National and Big 12 Recap

Seminoles claim national championship

The Florida State Seminoles claimed the title of “Team of the 90’s” with a 46-29 win over previously unbeaten Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. With the win, the Seminoles, led by quarterback Chris Weinke and receiver Peter Warrick, not only gave head coach Bobby Bowden his first-ever undefeated season, but claimed their second national title of the decade. Florida State never finished lower than fourth in any final poll in the decade, extending their string of top four finishes to a record thirteen seasons.

Only one other team completed 1999 unscathed, as the Thundering Herd of Marshall became the Tulane of 1999 with a 13-0 campaign. Led by quarterback Chad Pennington, Marshall finished 10th in the final poll after defeating BYU 21-0 in the Motor City Bowl. Coach of the Year honors went to June Jones, who in one season turned 0-12 Hawai’i into a bowl winner. The Heisman Trophy was awarded to Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne, who eclipsed the career rushing mark set by Ricky Williams of Texas just a year earlier.

Note … Florida State finished the 1990’s with 109 wins, the most ever by a Division 1-A school in one decade. Nebraska finished with 108. (Marshall, which competed in Division 1-AA for all but the last three years of the 1990’s, finished with 114). Colorado finished the 1990’s with 87 wins, the best single decade showing ever for the Buffs.

In the Big 12

In the Big 12, six teams went bowling, while a seventh, Texas Tech, was eligible at 6-5 but went uninvited.

Nebraska was the Big 12 champion, defeating Texas in the title game, 22-6. The Cornhuskers went on to defeat Tennessee in the Fiesta Bowl, 31-21, to finish third nationally.

Kansas State finished 11-1 and sixth overall after a 24-20 triumph over Washington in the Holiday Bowl. Texas and Texas A&M completed the 1999 season ranked, 21st and 23rd, respectively, but both suffered bowl losses. Texas finished at 9-5 after falling, 27-6, to Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, while A&M completed its season 8-4 after being shutout, 24-0, by Penn State in the Alamo Bowl.

Oklahoma returned to prominence with new head coach Bob Stoops, finishing 7-5 with a 27-25 loss to Mississippi in the Independence Bowl. Colorado also ushered in a new head coach, Gary Barnett, completing its season at 7-5 with a convincing 62-28 win over Boston College in the Bowl. Neither Oklahoma nor Colorado made the final rankings, however.

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