Final Insiders Football Poll

After all the BCS hoopla is said and done, Miami is playing Nebraska in the Rose Bowl. Life would be different if the Insiders football poll had its way. Check out the standings in the last poll of the season.

SEATTLE - If Top 25 College Football pollsters were making the call, the 2002 Rose Bowl would feature a national championship matchup between the Miami Hurricanes and the Oregon Ducks. Instead, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings determined Hurricanes' New Year's opponent to be the Nebraska Cornhuskers, a team ranked No. 4 in this network's poll, as well as those conducted by the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today.

Nebraska, which lost to No. 3 Colorado 62-36 in its final game, is one of two teams to supplant Miami (11-0) as No. 1 in poll this season. The Cornhuskers (11-1) began a glorious weekend when its quarterback, Eric Crouch, walked off with the Heisman Trophy on Saturday.

Miami finished No. 1 in this network's final regular-season poll, nailing the top spot for the 12th time in 14 weeks. Benefiting from Tennessee's upset loss to Louisiana State University in the SEC championship, Oregon rose from No. 3 to No. 2.

Colorado (10-2) made a strong but belated bid for the national championship game by upsetting Nebraska, then ranked No. 2, and Texas, ranked No. 3 at the time, in its last two games. The Buffaloes would have earned the Rose Bowl bid if it had finished just one spot higher in any of the computer rankings used by the BCS. Now Colorado will have to settle for a Fiesta Bowl matchup with the Pac-10 champion Ducks.

The Ducks and Buffaloes still have a shot at being crowned national champions by, as well as the Associated Press, both of which determine final rankings by poll.

A wild succession of upsets set up the final regular-season rankings. After Nebraska lost to Colorado on Nov. 23, Oklahoma blew its title chance with a 16-13 loss to Oklahoma State the next day. On Dec. 1, Tennessee knocked Florida out of contention 34-32, and later that night Texas was eliminated by Colorado, 39-27. Saturday, LSU bounced the Vols 31-20.

Oklahoma slipped into Top 10 after BYU lost its final game 72-45 to Hawaii.

The Dec. 9, 2001, poll:

Rank Team Points Rank
1 Miami (8)2001
2 Oregon1883
3 Colorado1796
4 Nebraska1755
5 Maryland1664
6 Florida1578
7 Illinois1467
8 Tennessee1412
9 Oklahoma13111
10 Texas11810
11 Stanford11612
12 Washington State11213
13 LSU9921
14 Virginia Tech9814
15 South Carolina8317
16 Michigan7416
17 Syracuse6715
18 Georgia6018
19 Washington5820
20 Fresno State4719
21 Brigham Young469
22 Ohio State2522
23 Florida State2424
24 UCLA16 
25 Louisville1523
*First place votes in parenthesis.

Other teams receiving votes:
Georgia Tech 13, Marshall 11, Alabama 10, Toledo 8, NC State 5, Hawaii 5, Auburn 4, Texas Tech 2, Boston College 1.

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