CollegeFootballNews.com 20th Anniversary Ranking College Football Playoff & BCS Era 20 National Champions: No. 8, 2000 Oklahoma Sooners
How do the 20 national champions in the College Football Playoff & BCS rank based on how good their seasons were?
CFN, College Football Playoff & BCS Era National Champions Ranking: No. 8, 2000 Oklahoma Sooners
CollegeFootballNews.com is turning 20 this season, coincidentally starting in 1998 when the Bowl Championship Series era kicked off.
With the BCS, no matter how the teams got there, it was finally No. 1 vs. No. 2 for the national title – that wasn’t a given before – and eventually, it all morphed into the College Football Playoff starting in the 2014 season.
Based on the tried, true, tested and tweaked CFN Historical Season Ranking Formula (criteria breakdown at the bottom of all this), welcome to the ranking of all 20 national champions in the era.
This isn’t about who the most talented or the best national champions were since 1998 – that’s debatable. This is about who had the best and most impressive seasons – the more wins over great teams, the higher the score.
2000 Oklahoma Season
Coming into the 2000 season, Oklahoma appeared to be coming back under its young second year head coach Bob Stoops, but it certainly wasn’t expected to be the OKLAHOMA that dominated the college football world during the glory days.
The Sooners were going to be okay, ranking 19th in the first AP poll and 20th according to the coaches, giving respect to a program building a nasty defense and with hope on the offensive side. A national title contender? Not a chance.
But the offensive attack hit its stride right away, with QB Josh Heupel winging it around over the easy first month, ripping through UTEP, Arkansas State, Rice and Kansas to a 4-0 start in blowout fashion. That was cute, but Texas was up next.
The Longhorns had won three straight in the series and came into the game ranked in the top ten. The Sooners jumped out to a 14-0 lead, went into halftime up 42-7, and roared to a dominant 63-14 win that became the national coming out party.
That was good, but No. 2 Kansas State was up next on the road, and No. 1 Nebraska was the follow up.
Heupel went off against the Wildcats, throwing for 374 yards and two scores in the stunning 41-31 win to set up the showdown in Norman in a battle between BCS No. 1 vs. No. 2.
It looked like it was Nebraska’s day, as Eric Crouch ran for a touchdown and threw for another for a 14-0 Husker lead in the first quarter. That was it for the fun, as OU scored 31 unanswered points as the defense clamped down – Rocky Calmus had 16 tackles and Torrance Marshall 12 with two sacks – and Heupel threw for 300 yards in the blowout win.
The Sooners popped up to the No. 1 spot in the BCS standings, and they never left.
There was a fight to get by Texas A&M 35-31, and the defense came up with big performance in a 12-7 win over a bad Oklahoma State team, but the great season could still come apart in the Big 12 Championship against Kansas State.
The Wildcats hung tough, but a late Heupel touchdown pass gave OU the 27-24 win, the Big 12 championship, and a spot in the Orange Bowl for the national title against a rolling Florida State team.
The Seminoles lost to Miami in a 27-24 thriller, but followed that up with a six game winning streak outscoring their opponents – including terrific Clemson and Florida teams – by a combined score of 277 to 51, allowing no more than 14 points in any of those games.
The Sooner defense pitched an all-timer of a gem, holding the high-powered Seminoles to just 301 yards and no points – FSU’s only score came on an OU safety for field position.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Sooners got the 13-2 win, and Stoops had his only national title of his legendary career.
– It was one of the biggest arguments of the season – Chris Weinke vs. Josh Heupel for the Heisman. Was Weinke too old to win the award? Was Heupel worthy? Weinke won by a narrow-thin 1,628 to 1,552 margin, but Heupel got the national title.
– Even with a great defense, and even with Roy Williams at safety, this might have been the least-talented national title winner of the 20 on the list since 1998. Just four players were selected in the following two NFL drafts, and just eight went in the next three drafts.
– OU finished the season with three wins over top three teams, finishing with the highest Elite Win score of any team outside of the top two on this list. The problem? The four Bad Wins brought down the overall score, and the margin of victory was just okay.
Opponent Final Record in Parentheses
Sept. 2 Oklahoma 55, UTEP 14 (8-4)
Sept. 9 Oklahoma 45, Arkansas State 7 (1-10)
Sept. 23 Oklahoma 42, Rice 14 (3-8)
Sept. 30 Oklahoma 34, Kansas 16 (4-7)
Oct. 7 Oklahoma 63, Texas 14 (9-3)
Oct. 14 Oklahoma 41, at Kansas State 31 (11-3)
Oct. 28 Oklahoma 31, Nebraska 14 (10-2)
Nov. 4 Oklahoma 56, at Baylor 7 (2-9)
Nov. 11 Oklahoma 35, at Texas A&M 31 (7-5)
Nov. 18 Oklahoma 27, Texas Tech 13 (7-6)
Nov. 25 Oklahoma 12, at Oklahoma State 7 (3-8)
Big 12 Championship
Dec. 2 Oklahoma 27, Kansas State 24 (11-3)
BCS Championship: Orange Bowl
Jan. 3 Oklahoma 13, Florida State 2 (11-2)
CFN Historical Season Rankings Breakdown
Wins: 13 (UTEP, Arkansas State, Rice, Kansas, Texas, at Kansas State, Nebraska, at Baylor, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, Big 12 Championship vs. Kansas State, BCS Championship vs. Florida State)
Quality Wins: 8 (UTEP, Texas, at Kansas State, Nebraska, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Big 12 Championship vs. Kansas State, BCS Championship vs. Florida State)
Elite Wins: 4.5 (at Kansas State, Nebraska, Big 12 Championship vs. Kansas State, BCS Championship vs. Florida State)
Bad Wins: 4 (Arkansas State, Rice, at Baylor, at Oklahoma State)
Elite Losses: 0
Point Differential: Oklahoma 481, Opponents 194
TOTAL SCORE: 28.370
The Season Formula’s Components
If you win, everything else falls into place. Each win counts as 1.
If you lose, everything stinks. Each loss counts as -1.
3. Quality Wins
The number of wins over teams that finished with a winning record. Each Quality Win counts as 1.
4. Elite Wins
The number of wins over teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each Elite Win counts as 1 with a road win over an Elite team getting an extra 0.5.
Also counting as 1 is a road win over a team that finished with three losses or fewer (but the extra 0.5 isn’t added). A win over a team that finishes with three losses in a bowl game also gets counts as 1.
5. Bad Loss
The number of losses to teams that finished with three wins or fewer, or a loss to an FCS (DI-AA) team. Each loss counts as minus-1. Take away an additional 0.5 for a Bad Loss at home.
6. Bad Win
The number of wins to teams that finished with three wins or fewer, or a win over a an FCS (D-IAA) team. Each win counts as -0.25
7. Elite Loss
The number of losses to teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each loss counts as 0.25.
8. Point Differential
Points for minus points against divided by 100.
9. Winning Percentage
Created as a sort of tie-breaker, the winning % is added to the total score.
CFN 20th Anniversary lists compiled by Rich Cirminiello, Pete Fiutak, Phil Harrison & Russ Mitchell