1998 NCAA Division I-A football season
|1998 NCAA Division I-A season|
|Number of teams||112|
|Preseason AP #1||Ohio State Buckeyes|
December 19, 1998 – |
January 4, 1999
|Heisman Trophy||Ricky Williams, Texas|
|Championship bowl game|
|1999 Fiesta Bowl|
Sun Devil Stadium, |
|Division I-A football seasons|
The 1998 NCAA Division I-A football season was the first of the Bowl Championship Series, which saw Tennessee win the national championship, one year after star quarterback Peyton Manning left for the NFL. The Volunteers defeated the Florida State Seminoles 23-16 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona to secure the inaugural BCS National Championship.
The BCS combined elements of the old Bowl Coalition and the Bowl Alliance it replaced. The agreement existed between the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange Bowls, the Cotton Bowl Classic diminishing in status since the breakup of the Southwest Conference. Like the Bowl Alliance, a national championship game would rotate between the four bowls, with the top two teams facing each other. These teams were chosen based upon a BCS poll, combining the AP poll, the Coaches poll, and a third computer component. The computer factored in things such as strength of schedule, margin of victory, and quality wins without taking into account time (in other words a loss in October and a loss in November were on equal footing).
However, like the Bowl Coalition, the bowls not hosting the national championship would retain their traditional tie-ins.
The first run of the Bowl Championship Series was not without controversy as Kansas State finished third in the final BCS standings but was not invited to a BCS bowl game. Ohio State (ranked 4th) and two-loss Florida (8th) received the at-large bids instead. Also, Tulane went undefeated but finished 10th in the BCS standings and was not invited to a BCS bowl because of their strength of schedule.
The following rule changes were adopted by the NCAA Rules Committee during their 1998 meeting: 
- Defensive players are allowed to recover and advance backward passes. Previously the defense was only allowed to recover but not advance backward passes.
- Illegal touching of a forward pass by an ineligible receiver is a five-yard penalty from the previous spot but no loss-of-down.
- Defensive players may not rough an offensive player in position to receive a backward pass (i.e. trail man on option play).
- Standardized uniform recognition regarding memorializing of deceased or severely ill teammates/coaches.
- Eyeshields must be clear.
|Fiesta Bowl||#1 Tennessee||23||#2 Florida State||16||Tempe, AZ|
|Sugar Bowl||#4 Ohio State||24||#8 Texas A&M||14||New Orleans, LA|
|Orange Bowl||#7 Florida||31||#18 Syracuse||10||Miami, FL|
|Rose Bowl||#9 Wisconsin||38||#6 UCLA||31||Pasadena, CA|
|Cotton Bowl Classic||#20 Texas||38||#25 Mississippi State||11||Dallas, TX|
|Peach Bowl||#19 Georgia||35||#13 Virginia||33||Atlanta, GA|
|Florida Citrus Bowl||#15 Michigan||45||#11 Arkansas||31||Orlando, FL|
|Outback Bowl||#22 Penn State||26||Kentucky||15||Tampa, FL|
|[[1999 Gator Bowl#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Gator Bowl]]
|#12 Georgia Tech||35||#17 Notre Dame||28||Jacksonville, FL|
|[[1998 MicronPC Bowl#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.MicronPC Bowl]]
|#24 Miami (FL)||46||NC State||23||Miami, FL|
|[[Sun Bowl#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Sun Bowl]]
|TCU||28||USC||19||El Paso, TX|
|Alamo Bowl||Purdue||37||#3 Kansas State||34||San Antonio, TX|
|Insight.com Bowl||#23 Missouri||34||West Virginia||31||Tempe, AZ|
|Holiday Bowl||#5 Arizona||23||#14 Nebraska||20||San Diego, CA|
|[[1998 Liberty Bowl#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Liberty Bowl]]
|#10 Tulane||41||[[BYU Cougars#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.BYU]]
|[[1998 Aloha Bowl#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Aloha Bowl]]
|Colorado||51||#21 Oregon||43||Honolulu, HI|
|[[1998 Oahu Bowl#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Oahu Bowl]]
|#16 [[Air Force Falcons football#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Air Force]]
|[[1998 Independence Bowl#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Independence Bowl]]
|Mississippi||35||Texas Tech||18||Shreveport, LA|
|Music City Bowl||Virginia Tech||38||Alabama||7||Nashville, TN|
|Las Vegas Bowl||North Carolina||20||[[San Diego State Aztecs football#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.San Diego State]]
|13||Las Vegas, NV|
|[[1998 Motor City Bowl#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Motor City Bowl]]
|Humanitarian Bowl||Idaho||42||[[Southern Miss Golden Eagles football#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Southern Mississippi]]
Rankings are from the AP Poll.
Heisman Trophy voting
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the
- 2. Michael Bishop, Kansas St. (792 points)
- 3. Cade McNown, UCLA (696 points)
- 4. Tim Couch, Kentucky (527 points)
- 5. Donovan McNabb, Syracuse (232 points)
Other major awards
- Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year) - Ricky Williams, Texas
- Walter Camp Award (Back) - Ricky Williams, Texas
- Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback) - Michael Bishop, Kansas St.
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (Senior Quarterback) - Cade McNown, UCLA
- Doak Walker Award (Running Back) - Ricky Williams, Texas
- Fred Biletnikoff Award (Wide Receiver) - Troy Edwards, Louisiana Tech
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defensive Player) - Champ Bailey, Georgia
- Chuck Bednarik Award - Dat Nguyen, Texas A&M
- Dick Butkus Award (Linebacker) - Chris Claiborne, USC
- Lombardi Award (Lineman or Linebacker) - Dat Nguyen, Texas A&M
- Outland Trophy (Interior Lineman) - Kris Farris, UCLA
- Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive Back) - Antoine Winfield, Ohio St.
- Lou Groza Award (Placekicker) - Sebastian Janikowski, Florida St.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant Award - Bill Snyder, Kansas St.
- Football Writers Association of America Coach of the Year Award - Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee