|1993 NCAA Division I-A season|
|Number of teams||106|
|Preseason AP No. 1||Florida State|
|Heisman Trophy||Charlie Ward (quarterback, Florida State)|
|Bowl Coalition Championship|
|1994 Orange Bowl|
|Site||Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida|
|Champion(s)||Florida State (AP, Coaches, FWAA)|
|Division I-A football seasons|
The 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season saw Florida State crowned national champions, in both the AP and Coaches poll.
Under the Bowl Coalition, undefeated Big 8 champ and No. 2 ranked Nebraska hosted ACC champ and No. 1 ranked Florida State in the Orange Bowl. This produced a clear champion in the Coaches Poll and the AP poll, despite Florida State's loss to Notre Dame 31–24 during the regular season, in a game known by many as the "Game of the Century". This much hyped clash between No. 1 and No. 2 was the site of the first ever "live" broadcast of the ESPN College GameDay show and did not fail to live up to expectations as Irish defensive back Shawn Wooden batted down a Charlie Ward pass in the end zone with three seconds left to play. Despite the win over Florida State, Notre Dame's title chances ended the very next week when the Fighting Irish lost to No. 17 Boston College. Further controversy surrounded the inclusion of one-loss Florida State in the national title game over undefeated West Virginia, who was ranked No. 2 (ahead of Florida State) by the final regular season coaches' poll but not the AP (Nebraska was No. 2 in the AP).
Despite beating Florida State in the regular season, Notre Dame finished No. 2 in the two major polls. Florida State, during the 1993 regular season played No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 15 Miami, No. 5 Florida, No. 19 North Carolina, and No. 23 Clemson. FSU went 3–1 vs top 7 teams while playing only 1 home game in the 4 contests.
Florida State's Charlie Ward threw for 3,032 yards, completed 70 percent of his passes and became the first player to win the Heisman Trophy and the national championship in the same season since Pittsburgh's Tony Dorsett in 1976.
The Alamo Bowl played its inaugural game.
The Sunshine Classic was no longer sponsored by Blockbuster Entertainment, and was now known as the Carquest Bowl.
Five teams changed conferences and one team dropped its football team prior to the season. As such, the total number of Division I-A schools decreased to 106.
|School||1992 Conference||1993 Conference|
|Arkansas State Indians||I-A Independent||Big West|
|Cal State Fullerton Titans||Big West||Dropped Program|
|Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||I-A Independent||Big West|
|Northern Illinois Huskies||I-A Independent||Big West|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||I-A Independent||Big Ten|
|Southwestern Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns||I-A Independent||Big West|
The preseason AP Poll featured Florida State at No. 1 and defending champion Alabama at No. 2, followed by No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Texas A&M, and No. 5 Miami.
August 28: No. 1 Florida State shut out Kansas 42–0 in the Kickoff Classic. None of the other top teams had started their schedules, but Miami moved up to tie Michigan at No. 3 in the next poll, with Texas A&M falling to No. 5.
September 4: No. 1 Florida State won 45–7 at Duke, No. 2 Alabama defeated Tulane 31–17, No. 3 Michigan beat Washington State 41–14, fellow No. 3 Miami visited No 20 Boston College for a 23–7 victory, and No. 5 Texas A&M shut out LSU 24–0. Miami dropped back to No. 4 in the next poll, with the other top teams remaining the same.
September 11: No. 1 Florida State dominated No. 21 Clemson 57-0 and No. 2 Alabama won 17–6 at Vanderbilt, but No. 3 Michigan fell 27–23 to No. 11 Notre Dame. No. 4 Miami was idle, while No. 5 Texas A&M lost 44–14 at No. 17 Oklahoma. No. 8 Tennessee beat No. 22 Georgia 38-6 and moved up in the next poll: No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Miami, No. 4 Notre Dame, and No. 5 Tennessee.
September 18: No. 1 Florida State visited No. 13 North Carolina and won 33–7. No. 2 Alabama defeated Arkansas 43–3, No. 3 Miami beat Virginia Tech 21–2, and No. 4 Notre Dame won 36–14 over Michigan State. No. 5 Tennessee fell 41–34 to No. 9 Florida, who replaced them in the next poll: No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Miami, No. 4 Notre Dame, and No. 5 Florida.
September 25: No. 1 Florida State and No. 5 Florida were idle. No. 2 Alabama blasted Louisiana Tech 56–3. No. 3 Miami held off No. 13 Colorado 35–29 in a game which featured a benches-clearing brawl near the end of the first half. No. 4 Notre Dame shut out Purdue 17–0, and the top five remained the same in the next poll.
