, playing football as an Independent. The newly formed Boise State/Fresno State rivalry would be a major factor in the race to be the “BCS buster” for several seasons. Troy State joined Division 1-A football this season. The Aloha Bowl and Oahu Bowl lost funding after Chrysler Corporation, which owned the former bowl’s sponsor of Jeep, was acquired by Daimler-Benz and became DaimlerChrysler. The Aloha Bowl moved to Seattle and became the Seattle Bowl. The New Orleans Bowl began play, the host team being the Sun Belt champion.
The final 3 weeks of the regular season saw an incredible amount of drama as several teams were in prime position to earn their way to the Rose Bowl to play Miami. On November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, Nebraska was one the number one team in the BCS heading to Boulder to play the Colorado Buffaloes. After a devastating 62-36 loss, they were unable to win their division and their season seemed to fall by the wayside, allowing the Florida Gators the inside track to meet Miami if they were able to win out. This also gave the Oklahoma Sooners the opportunity to earn their way to the National Championship if Florida was to stumble against either Tennessee or in the SEC Championship game. Those hopes would soon dissolve the day after Nebraska’s loss as the Sooners were upset at home by Oklahoma State 16-13, ending their title hopes and knocking them out of the Big 12 Championship game as well. Florida had an inside track to the National Championship game until the following week in their matchup with Tennessee, losing that game 34-32 in Gainesville. The loss not only ended their dreams of a trip to the Rose Bowl, but also ended their shot at going to Atlanta for the SEC title game. Tennessee then stepped into the number 2 spot the following week going into the SEC Championship against LSU, but was upset by the Tigers 31-20, and their hopes of National Championship appearance were gone as quickly as they had come.
Later that evening, Texas entered the Big 12 Championship game against Colorado in prime time television knowing that a win would seal their spot in the Rose Bowl as the number 2 team in the BCS. Unfortunately they, too, were upset by the Buffaloes, feeling the same sting that Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Nebraska had felt the previous few weeks. Miami was left at the top of all the polls, and the debate began about who deserved to play in the Rose Bowl. Many felt Colorado was the hottest team in the country after dismantling Nebraska and then beating the Longhorns in the Big 12 title game, but their 2 losses at the beginning of the year were tough to ignore. Others felt Oregon deserved the honor, being ranked in some polls as the number 2 team in the country. Ultimately, after all of the upsets, Nebraska ended up as the number 2 team in the BCS, despite being the team to start all of the drama 3 weeks earlier.
2002 College Football Recap
The 2002 NCAA Division I-A football season ended the season with what most consider an exciting double overtime national championship game. Ohio State and Miami both came into the Fiesta Bowl undefeated. The underdog Buckeyes defeated the Hurricanes 31–24, ending Miami’s 34-game winning streak. Jim Tressel won the national championship in only his second year as head coach. Rose Bowl officials were vocally upset over the loss of the Big Ten champ from the game. Former New England Patriots coach Pete Carroll returned the USC Trojans to a BCS bid in only his second season as head coach. Notre Dame also returned to prominence, as Tyrone Willingham became the first coach in Notre Dame history to win 10 games in his first season. The only conference move during this season saw the University of Central Florida leave the Independent ranks to join the Mid-American Conference as its 14th member. Beginning with the 2002 season, teams were allowed to schedule twelve regular season games instead of eleven leading to additional revenues for all teams and allowing players the enhanced opportunity to break various statistical records.
The Rose Bowl normally features the champions of the Big Ten and the Pac-10. However, Big Ten-champion Ohio State, finishing #2 in the BCS, had qualified to play in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl for the national championship against Miami (Fla.) Earlier in the season, Ohio State had defeated Washington State 25-7. After the national championship was set, the Orange Bowl had the next pick, and invited #3 (#5 BCS) Iowa from the Big Ten. When it was the Rose Bowl’s turn to select, the best available team was #8 (#7 BCS) Oklahoma, who won the Big 12 Championship Game. When it came time for the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl to make a second pick, both wanted Pac-10 co-champion USC. However, a BCS rule stated that if two bowls wanted the same team, the bowl with the higher payoff had priority. The Orange Bowl immediately extended an at-large bid to the #5 Trojans and paired them with at-large #3 Iowa in a Big Ten/Pac-10 “Rose Bowl East” matchup in the 2003 Orange Bowl. The Rose Bowl was left to pair Oklahoma with Pac-10 co-champion Washington State. Rose Bowl committee executive director Mitch Dorger was not pleased with the results. As such, the BCS instituted a new rule, whereby a bowl losing its conference champion to the BCS championship could “protect” the second-place team from that conference from going to another bowl. This left the Sugar Bowl with #14 BCS Florida State, the winner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame at 10-2 and #9 in the BCS standings was invited to the 2003 Gator Bowl. Kansas State at #8 also was left out.
