Heck, they even have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner on their roster heading into 2010. The 2009 season was an interesting year in College Football ...
2009 Final Top 25 Teams (taking from the final AP and USA Today Coaches polls):
- Alabama (14-0) - Unanimous #1 to close out the 2009 season, after a strong win over Texas, who was playing without the AT&T player of the year, QB Colt McCoy in the title game! BCS Title Game - Beat Texas 37-21.
- Texas (13-1) - Life without QB Colt McCoy was on display during the BCS Title Game and everything wasn't alright, but there was still a fight in the Longhorns none the less ... BCS Title Game - Lost to Alabama 21-37.
- Florida (13-1) - The Tim Tebow era ends one game away from the BCS Title Game, which is better than the Outback Bowl folks ... was it coach Urban Meyer's last game coaching the Gators? BCS Sugar Bowl - Beat Cincinnati 51-24.
- Boise State (14-0) - A great finish for the Broncos with a payback win over TCU in the Fiesta Bowl; this is a young Broncos team and Boise should carry the #1 top non-BCS team banner into the next decade of college football ... BCS Fiesta Bowl - Beat TCU 17-10.
- Ohio State (12-2) - Sophomore QB Terrelle Pryor certainly had his best game so far with the 2010 Rose Bowl win; the next two years should get interesting in Columbus with experience at QB for coach Jim Tressel heading into 2010! BCS Rose Bowl - Beat Oregon 26-17.
- TCU (12-1) - The Horned Frogs fall in their first BCS bowl ever, but they played well in 2009 as the top MWC team; the MWC is playing solid football again this past bowl season, with the Fiesta Bowl loss the only bowl loss the conference had in two bowl seasons! BCS Fiesta Bowl - Lost 10-17 to Boise State.
- Iowa (11-2) - The Hawkeyes closed out the 2009 season with another win in a bowl game for coach Kirk Ferentz, OC Ken O'Keefe and DC Norm Parker, who have all been together for the past 11 seasons ... BCS Orange Bowl - Beat Georgia Tech 24-14.
- Penn State (11-2) - The Nittany Lions are the right team for #8 and become the top rated team not to play in a BCS bowl in '09. How many more bowl wins does the all-time head coach Joe Paterno have left in Happy Valley? Capital One Bowl - Beat LSU 19-17.
- Cincinnati (12-1) - The Brian Kelly era ended after a 12-0 regular season, then the Bearcats coach bolted for Notre Dame to replace Charlie Wies and much of the staff is either headed for Notre Dame or Buffalo now, a new era of Bearcats football begins in 2010 ... BCS Sugar Bowl - Lost to Florida 24-51.
- Virginia Tech (10-3) - The Hokies didn't win the ACC title, but they closed out the 2009 season as the Top ACC team in the final polls ... Chick-Fil- A Bowl - Beat Tennessee 37-14.
- Oregon (10-3) - The Ducks enter 2010 with the opportunity to be top dog in the Pac 10, after ending USC's eight year ride at the tip of the conference pecking order in '09, but 2009 will be remembered most for book end losses to open and close season ... BCS Rose Bowl - Lost to Ohio State 17-26.
- Brigham Young (11-2) - The Cougars will enter the next decade looking to battle everyone in the up and coming MWC looking for BCS status in the next decade ... Las Vegas Bowl - Beat Oregon State 44-20.
- Georgia Tech (11-3) - The Yellow Jackets are headed in the right direction after finishing the second year under coach Paul Johnson with the ACC Title, but work is to be done in finishing strong in bowl games ... BCS Orange Bowl - Lost to Iowa 14-24.
- Nebraska (10-4) - The Cornhuskers ended the decade with an impressive bowl win in coach Bo Pelini's second season, raising him to 3-0 in bowl games for Nebraska, but are the Cornhuskers ready for prime time in 2010 and competing with the nation's best? This is a team that lost in Lincoln to Iowa State 7-9 ... Holiday Bowl - Beat Arizona 33-0.
- Pittsburgh (10-3) - The Panthers pick up their first bowl win, since the 2002 season and the Dave Wannstedt program in his fifth season completes back to back bowl trips ... Meineke Car Care Bowl - Beat North Carolina 19-17.
- Wisconsin (10-3) - The Badgers finish the 2009 season with a bowl win and their first win of the season vs. a Top 25 team. Can coach Bret Bielema in his fifth season in 2010? Champs Sports Bowl - Beat Miami-FL 20-14.
- LSU (9-4) - Phil Steele was right picking the Tigers #17 in '09, LSU was young at QB in '09 and had the look of a team not ready for prime time in the #1 SEC this season ... Capitial One Bowl - Lost to Penn State 17-19.
- Utah (10-3) - The Utes finished third in the ever improving MWC behind TCU and Brigham Young in '09 ... Poinsettia Bowl - Beat Cal 37-27.
- Miami - FL (9-4) - The Hurricanes closed out the third season under coach Randy Shannon with too many ups and downs lead by youth at QB ... Champs Bowl - Lost to Wisconsin 14-20.
- USC (9-4) - The Trojans finish the season with another bowl win in the Pete Carroll era, but like the previous decade, could the USC program be entering a new era with a new coach? Emerald Bowl - Beat Boston College 24-13.
- Mississippi (9-4) - The Rebels were a team, like Oklahoma State, that was supposed to make noise in the Top 10 in '09, not quite ready for prime time behind senior QB Jevon Smeed ... Cotton Bowl - Beat Oklahoma State 21-7.
- West Virginia (9-4) - The Bill Stewart era wraps up his second full season with a loss, unlike the Fiesta and Mieneke Car Care bowl wins the previous two seasons ... will success become more difficult as Rich Rodriquez players exit Morgantown? Gator Bowl - Lost to Florida State 21-33.
- Texas Tech (9-4) - Despite the dismissal of coach Mike Leach near the eve of the Red Raiders bowl game, Tech takes care of business with remaining staff, but 2010 will be a new era for Red Raiders ... Alamo Bowl - beat Michigan State 41-31.
- Central Michigan (12-2) - The Chippewas' close out their senior season on top in the MAC as the coach Butch Jones era closes and a new era remains an unknown ... GMAC Bowl - beat Troy 44-41.
- Navy (9-4) - The Midshipmen deserve recognition at #25 over the final candidates and were clearly the top independent program in the FBS in 2009 ... Texas Bowl - beat Missouri 35-13.
Some final notes for the 2009 College Football Season ...
- Florida State (7-6, 4-4 ACC) - Head coach Bobby Bowden and defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews closed out their respective careers on top defeating West Virginia, as both retire to allow the Jimbo Fisher era to begin in 2010 at Florida State ... Gator Bowl - Beat West Virginia 33-21.
- Oklahoma (8-5, 5-3 Big 12) - Sooners coach Bobby Stoops saw his season slide right out of the gate, when their 2008 Heisman Trophy QB was injured early in the opening season loss to BYU. A solid offensive line is always important for success in the BCS ... Sun Bowl - Beat Stanford 31-27.
- Oklahoma State (9-4, 6-2 Big 12) - The Cowboys were supposed make a run as a Top 10 program in 2009, but they didn't get out of the gate well, after a nice win over Georgia to open the season and closed the season on the decline ... Cotton Bowl - Lost to Ole Miss 7-21.
- California (8-5, 5-4 Pac 10) - The Cal Golden Bears never got on track in Pac 10 play, after opening 3-0 with a wins vs. Maryland, Eastern Washington and @ Minnesota ... Poinsettia Bowl - Lost to Utah 27-37.
- Georgia (8-5, 4-4) - The Bulldogs didn't compete for any titles in the SEC in '09, but they did beat in-state rival Georgia Tech to close out the regular season and finish better in ... Independence Bowl - Beat Texas A&M 44-20.
- Oregon State (8-5, 6-3 Pac 10) - The Beavers didn't close out the 2009 season very well missing a Rose Bowl bid vs. Oregon and now talk begins that with Carroll looking to a move to the NFL, will coach Mike Riley be headed to Southern California in the new decade? Las Vegas Bowl - Lost to BYU 20-44.
- Clemson (9-5, 6-2 ACC) - The Tigers finished #24 in the final AP poll, but they slip, losing to in-state rival South Carolina in the final regular season game in coach Dabo Swinney's first full season at the helm... Music City Bowl - Beat Kentucky 21-13.
- Notre Dame (6-6) - The Fighting Irish coach Charlie Weis couldn't get it done in '09 and the administration said enough, after five seasons, making the decisions to dismiss and declining a bowl game in '09. Season ended after regular season, no bowl for the Irish.
- Arizona (8-5, 6-3) - The Wildcats were in the mix, surprisingly, for the Pac 10 title in '09, but the close of the 2009 season was eye opening, but not in a kind way with a blowout loss and goose egg ... Holiday Bowl - Lost to Nebraska 0-33.
- C-USA - While Houston and East Carolina have had some outstanding highlights in '09 and '08, respectively, again the conference was shut out of the final Top 25, with both division winners losing in the '09 bowl season.
- Sun Belt - Troy wins the Sun Belt title, but the Trojans lose in the top bowl for conference bragging rights with a 41-44 loss to Central Michigan, from the MAC, in the GMAC Bowl.
peaceThe 2010 College Football Season will kickoff on Thursday, September 2Nd. Alabama should be considered the nation's #1 team, until someone knocks them off.
- Alabama - with roster returning, the Crimson Tide offer a compelling case as a #1 team!
- Boise State - with the roster returning, the Broncos appear to be the nation's top non-BCS program heading into 2010. The position they were in, at the end of the '09 season.
Beyond those two programs, that finished '09 undefeated, there is plenty of work ahead for most FBS programs entering 2010!