The 1999 NCAA Division I-A football season saw Florida State named national champions, defeating Virginia Tech in the BCS Sugar Bowl.
Florida State became the first team in history to start out preseason #1 and remain there through the entire season. Their 12-0 season gave them 109 victories in the 90's, the most for any decade. Virginia Tech also had a remarkable season behind freshman quarterback Michael Vick, who was being touted as college football's best player.
Vick was outshined in the national championship game by Florida State Wide Receiver Peter Warrick. Warrick had early problems with the law, charged with a misdemeanor he sat out two games early in the season. But he scored three touchdowns in the title game, earning MVP honors.
The BCS adopted a new rule after the previous season, nicknamed the "Kansas State Rule," which stated that any team ranked in the top four in the final BCS poll is ensured of an invitation to a BCS bowl game.
A lot of teams faced debacles. East Carolina faced Hurricane Floyd, and in that same week, faced the #9 Miami Hurricanes. The Pirates were down 23-3, but scored 24 unanswered points to win the football game, 27-23.
Kansas State finished 6th in the BCS standings but again received no BCS bowl invitation, this time being passed over in favor of Michigan (ranked 8th). Kansas State's predicament demonstrated early on the problem of trying to balance historic bowl ties and creating a system which gives top bowl bids to the most deserving teams. In addition, for a second straight season, an undefeated team from outside the BCS conferences (Marshall) went undefeated but did not receive a bid to a BCS bowl game, which illustrated the problem of non-BCS teams being shut out of the major BCS bowls.
The NCAA Rules Committee adopted the following changes for the 1999 season:
- Holding penalties committed behind the line of scrimmage will be enforced from the previous spot, modifying a 1991 rule that penalized holding (as well as illegal use of hands and clipping) committed behind the scrimmage line from the spot of the foul.
- The penalty for intentional grounding was changed from a five-yard penalty from the spot of the foul plus loss-of-down to simply a loss-of-down at the spot of the foul.
- Bandannas that are visible are considered illegal equipment.
- Offensive teams may not break a huddle with 12 or more players.
- Continuing action dead-ball fouls against both teams are disregarded, however any disqualified players must leave the game.
Conference and program changes
Two teams upgraded from Division I-AA, thus increasing the number of Division I-A schools from 112 to 114.
Two programs, each playing as independents, changed their names prior to the season:
Other New Years Day bowls
December bowl games
- Peach Bowl: Mississippi State 17, Clemson 7
- MicronPC Bowl: Illinois 63, Virginia 21
- Sun Bowl: Oregon 24, Minnesota 20
- Alamo Bowl: Penn State* 24, Texas A&M 0
- Insight.com Bowl: Colorado 62, Boston College 28
- Holiday Bowl: Kansas State 24, Washington 20
- Liberty Bowl: Southern Mississippi (C-USA Champ) 23, Colorado State 17
- Aloha Bowl: Wake Forest 23, Arizona State 3
- Oahu Bowl: Hawaii-Manoa (WAC Champ) 23, Oregon State 17
- Independence Bowl: Mississippi 27, Oklahoma 25
- Music City Bowl: Syracuse 20, Kentucky 13
- Las Vegas Bowl: Utah 17, Fresno State 16
- Motor City Bowl: Marshall (MAC Champ) 21, BYU (MWC Champ) 3
- Humanitarian Bowl: Boise State (Big West Champ) 34, Louisville 31
- Mobile Alabama Bowl: TCU 28, East Carolina 14
Heisman Trophy voting
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the
Most Outstanding Player of the year
Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, Running Back (2042 points)
Other major awards
- Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year) - Ron Dayne, Wisconsin
- Walter Camp Award (Back) - Ron Dayne, Wisconsin
- Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback) - Joe Hamilton, Georgia Tech
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (Senior Quarterback) - Chris Redman, Louisville
- Doak Walker Award (Running Back) - Ron Dayne, Wisconsin
- Fred Biletnikoff Award (Wide Receiver) - Troy Walters, Stanford
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defensive Player) - Corey Moore, Virginia Tech, DE
- Chuck Bednarik Award - LaVar Arrington, Penn State
- Dick Butkus Award (Linebacker) - LaVar Arrington, Penn State
- Lombardi Award (Lineman or Linebacker) - Corey Moore, Virginia Tech, DE
- Outland Trophy (Interior Lineman) - Chris Samuels, Alabama, OT
- Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive Back) - Tyrone Carter, Minnesota
- Lou Groza Award (Placekicker) - Sebastian Janikowski, Florida St.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant Award - Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
- Football Writers Association of America Coach of the Year Award - Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech