Fourth title memorable for Buckeyes
Published: Sunday, January 5, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 4, 2003 at 11:08 p.m.
For the first time since 1989, the Florida Gators did not finish ranked in the AP Top 25. Since 1990, the Gators had finished no worse than 12th in the final AP poll.
The Buckeyes needed two overtimes to win their first championship in 34 years, beating Miami 31-24 in the Fiesta Bowl on Friday night.
Ohio State (14-0) received all 71 first-place votes in the final Associated Press media poll after finishing as the nation's only major unbeaten team.
In the final, post-bowl AP poll, the No. 1 votes from the writers and broadcasters gave the Buckeyes 1,775 points.
For the second time in 11 seasons, Miami was denied a repeat one game short of a title. The Hurricanes, who have won five titles in the past 20 seasons, also lost the Sugar Bowl 34-13 to Alabama in 1993.
Miami also had its 34-game winning streak snapped. It was the longest streak since Toledo won 35 in a row from 1969-71 and 13 wins shy of Oklahoma's record set from 1953-57.
Miami was second, followed by Georgia, Southern California, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas State, Iowa, Michigan and Washington State. The coaches poll had the same top five teams.
"Our guys know what they're capable of when they all work together," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "And I was confident they would do the thing they know how to do."
Tressel, in his second year at Ohio State, joined Woody Hayes and Paul Brown as the only coaches to lead the Buckeyes to the national title. Brown did it in 1942 and Hayes won it in 1954 and '68.
The Buckeyes became the first team in major college football history to win 14 games in a season.
Ohio State's four titles are tied with Minnesota and Nebraska for fifth place all-time. Notre Dame leads all schools with eight.
The Buckeyes became just the second Big Ten team to win the national title since 1968, joining the 1997 Michigan team. The Wolverines shared that title with Nebraska, which won the coaches' poll.
There have been eight different champions in the past eight seasons, the longest stretch since 1956-63. Nebraska (1994-95) is the only team to win back-to-back titles since the Crimson Tide did it in 1978-79.
Associated Press Top 25
|1. Ohio St.||14-0||1,775||2|
|4. Southern Cal||11-2||1,590||5|
|7. Kansas St.||11-2||1,356||6|
|10. Washington St.||10-3||1,085||7|
|12. N.C. State||11-3||943||17|
|15. Boise St.||12-1||692||18|
|16. Penn St.||9-4||675||10|
|17. Notre Dame||10-3||657||11|
|18. Virginia Tech||10-4||544||21|
|21. Florida St.||9-5||291||16|
|25. West Virginia||9-4||195||15|
ESPN-USA Today Top 25
|1. Ohio State||14-0||1,525||2|
|2. Miami, Fla.||12-1||1,451||1|
|4. Southern Cal||11-2||1,362||5|
|6. Kansas State||11-2||1,230||6|
|10. Washington St.||10-3||932||7|
|11. N.C. State||11-3||876||17|
|12. Boise State||12-1||808||15|
|14. Virginia Tech||10-4||644||19|
|15. Penn State||9-4||619||10|
|17. Notre Dame||10-3||525||12|
|20. West Virginia||9-4||297||13|
|23. Florida State||9-5||219||16|
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