2003 College Football Recap
The 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with an abundance of controversy, resulting in a split national championship. This was the first split title since the inception of the BCS, something the BCS intended to eliminate. At season’s end, three major conference teams finished the regular season with one loss, with only two spots available in the BCS National Championship Game. Three non-BCS teams also finished with one loss, TCU, Boise State and Miami (OH), stirring the debate of the BCS being unfair to mid-major teams. USC had lost a triple overtime thriller at California on September 27, LSU lost at home to Florida on October 11, and Oklahoma, which had been #1 in every BCS rating, AP and Coaches’ Poll of the season, lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game, 35-7 on December 6. Although USC, then 11-1, finished ranked #1 in both the AP and Coaches’ Polls, with LSU (12-1) ranked #2 and Oklahoma (12-1) #3, Oklahoma surpassed both USC and LSU on several BCS computer factors. Oklahoma’s schedule strength was ranked 11th to LSU’s 29th and USC’s 37th. Oklahoma’s schedule rank was 0.44 to LSU’s 1.16 and USC’s 1.48. As such, despite the timing of Oklahoma’s loss affecting the human voters, the computers kept Oklahoma at #1 in the BCS poll. LSU was ranked #2 by the BCS based on its #2 ranking in the AP Poll, Coaches Poll, 6 of 7 computer rankings (with the remaining one ranking them #1), and strength of schedule calculations. USC’s #3 BCS ranking resulted from it being ranked #1 the AP and Coaches Poll, but #3 in 5 of 7 computer rankings (with the 2 remaining computer rankings at #1 and #4) and schedule strength, though separated by only 0.16 points.
LSU defeated Oklahoma in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, securing the BCS National Championship, as the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll is contractually obligated to vote the winner of the BCS National Championship Game #1. Meanwhile, when AP #1 USC beat Michigan in the 2004 Rose Bowl, the AP voters kept USC in the top spot, and USC secured the AP title. On January 9, 2004, Ted Waitt, CEO of Gateway Computers offered the NCAA $31 million for a national championship game between USC and Louisiana State. The NCAA did not consider the offer, leaving the year without an unarguable national champion. Army became the first team in Division I-A NCAA football modern history to finish the season 0-13. The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award sponsored by ESPN chose USC coach Pete Carroll as their award recipient, while the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award, voted on by an association of sportswriters, chose LSU Coach Nick Saban.
The Orange Bowl game was noteworthy in that Miami and Florida State previously had scheduled to play each other on Labor Day in 2004. Playing in the Orange Bowl ensured that their next meeting would be each of their very next games and their first of the 2004 season. Texas was also affected by the BCS controversy. Oklahoma’s late loss kept Texas from appearing in one of the BCS games. Had Oklahoma won the Big 12 championship, the two at-large teams would have been Ohio State and Texas. But with the loss, Kansas State received the Big 12 bid and Oklahoma one of the at-large bids, leaving #5 Texas on the outside looking in. Texas lost to Washington State in the Holiday Bowl. Two Independent schools joined conferences in 2003. South Florida left to join Conference USA as its 11th member, while Utah State left the Independent ranks to join the Sun Belt Conference as its 8th member.
2004 College Football Recap
The 2004 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with several undefeated teams vying for a spot in the national title game, triggering controversy. In the 2003 season, no team finished the regular season unbeaten, and five teams finished the season with one loss. In 2004, the situation became even more complicated, as five teams went without losing, a record in the BCS era (this record was tied in 2009, when five teams also went undefeated and a sixth, Florida, lost to undefeated Alabama in the SEC title game). USC of the Pac-10, Oklahoma of the Big 12, Auburn of the SEC, Utah of the MWC, and Boise State of the WAC all finished the regular season undefeated. USC and Oklahoma started the season ranked #1 and #2, respectively, but the other three teams were handicapped by starting out of the top 15. Thus USC and OU played for the BCS National Championship, while Auburn, Utah, and Boise State had to content themselves with other bowl games.
