For the first time in the 52-year history of the Associated Press' college football poll, two teams from the same state -- Miami and Florida State -- finished the season 1-2.
The Miami Hurricanes, the nation's only 12-0 major college team, were a unanimous choice for the national championship following a 20-14 victory over Oklahoma, then ranked No. 1, in the Orange Bowl.
The Hurricanes, who had been ranked No. 2, were No. 1 on all 57 ballots and received a perfect score of 1,140 points from a nationwide panel of sports writers and sportscasters. They also got all the first-place votes in the United Press International's poll of coaches. The two polls agreed on the top eight teams.
Florida State (11-1), which defeated Nebraska, 31-28, in the Fiesta Bowl, moved up from third place to second with 1,071 points.
The Seminoles' only loss was to Miami, 26-25, on Oct. 3 when a two-point conversion pass in the final minute failed.
It was Miami's second national championship. The other one came in 1983 under Coach Howard Schnellenberger.
Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden was delighted with a second-place finish, the Seminoles' highest ever. "This year we changed our goals for the first time ever," he said. "Everybody else's goal is to win the national championship. Our goal was to win the state championship. I felt if we did that, it would put us in the running for the national championship."
Bowden said he didn't regret the two-point conversion try against Miami. "There's not a darn thing I can do about it," he said. "I don't worry about it at all. For some reason we just weren't supposed to win that game. That's the only way I can describe it."
Oklahoma (11-1), which had been No. 1 in 14 of the previous 15 polls this season, slipped to third place with 1,008 points. The Sooners were the preseason choice to win the national championship. They also finished third last year after winning their sixth national championship in 1985.
Syracuse (11-0-1) was No. 4 before its 16-16 Sugar Bowl standoff with Auburn and finished fourth.
Louisiana State's 30-13 trouncing of South Carolina in the Gator Bowl vaulted the Tigers from seventh place to fifth, while Nebraska dropped from fifth to sixth.
Auburn slid from sixth to seventh and Michigan State remained No. 8 by defeating Southern California in the Rose Bowl, 20-17.
UCLA, a 20-16 winner over Florida in the Aloha Bowl, finished ninth in the AP poll while Texas A&M's 35-10 rout of Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl lifted the Aggies from 12th to 10th.