Record: 10-2, 8-1 Big 12 (conference champions)
Coach: Gary Barnett (third season)
Key players: QB Bobby Pesavento (63.6 percent completions), RB Chris Brown (946 yards, 16 TDs), TE Daniel Graham (50 catches, 731 yards), S Michael Lewis (100 tackles)
Season summary: In one of the more amazing in-season turnarounds in recent memory, the Buffs -- 3-8 a year ago -- overcame a season-opening loss to Fresno State and a 41-7 shellacking by Texas to win the Big 12, posting an unprecedented 62-36 thumping of Nebraska followed by a 39-37 rematch victory over the Longhorns in the title game. This despite losing numerous key players to injury early, including QB Craig Ochs, former Butkus candidate Jashon Sykes and top receiver John Minardi.
Record: 10-1, 7-1 Pac-10 (conference champion)
Coach: Mike Bellotti (seventh season)
Key players: QB Joey Harrington (23 TDs, 5 INTs), RBs Onterrio Smith (1,007 yards, 7 TDs) and Maurice Morris (960 yards, 8 TDs), CB Steve Smith (6 INTs, 18 pass break-ups)
Season summary: A 49-42 defeat at home to Stanford -- the Ducks' first loss at Autzen Stadium in four years -- stands as the only blemish in a season that saw Oregon win the Pac-10 for the first time since 1994. Harrington lived up to his "Captain Comeback" mantra in fourth-quarter wins over Wisconsin, USC and UCLA, while an explosive offense -- helped by the addition of Tennessee transfer Smith -- paced blowouts of Arizona, Cal and Arizona State. Oregon survived treacherous conditions to survive rival Oregon State 17-14 in the finale.