The Orange Bowl proved a rout with USC defeating Oklahoma 55-19, which earned the Trojans their second consecutive AP title and first BCS title. This game, USC’s victory over rival UCLA, and the BCS title were later vacated as part of the sanctions levied against USC as a result of an NCAA investigation. USC appealed the decision but was denied by the NCAA on May 26, 2011, and the BCS title for 2004 was officially vacated on June 6, 2011. The AP title was not vacated, as the AP does not punish teams for violations.
Auburn played in the Sugar Bowl and beat Virginia Tech, the #8 ranked ACC champion. Utah became the first BCS Buster and beat Pitt, the #21 ranked champion of the Big East, in the Fiesta Bowl. Boise State lost a close, high scoring game in the Liberty Bowl to Louisville, the #10 ranked Conference USA champion. As with previous seasons, fans of successful teams left out of the BCS were disappointed. Auburn, Utah, and Boise State all went unbeaten but were not offered a chance to compete for the championship. Auburn was especially the focus of national media attention on this topic; many thought that since Auburn managed to go undefeated in the traditionally tough SEC, they deserved a shot at the title. Adding to the BCS frustration was the fact that Auburn and Utah, though both in BCS bowl games, would not be able to play each other as a match-up of highly ranked unbeatens. The fact that the dismay over the shutout of several deserving unbeaten teams was paired with an understanding of the 2004 season details–that USC and Oklahoma deserved their top 2 BCS spots by having perfect seasons after their initial top rankings, that Auburn was fairly ranked in the preseason as a good but not great-looking team, and that Utah and Boise State played in mid-major conferences–made 2004 a seminal year for serious momentum building behind a multi-team playoff system in college football.
There was also a controversy in selecting the BCS bowls’ second at-large team (Utah being the first). The University of California expected to get the invite, being ranked fourth in the BCS entering the last week of the regular season; the Texas Longhorns, who had been left out of the BCS the year before, was fifth before the final BCS rankings were released. Both teams finished at 10-1, but the Longhorns ultimately received enough support from poll voters to move into the fourth slot, which ensured they would also receive the final at-large bid. Texas coach Mack Brown was criticized for publicly politicking voters to put Texas ahead of California; Cal coach Jeff Tedford called for coaches’ votes to be made public. Texas went on to defeat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, while California lost to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. The Associated Press, as a result of two consecutive seasons of BCS controversy, prohibited the BCS from using their poll as part of its ranking formula. The AP poll was replaced by the Harris Interactive poll, and the AP continues to award its own national championship trophy.
In another first, the LSU Tigers lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes on a last second Hail Mary pass in the Capital One Bowl, becoming the first school to lose a non-BCS bowl a year after winning the BCS National Championship Game. In conference moves, Miami (FL) and Virginia Tech left the Big East to join the ACC, giving the ACC 11 members. Connecticut left the Independent ranks to join the Big East. Troy State also left their Independent status behind and joined the Sun Belt Conference. Florida Atlantic University made the move up from Division I-AA and became a I-A Independent. The total membership of Division I-A schools playing football now stood at 118.
2005 College Football Recap
The 2005 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the least amount of controversy surrounding the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title game in many years. To an extent it was a return to classic football. All eight BCS teams were traditional powerhouses, many of the schools having worn the same uniforms for half a century, and Penn State and Florida State having the same coaches for nearly half a century. Alabama was back in the mix for the SEC title, shaking off the residual effects of NCAA sanctions, and though Penn State is a relative newcomer to the Big Ten, Ohio State and Michigan were still in the running for the conference title until the last game. The BCS saw good fortune as two teams, the USC Trojans and the Texas Longhorns, went wire to wire as #1 and #2, respectively—the second year in a row that had happened—and finished as Division I-A’s only undefeated teams after the regular season. As a result, there was no dispute over the choice of teams selected for the BCS title game (there were five undefeated teams in the 2004 regular season: Oklahoma, USC, Auburn, Utah, and Boise State). The game was played at the Rose Bowl, where Texas edged the favored, defending champion Trojans in large part due to a historic performance by Texas quarterback Vince Young, who gained 467 yards of total offense and ran for three touchdowns. The victory earned the Longhorns their first consensus national championship since 1969. (Texas won a split title in 1970.)