October 2: No. 1 Florida State continued their string of blowout victories with a 51-0 annihilation of Georgia Tech. No. 2 Alabama won 17–6 at South Carolina, No. 3 Miami beat Georgia Southern 30–7, No. 4 Notre Dame visited Stanford for a 48–20 victory, and No. 5 Florida defeated Mississippi State 38–24. The top five again remained the same in the next poll.
October 9: No. 1 Florida State had outscored their first five opponents by a total of 228–14, but their next foe would be No. 3 Miami, who had defeated them in heartbreaking fashion in both 1991 and 1992. This time, the Seminoles finally prevailed with a 28–10 victory. No. 2 Alabama was idle, No. 4 Notre Dame shut out Pittsburgh 44–0, No. 5 Florida won 58–3 at LSU, and No. 6 Ohio State was a 20-12 victor at Illinois. The next poll featured No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Florida, and No. 5 Ohio State.
October 16: No. 1 Florida State defeated No. 15 Virginia 40–14. No. 2 Alabama trailed No. 10 Tennessee late in the fourth quarter, but put together a game-ending 83-yard drive to salvage a 17–17 tie. No. 3 Notre Dame won 45–20 at Brigham Young. In another SEC nailbiter, No. 4 Florida fell 38–35 to No. 19 Auburn on a late field goal. No. 5 Ohio State beat No. 25 Michigan State 28–21, and No. 6 Nebraska defeated Kansas State 45–28. The next poll featured No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Alabama, and No. 5 Nebraska.
October 23: No. 1 Florida State was idle, No. 2 Notre Dame defeated USC 31–13, and No. 3 Ohio State won 45–24 at Purdue. No. 4 Alabama overcame an injury to quarterback Jay Barker and beat Mississippi 19–14. No. 5 Nebraska overwhelmed Missouri 49–7, but No. 6 Miami was even more impressive in a 49–0 shutout of Syracuse. The Hurricanes moved up in the next poll: No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Miami, and No. 5 Alabama.
October 30: No. 1 Florida State shut out Wake Forest 55–0, No. 2 Notre Dame defeated Navy 58–27, No. 3 Ohio State beat No. 12 Penn State 24–6, No. 4 Miami won 42–7 over Temple, and No. 5 Alabama blanked Southern Mississippi 40–0. The top five remained the same in the next poll.
November 6: No. 1 Florida State won 49–20 at Maryland. No. 2 Notre Dame was idle. No. 3 Ohio State blocked a last-second field goal to come away with a 14–14 tie against No. 15 Wisconsin. No. 4 Miami won 35–7 at Pittsburgh. No. 5 Alabama carried a 31-game unbeaten streak into their game against LSU, but the Crimson Tide threw four second-half interceptions to enable a 17–13 victory for the Tigers. No. 6 Nebraska was taken down to the wire by Kansas, but the Cornhuskers stopped a Jayhawks two-point conversion to preserve a 21–20 win and move back into the top five: No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Miami, No. 4 Nebraska, and No. 5 Ohio State.
November 13: Up to this point, No. 1 Florida State had defeated all nine of their opponents by 18 points or more, but now they would face their toughest test in a “Game of the Century” against No. 2 Notre Dame. The Irish stunned the Seminoles by running off 24 consecutive points after an early Florida State touchdown, and they still led 31–17 with a few minutes left to play. But FSU quarterback Charlie Ward led the Seminoles on a rapid drive which resulted in a touchdown pass on 4th-and-20, and the Irish went three-and-out on the next possession. Getting the ball back with less than a minute left, Florida State made it all the way to Notre Dame's 14-yard line, but Ward's last-second desperation pass was knocked away, and the Irish prevailed 31–24. Meanwhile, No. 3 Miami defeated Rutgers 31–17, No. 4 Nebraska beat Iowa State 49–17 to clinch the Big 8 title and an Orange Bowl berth, and No. 5 Ohio State won 23–17 over Indiana. The next poll featured No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 4 Miami, and No. 5 Ohio State.
