The 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season saw Florida State crowned national champions, in both the AP and Coaches poll.
Under the Bowl Coalition, undefeated Big 8 champ and #2 ranked Nebraska hosted ACC champ and #1 ranked Florida State in the Orange Bowl. This produced a clear champion in the Coaches Poll and the AP poll, despite Florida State's loss to Notre Dame 31–24 during the regular season, in a game known by many as the "Game of the Century". This much hyped clash between #1 and #2 was the site of the first ever "live" broadcast of the ESPNCollege GameDay show and did not fail to live up to expectations as Irish defensive back Shawn Wooden batted down a Charlie Ward pass in the end zone with three seconds left to play. Despite the win over Florida State, Notre Dame's title chances ended the very next week when the Fighting Irish lost to #17 Boston College. Further controversy surrounded the inclusion of one-loss Florida State in the national title game over undefeated West Virginia, who was ranked #2 (ahead of Florida State) by the final regular season coaches' poll but not the AP (Nebraska was #2 in the AP).
Despite beating Florida State in the regular season, Notre Dame finished #2 in the two major polls. Florida State, during the 1993 regular season played #2 Notre Dame, #2 Nebraska, #3 Miami, #7 Florida, #13 North Carolina, #15 Virginia, and #17 Clemson. FSU went 3–1 vs top 7 teams while playing only 1 home game in the 4 contests.
Florida State's Charlie Ward threw for 3,032 yards, completed 70 percent of his passes and became the first player to win the Heisman Trophy and the national championship in the same season since Pittsburgh's Tony Dorsett in 1976.
The distance between the hashmarks was narrowed from 53 feet, 4 inches (the same as high school football, with the exception of Texas, which is the same as College Football at 40 feet) to 40 feet (the standard used by the National Football League through the 1971 season). This cut down on severe angles for kickers who attempted short field goals, although angles would still be far greater than those encountered by kickers in the NFL, where the hashmarks are the same width as the goalposts, 18 feet, 6 inches.
The "fumblerooski" play is outlawed as intentional fumbles are now illegal.
Players who are bleeding or have open wounds are required to leave the game until the bleeding is stopped and the wound treated.
The loss of down penalty associated with offensive pass interference has been deleted. The yardage penalty remains at 15 yards.
Officials are instructed to flag players for unsportsmanlike conduct (15 yards) for actions on the field that are prolonged, excessive, or meant to bring attention to themselves (such as the "Heisman pose" and the firing of six-shooters).
On kickoffs, at least four players must be lined up on either side of the kicker.
All balls must be made of leather. Composite and rubber balls were outlawed.
Auburn had the best division record, but did not participate in postseason play due to NCAA probation. *Alabama (9–3–1, 5–2–1) later forfeited all 1993 regular season wins and one tie due to NCAA violations.
Florida State's Seminoles were the unanimous choice for #1 beginning with the October 19 poll and the three after that, receiving all 62 votes. After Notre Dame's 31-24 defeat of Florida State on November 13, Notre Dame got all 62 first place votes in the next poll.