The 2000 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the Oklahoma Sooners claiming their first national championship and their first conference championship since the departure of head coach Barry Switzer.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was in his second season as head coach, having been the defensive coordinator of Steve Spurrier's 1996 National Champion Florida Gators, and also having helped Bill Snyder turn the Kansas State Wildcats around in the early 1990s. Stoops erased a three-game losing streak against rival Texas by a score of 63–14, one of the worst defeats in Texas' football history. Despite the lopsided victory, this game marked a return of the Red River Shootout to a rivalry game with national title implications.
The BCS title game was not without controversy, as the system shut fourth-ranked Washington out of the championship game, despite being the only team who had beaten each #2 Miami and #5 Oregon State and having the same 10-1 record as #3 Florida State during the regular season. 10–1 Miami, who handed #3 Florida State their only loss, was ranked higher in both the AP Writers' Poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, and had the same record as the Seminoles, was also seen as a possible title contender.
Virginia Tech also was left out of the BCS bowls, despite being ranked higher than one of the at-large teams, Notre Dame.
The South Carolina Gamecocks broke a 21-game losing streak, stretching back into 1998, to go 8-4 including a win over Ohio State in the Outback Bowl.
Two new bowl games began in the 2000 season: the Silicon Valley Bowl, which had a contractual tie-in with the WAC, and the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl.
The following rules changes were passed by the NCAA Rules Committee in 2000:
- The definition of an illegal block is expanded to include any high-low or low-high combination block by any two offensive players when the initial contact clearly occurs beyond the neutral zone.
- Crack-back blocks are now prohibited from any offensive player in motion in any direction (previously it was in motion toward the ball) and the restricted zone is now 10 yards beyond the neutral zone in all directions.
- Offensive teams in the process of substituting or simulated substituting are prohibited from rushing to the line of scrimmage to snap the ball to give the defense a disadvantage. The penalty for a first offense is five yards, additional violations are considered unsportsmanlike conduct (15 yards).
- Defensive players lined up within one yard of the line of scrimmage are prevented from rushing up to the line with the obvious intent of causing an offensive player to false start.
- Passers within five yards of the sideline from the original position of the ball (aka the "tackle box") are allowed to throw the ball so it lands beyond the neutral zone without penalty.
Conference and program changes
Two teams upgraded from Division I-AA, thus increasing the number of Division I-A schools from 114 to 116.
Other New Year's Day bowls
December bowl games
- Holiday Bowl: #8 Oregon (Pac10 co-champ) 35, #12 Texas 30
- Peach Bowl: LSU 28, #15 Georgia Tech 14
- MicronPC.com Bowl: NC State 38, Minnesota 30
- Sun Bowl: Wisconsin 21, UCLA 20
- Alamo Bowl: #9 Nebraska 66, #18 Northwestern (Big10 co-champ) 17
- Insight.com Bowl: Iowa State 37, Pittsburgh 29
- Liberty Bowl: #23 Colorado State (MWC champ) 22, #22 Louisville (C-USA champ) 17
- Aloha Bowl: Boston College 31, Arizona State 17
- Oahu Bowl: #24 Georgia 37, Virginia 14
- Independence Bowl: Mississippi State 43, Texas A&M 41 (OT)
- Music City Bowl: West Virginia 49, Mississippi 38
- Las Vegas Bowl: UNLV 31, Arkansas 14
- Motor City Bowl: Marshall (MAC champ) 25, Cincinnati 14
- Humanitarian Bowl: Boise State (Big West champ) 38, UTEP (WAC co-champ) 23
- Mobile Alabama Bowl: Southern Miss 28, #13 TCU (WAC co-champ) 21
- Silicon Valley Classic: Air Force 37, Fresno State 34
- Galleryfurniture.com bowl: East Carolina 40, Texas Tech 27
Heisman Trophy voting
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the Most Outstanding Player of the year.
Other major awards
- Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year) - Drew Brees, Purdue
- Walter Camp Award (Back) - Josh Heupel, Oklahoma
- Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback) - Chris Weinke, Florida State
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (Senior quarterback) - Chris Weinke, Florida State
- Doak Walker Award (Running back) - LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU
- Fred Biletnikoff Award (Wide receiver) - Antonio Bryant, Pittsburgh
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Defensive player) - Dan Morgan, Miami
- Chuck Bednarik Award - Dan Morgan, Miami
- Dick Butkus Award (Linebacker) - Dan Morgan, Miami
- Lombardi Award (Lineman or Linebacker) - Jamal Reynolds, Florida State
- Outland Trophy (Interior lineman) - John Henderson, Tennessee, DT
- Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive back) - Jamar Fletcher, Wisconsin
- Lou Groza Award (Placekicker) - Jonathan Ruffin, Cincinnati
- Paul "Bear" Bryant Award - Bob Stoops, Oklahoma