November 20: As No. 1 Notre Dame went into their season-ending game against No. 17 Boston College (a team which they had beaten 54-7 the previous year), the only uncertainty seemed to be whether their national championship opponent should be Nebraska in the Orange Bowl or Florida State in a rematch. However, the Eagles shocked the Irish by dominating the first three quarters, and BC held a 38–17 lead early in the fourth. Notre Dame responded with a frantic comeback, scoring 22 points in 11 minutes to go back on top by a single point. But, just as Florida State had done the previous week, Boston College went on one last drive into Notre Dame territory. This time the Irish were not able to make the stop, as walk-on kicker David Gordon hit a last-second field goal to give the Eagles a 41–39 win. No. 2 Florida State bounced back with a 62-3 domination of North Carolina State, and No. 3 Nebraska was idle. No. 4 Miami suffered a 17–14 loss at No. 9 West Virginia; the Mountaineers, who had started the season unranked, improved their record to 10–0. No. 5 Ohio State needed a win over unranked Michigan to clinch the Big Ten title and their first Rose Bowl berth in nine years. Instead, the Buckeyes threw interceptions on four straight possessions and failed to reach the Wolverines’ 20-yard line at any point in the game. Michigan's 28–0 win put No. 12 Wisconsin, who held the tiebreaker advantage over Ohio State, in line for a trip to Pasadena. No. 6 Auburn defeated No. 11 Alabama 22–14 in the Iron Bowl; the Tigers finished the season with a perfect 11–0 record, but were ineligible for postseason play due to recruiting violations. The next poll featured No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Auburn, No. 4 Notre Dame, and No. 5 West Virginia.
November 26–27: No. 1 Florida State won 33–21 at No. 7 Florida, and No. 2 Nebraska defeated No. 16 Oklahoma 21–7. No. 3 Auburn and No. 4 Notre Dame had finished their schedules. No. 11 Boston College almost pulled off another upset, but No. 5 West Virginia came back from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to win 17-14 and complete their undefeated season. The Mountaineers moved up in the next AP Poll: No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 West Virginia, No. 4 Auburn, and No. 5 Notre Dame. The Coaches’ Poll disagreed with the AP's ordering of the top teams, choosing Nebraska for No. 1, West Virginia for No. 2, and Florida State for No. 3.
With No. 4 Auburn ineligible, No. 16 Alabama represented the SEC Western Division in the conference championship game on December 4. No. 9 Florida took revenge for the previous year's defeat with a 28–13 victory, earning the Gators a trip to the Sugar Bowl. Even though the top teams had already finished their schedule, the AP voters slightly shuffled their order in the final poll of the regular season: No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 West Virginia, No. 4 Notre Dame, and No. 5 Auburn. The Coaches’ Poll remained the same.
Undefeated Nebraska was assured of a spot in the national championship game. The organizers chose Florida State as the Cornhuskers' Orange Bowl opponent, feeling that the Seminoles’ pattern of dominant victories outweighed Notre Dame's head-to-head win and West Virginia's undefeated record. (Florida State had easily beaten Miami and Maryland, two teams which the Mountaineers struggled to beat.) Notre Dame would face No. 7 Texas A&M, the SWC champion, in the Cotton Bowl, while West Virginia squared off against No. 8 Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The major bowl matchups were rounded out by No. 9 Wisconsin against No. 14 UCLA in the Rose and No. 10 Miami against No. 16 Arizona in the Fiesta.
Florida State's Seminoles were the unanimous choice for No. 1 beginning with the October 19 poll and the three after that, receiving all 62 votes. After Notre Dame's 31–24 defeat of Florida State on November 13, Notre Dame got all 62 first place votes in the next poll.
|WEEKS||No. 1||No. 2||Event||Date|
|PRE - 7||Florida State||Alabama||Tennessee 17, Alabama 17||Oct 16|
|8 - 11||Florida State||Notre Dame||Notre Dame 31, Florida St. 24||Nov 13|
|12||Notre Dame||Florida State||Boston College 41, Notre Dame 39||Nov 20|
|13-15||Florida State||Nebraska||Florida State 18, Nebraska 16||Jan 1|
Main article: 1993 NCAA Division I-A football rankings
The Heisman Trophy is given to the year's most outstanding player
|Charlie Ward||Florida State||QB||740||39||12||2,310|
|Marshall Faulk||San Diego State||RB||7||74||81||250|
|Glenn Foley||Boston College||QB||5||47||71||180|
|LeShon Johnson||Northern Illinois||RB||5||51||59||176|
|J. J. Stokes||UCLA||WR||3||37||48||131|
|Trent Dilfer||Fresno State||QB||2||28||29||91|
|Houston||John Jenkins||April 30||resigned ||Kim Helton|
|NC State||Dick Sheridan||June 29||resigned ||Mike O'Cain|
|Washington||Don James||August 22||resigned ||Jim Lambright|
|UTEP||David Lee||October 17||fired ||Charlie Bailey|
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)