Getting their share
Wide World Photos
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.