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 TheInsiders.com, 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 TheInsiders.com Top 10 after BYU lost its final game 72-45 to Hawaii.
The Dec. 9, 2001, poll:
|*First place votes in parenthesis.|
Other teams receiving