There was also an unlikely comeback team in the season. The UCF Golden Knights came from a helpless 0–11 record in 2004, to a respectable 8–5 record and an appearance in the Conference USA Championship game and a Hawaii Bowl berth. Although their season apparently got off to a poor start with a loss to South Carolina on opening day and a pasting by their intrastate rival, South Florida, they pulled off 8 wins over a 9 game span (only loss was a 31–52 rout by Southern Miss) including getting a win over eventual conference champions, Tulsa. Tulsa ended up beating UCF 44–27. In the Hawaii Bowl, the Golden Knights were a failed PAT away from sending Nevada to double overtime. Also, Penn State, who went 4-7 in 2004, managed an 11-1* record and #3 ranking in 2005, but not being ranked until after the 44-14 pasting of then #19 Minnesota, where Penn State took control of the Governor’s Victory Bell for the first time since 1998.
Quite a few conference changes took place in 2005. Temple became an independent football program after expulsion from the Big East Conference and Army ended its brief affiliation with Conference USA and also returned to football independence. Boston College left the Big East to become the ACC’s 12th member, allowing that league to split into divisions and start a conference championship game. Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida left Conference USA to join the Big East, to bring the membership in that league back up to eight. TCU also left Conference USA to join the Mountain West Conference as its ninth member. Conference USA responded to the mass defections by adding Central Florida and Marshall from the Mid-American Conference, knocking the MAC’s membership down from 14 to 12, and Rice, Southern Methodist, UTEP, and Tulsa from the WAC to get up to 12 members. Like the ACC, C-USA split into two divisions and started a conference championship game. In response to their losses, the WAC added Idaho, New Mexico State and Utah State from the Sun Belt Conference while the Sun Belt picked up independent Florida Atlantic and Florida International, who had just transitioned from Division I-AA. Division I-A membership is now at 119 schools.
2006 College Football Recap
The 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season, or the college football season, began on August 31, 2006, and aside from all-star exhibition games that followed, concluded with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game on January 8, 2007, in Glendale, Arizona, where the No. 2 Florida Gators defeated the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes 41–14 to win the 2007 BCS National Championship.
2007 College Football Recap
The 2007 college football season, began on August 30, 2007,progressed through the regular season and bowl season, and concluded with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 7, 2008, where the top ranked Ohio State Buckeyes were defeated by the second ranked Louisiana State University Tigers, who became the BCS National Champions and undisputed national champions (topping all the major year-end football polls). For just the second time in the BCS era, no teams finished the season undefeated, and only one AQ-conference team finished with 1 loss (#7 Kansas, who did not participate in the Big 12 championship game).
There was only one conference change in 2007, with Temple leaving the Independent ranks to become the 13th member of the MAC.The “Curse of the #2” was apparent this season. The first No. 2 team to lose was USC, 24–23 to Stanford. The next weekend, California lost to Oregon State, followed the next week by South Florida’s loss to Rutgers. Boston College fell to Florida State, making the total four. Oregon then lost to Arizona, and Kansas lost to No. 4 Missouri. Maybe the most shocking loss of all was in the final week of the season, when West Virginia’s loss to Pitt kicked them out of the national championship, bringing the total of victims of the curse to seven.
Note: Since 1996, there had not been a weekend when No. 1 and No. 2 lost on the same day. In 2007 alone, No. 1 and No. 2 fell three times during the season. The first time was when LSU fell to Kentucky in three overtimes, and Cal lost to Oregon State. Then, LSU stumbled again against Arkansas in three OTs, and Kansas followed with a loss to Missouri. In the final weekend of the season, not only did No. 2 West Virginia lose to Pitt, but, in the Big 12 Championship, Missouri fell to No. 9 Oklahoma, opening up the BCS Championship. Note: While not ranked at the time, Alabama lost to Louisiana-Monroe. Had this been almost any other unranked team, this would have been forgotten, but because it was a program with a proud tradition, like the Crimson Tide, this was the season’s upset that was most closely compared to Michigan’s home opener loss to Appalachian State. While Louisiana-Monroe is an FBS team, most experts felt that Appalachian State would have had little trouble defeating Louisiana-Monroe. This loss by Alabama, while between unranked teams, was often listed in the top three most surprising upsets of the year along with the Michigan loss to Appalachian State, and USC’s loss to Stanford.
2008 College Football Recap
The 2008 college football season, began on August 28, 2008, progressing through the regular season and bowl season, and concluded with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game in Miami Gardens, Florida on January 8, 2009, where the #2 Florida Gators, defeated the #1 Oklahoma Sooners, 24–14, of which the teams were determined by the BCS Ranking. The Gators were declared national champions by the BCS and most major polls. Western Kentucky University moves up from Division I-AA and becomes a I-A Independent.
