Poll Bowl: Miami and Washington split

January 02, 1992

Miami won its fourth national championship in nine seasons today, edging Washington by four points in the closest final vote in the 56-year history of The Associated Press poll.

But for the second straight year, there was a split in the two major polls as Washington finished first in the new USA $l Today-CNN coaches poll. Last season, Colorado was No. 1 in the poll and Georgia Tech was voted best by the coaches.

The Hurricanes and the Huskies both finished 12-0 after impressive bowl victories yesterday, the first time since the 1973 season that two major teams have gone undefeated and untied.

Washington, which trailed Miami by 14 points going into the bowls, almost overcame the deficit after demolishing Michigan in the Rose Bowl 34-14. But Miami, which blanked Nebraska 22-0 in the Orange Bowl, barely held on to win the balloting by a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

"It's great for the program," Miami coach Dennis Erickson said. "This football team deserves to be No. 1."

The Hurricanes outpointed the Huskies 1,472-1,468 in the AP poll, including a narrow 32-28 advantage in first-place votes. It was such a close call that eight voters made Miami and Washington co-champs, giving each school half of a first-place vote.

Teams get 25 points for a first-place vote, 24 for second and so on, down to one point for 25th place.

In the USA Today-CNN poll, Washington received 1,449.5 points to 1,440.5 for Miami. The Huskies had 33 1/2 first-place votes from the coaches, while the Hurricanes had 25 1/2 .

Previously, the closest final margin in the AP poll was Alabama's 16-point win over Ohio State in 1961, when the national championship was determined before the bowls. Since the AP started its permanent postseason poll in 1968, the smallest final margin had been 20 points, when BYU edged Washington in 1984.

The Huskies came up just short again this year despite posting their first perfect record in 76 years.

"I'm not surprised because Miami was ahead in the last [writers'] poll," Washington coach Don James said. "Hopefully, we'll do better in the coaches' poll."

Miami, which also won national titles in 1983, 1987 and 1989, is only the fifth school to capture four or more AP championships. Notre Dame leads with eight, followed by Oklahoma with six, Alabama with five and Minnesota with four.

The Hurricanes also are the first team ever to finish in the Top Three for six straight years.

The Hurricanes and Huskies played two of the same opponents this year. Arizona lost to Washington 54-0 and was beaten by Miami 36-9. The other common foe was Nebraska, which lost to Washington 36-21 early in the season.

Penn State (11-2) finished third in the final poll after routing Tennessee 42-17 in the Fiesta Bowl. Rounding out the Top 10 were Florida State (11-2), Alabama (11-1), Michigan (10-2), Florida (10-2), California (10-2), East Carolina (11-1) and Iowa (10-1-1).

Syracuse was 11th, followed by Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Georgia, Clemson, UCLA, Colorado, Tulsa, Stanford, BYU, North Carolina State and Air Force.

AP FINAL TOP 25

;1.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Record.. .. Pts.. .. Pvs

1. Miami (32) .. .. .. 12-0-0.. .. 1,472.. .. 1

2. Washington (28) .. 12-0-0.. .. 1,468.. .. 2

3. Penn St. .. .. .. . 11-2-0.. .. 1,342.. .. 6

4. Florida St. .. .. ..11-2-0.. .. 1,310.. .. 5

5. Alabama .. .. .. .. 11-1-0.. .. 1,216.. .. 8

6. Michigan .. .. .. ..10-2-0.. .. 1,151.. .. 4

7. Florida .. .. .. .. 10-2-0.. .. 1,119.. .. 3

8. California .. .. .. 10-2-0.. .. 1,039.. .. 14

9. East Carolina .. .. 11-1-0.. .. 1,024.. .. 12

10.Iowa .. .. .. .. .. 10-1-1 .. .. 883.. . .. 7

11.Syracuse .. .. .. ..10-2-0 .. .. 876.. .. 16

12.Texas A&M .. .. .. 10-2-0 .. .. 870.. .. 9

13.Notre Dame .. .. .. 10-3-0 .. .. 848.. .. .18

14.Tennessee .. .. .. 9-3-0 .. .. 716.. .. .10

15.Nebraska .. .. .. ..9-2-1 .. .. 666.. .. .11

16.Oklahoma .. .. .. ..9-3-0 .. .. 629.. .. ..20

17.Georgia .. .. .. .. 9-3-0 .. .. 428.. .. .. 24

18.Clemson .. .. .. .. 9-2-1 .. . .410.. .. .. 13

19.UCLA .. .. .. .. .. 9-3-0 .. .. 406.. .. .. 22

20.Colorado .. .. .. .. 8-3-1 .. ..383.. .. .. 15

21.Tulsa .. .. .. .. .. 10-2-0 .. .348.. .. .. 23

22. Stanford .. .. .. ..8-4-0 .. ..262.. .. .. 17

23. Brigham Young .. .. 8-3-2 .. ..182 .. .. .. --

24. N. Carolina St... ..9-3-0 .. ..109.. .. .. 21

25. Air Force .. .. .. .10-3-0 .. .. 87 .. .. --

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.