1990's Heisman Trophy Winners
The teams of the decade were Nebraska and Florida State. The Cornhuskers, still led by Tom Osborne, put together a mid-90s run of three national championships in four years while compiling a winning percentage of .868 in the entire decade. Meanwhile, the Bobby Bowden-led Seminoles won two national championships in the 1990s, losing only 13 of the 123 games played in the decade, and achieving a number one ranking in the AP poll 56 times.
A major rule change narrowed the goal posts from 23 feet, 4 inches to 18 feet, 6 inches, the same width as the National Football League. The distance between the hashmarks were not moved in until 1993, leaving kickers to face severe angles on short field goal attempts for the 1991 and 1992 seasons.
The 1992 college football season was the first year of the Bowl Coalition, and ended with Alabama's first national championship in thirteen years. The members of the Bowl Coalition were the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl Classic, and Fiesta Bowl.
In 1994, Ten years after Doug Flutie's Hail Mary pass against Miami, history would repeat itself as Kordell Stewart of Colorado threw a last second, 64-yard Hail Mary to defeat #4 Michigan in the Big House and is called The Miracle at Michigan. A moral defeat was also handed to Penn State as the already defeated Hoosiers, down 35-21, threw a Hail Mary as time expired, then ran in a two point conversion to make a 35-29 game seem closer than it really was. Because of this, Penn State never regained the #1 in the polls.
The 1998 college football season was the first of the Bowl Championship Series, which saw Tennessee win the national championship, one year after star quarterback Peyton Manning left for the NFL. The Volunteers defeated the Florida State Seminoles 23-16 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona to secure the inaugural BCS National Championship.
The BCS combined elements of the old Bowl Coalition and the Bowl Alliance it replaced. The agreement existed between the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange Bowls, the Cotton Bowl Classic diminishing in status since the breakup of the Southwest Conference. Like the Bowl Alliance, a national championship game would rotate between the four bowls, with the top two teams facing each other. These teams were chosen based upon a BCS poll, combining the AP poll, the Coaches poll, and a third computer component. The computer factored in things such as strength of schedule, margin of victory, and quality wins without taking into account time (in other words a loss in October and a loss in November were on equal footing).
However, like the Bowl Coalition, the bowls not hosting the national championship would retain their traditional tie-ins.
1990 Ty Detmer
1991 Desmond Howard
1992 Gino Torretta
1993 Charlie Ward
1994 Rashaan Salaam
1995 Eddie George
1996 Danny Wuerffel
1997 Charles Woodson
1998 Ricky Williams
1999 Ron Dayne
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