Ten teams played in the five BCS bowls. The top two teams in the final BCS ranking played in the BCS National Championship Game. The champions of the six BCS conferences who are not in the top two are given automatic berths into other BCS bowls. Unless playing in the championship game, the champions of the Big Ten and Pac-10 play in the Rose Bowl, the ACC champion in the Orange Bowl, the SEC champion in the Sugar Bowl and the Big 12 champion in the Fiesta Bowl. The Big East champion can play in any open BCS bowl games.
After the completion of the regular season and conference championship games, seven teams had secured BCS berths: Big Ten champion Penn State, Big East champion Cincinnati, ACC champion Virginia Tech, SEC champion Florida, Big 12 champion Oklahoma, Pac-10 champion USC, and Mountain West champion Utah, as the highest-ranked non-BCS conference champion. With Oklahoma and Florida being selected to play in the championship, Texas and Alabama were selected to assume their conference’s spots in the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls. Cincinnati was selected for the Orange Bowl and Utah for the Sugar Bowl, with the remaining at-large spot awarded to Ohio State for the Fiesta Bowl. Ohio State was selected despite being ranked behind #9 Boise State at #10. #7 Texas Tech did not receive an at-large selection, as they were ineligible with the Big 12 already being awarded two BCS slots.
2009 College Football Recap
The 2009 college football season, began on September 2, 2009, progressed through the regular season and bowl season, and concluded with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship Game in Pasadena, California on January 7, 2010, featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide, defeating the Texas Longhorns for the National Championship by the score of 37–21.This season saw two milestones related to the Heisman Trophy: For the first time, two previous Heisman winners played in the same season—2008 winner Sam Bradford for Oklahoma and 2007 winner Tim Tebow of Florida. For the first time since 1946, the top three vote-getters from the previous season all returned—Bradford, Colt McCoy of Texas, and Tebow.
Brandon West of Western Michigan set the NCAA Division I FBS records for career all-purpose yards and career kick return yards. On November 14, West broke the record of 7,573 all-purpose yards set by DeAngelo Williams of Memphis. Against Michigan State on November 7, West broke the record of 2,945 return yards set by Jessie Henderson of SMU. West finished the season setting the records at 3,118 kick return yards and 7,764 total yards. Russell Wilson of North Carolina State set a new Division I record for most passes attempted without an interception, breaking the previous record of 325 set by André Woodson of Kentucky from 2006–07. Wilson broke the record in the third quarter of the Pack’s 45–14 win over Gardner-Webb on September 19. The streak ended at 379 on October 3 against Wake Forest. Wilson’s last interception had been in the third quarter of the Wolfpack’s game against Clemson on September 13, 2008.
Texas’ Colt McCoy picked up his 43rd career win as a starting quarterback, breaking the previous FBS record of 42 by Georgia’s David Greene, with a 51–20 win over Kansas on November 21. The record was extended to 45 with wins over Texas A&M in the regular-season finale and Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship Game. However, his streak ended at the BCS Championship when he was injured early in the first quarter, and the Longhorns lost 37-21. C. J. Spiller of Clemson set a new record for career kickoff return touchdowns on the opening kickoff of the Tigers’ game against archrival South Carolina on November 28. His seventh career TD return broke the previous record held by Anthony Davis of USC and Ashlan Davis of Tulsa.
One unusual aspect of this season was that every conference in Division I FBS, even those that did not contest a championship game, had an undisputed champion. This last happened in 1983. In July 2011, the NCAA released its findings in a 2 year investigation into allegations of a Georgia Tech player receiving $321 of clothing from a runner for an agent. While, no conclusive evidence was brought against the player, actions taken by the GT athletic department were perceived as an attempt to hinder the NCAA investigation into this offense. Despite requesting the investigation be kept a secret, the Georgia Tech AD informed Coach Paul Johnson of the investigation and the players in question found out as well. The NCAA determined that the Player should have been declared ineligible for the final three games of GT 2009 season. To punish Georgia Tech for an accused “Lack of Cooperation” and hindering the investigation, they were required to vacate the ACC Championship game win, along with other penalties. As such, there is currently no official 2009 ACC Champion. GT plans to appeal the decision.