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Getting their share

Michigan's Charles Woodson seemed to hover above all his competition this season, picking off this Ryan Leaf pass in the end zone during the first half at the Rose Bowl, and intercepting the Heisman Trophy from Tennessee QB Peyton Manning.
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For the third time this decade neither the media, coaches nor a bowl game could produce a unanimous national champion of Div. 1A college football.

Nebraska (13-0) made coach Tom Osborne's final season a memorable one, capping it off with an Orange Bowl victory over Tennessee 42-17. While Michigan (12-0), led by Heisman winner Charles Woodson, finished its season by holding off surprising Washington St. in the Rose Bowl, 21-16.

Preseason favorite Penn St. fell out of the running on Nov. 8, 1997 after a horrible 34-8 loss to Michigan at home that wasn't even that close. Joe Paterno's squad finished the season 9-3, and lost the Citrus Bowl to Florida, 21-6.

If not for the Gators, Florida St. (11-1) may have joined in the national title party as well. But a three-point loss on the final week of the season forced the Seminoles into the Sugar Bowl where they defeated Ohio St., 31-14.

It was an amazing turnaround season for the programs at Washington State and Purdue, while college football titans like USC and Notre Dame struggled to stay above .500.

In Div-1AA, Youngstown St. captured its fourth national championship in the last seven years with a 10–9 victory over McNeese St.


Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

1997-98 SeasonFinal AP Top 25 Poll

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