1984 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 1984 NCAA Division I-A football season was topsy-turvy from start to finish. It ended with the BYU Cougars being bestowed their first and only national championship by beating Michigan in the Holiday Bowl. While the Cougars finished with a perfect 13–0 record and were the consensus National Champions, some commentators maintain this title was undeserved citing their weak schedule (none of their conference opponents in the WAC finished with fewer than four losses, and even Michigan finished the season at 6–6 after the bowl loss) and argue that the championship should have gone to the 11–1 Washington Huskies. Despite this the Cougars were voted No. 1 in the final AP and UPI polls. The Huskies (and five other teams) declined an invitation to play BYU in the Holiday Bowl; they decided instead to play Oklahoma in the more prestigious 1985 Orange Bowl. All subsequent national champions have come from what are now known as the Power Five conferences + Notre Dame.

1984 NCAA Division I-A season
Number of teams105
Preseason AP No. 1Auburn[1]
Post-season
DurationDecember 15, 1984 –
January 1, 1985
Bowl games18
Heisman TrophyDoug Flutie (quarterback, Boston College)
Champion(s)Brigham Young (AP, Coaches, FWAA)
Division I-A football seasons
← 1983
1985 →

Rule changesEdit

  • Defensive pass interference will be penalized 15 yards from the previous spot if the foul occurs more than 15 yards downfield. If the foul occurred 15 yards or less downfield, the penalty will be enforced at the spot of the foul.
  • Kickoffs that go through the back of the end zone or out of bounds in the end zone in the air untouched will be brought out to the 30-yard line instead of the 20.
  • Clipping is limited to an area 6-10 yards from the line of scrimmage.
  • Wide receivers are only permitted to block below the waist once the ball passes the line of scrimmage.
  • Eliminating the PAT if the game has been decided, and if both teams agree.
  • Offensive face-masking is now a foul, penalized 15 yards.

August-SeptemberEdit

The preseason AP Poll was led by No. 1 Auburn, No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Pittsburgh, No. 4 Clemson, and No. 5 UCLA.

August 27-September 1: No. 1 Auburn faced off against the defending champion, No. 10 Miami, in the second annual Kickoff Classic. In an early warning of a topsy-turvy year, the Tigers fell 20-18 with Bo Jackson gaining just 96 rushing yards. Five days later, Miami also beat No. 17 Florida 32-20. No. 3 Pittsburgh lost 20-14 to Brigham Young; the Panthers soon dropped out of the polls and finished with a disappointing 3-7-1 record. No. 4 Clemson defeated Appalachian State 40-7. No. 2 Nebraska, No. 5 UCLA, and No. 6 Texas had not begun their seasons, and the next AP Poll featured No. 1 Miami, No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 UCLA, and No. 5 Texas.

September 8: No. 1 Miami played their third consecutive ranked opponent, and this time they lost 22-14 to No. 14 Michigan. No. 2 Nebraska began their season with a 42-7 win over Wyoming. No. 3 Clemson shut out Virginia 55-0. No. 4 UCLA struggled to beat San Diego State, and their 18-15 victory dropped them out of the top five in the next poll. No. 5 Texas still had not started their schedule. No. 10 Iowa beat Iowa State 59-21, impressing the voters enough to make a big jump in the next poll: No. 1 Nebraska, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Michigan, and No. 4 Texas, with Iowa and Miami tied at No. 5.

September 15: No. 1 Nebraska beat Minnesota 38-7, and No. 2 Clemson was idle. No. 3 Michigan lost 20-11 to No. 16 Washington. No. 4 Texas opened play with a 35-27 victory over No. 11 Auburn, and No. 5 Miami bounced back with a 28-17 win at Purdue. Fellow No. 5 Iowa was less successful, losing 20-17 to No. 12 Penn State. The Hawkeyes’ conference rival, No. 9 Ohio State, shut out Washington State 44-0 and moved up in the next poll: No. 1 Nebraska, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Miami, and No. 5 Ohio State.

September 22: No. 1 Nebraska blasted No. 8 UCLA 42-3; they had outscored their first three opponents 122-17. No. 2 Clemson lost 26-23 to No. 20 Georgia on a 60-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. No. 3 Texas was idle. No. 4 Miami took its second loss, a 38-3 blowout by No. 15 Florida State. No. 5 Ohio State defeated No. 14 Iowa 45-26. No. 7 Penn State, which had beaten Iowa the previous week, won 56-18 over William & Mary. No. 10 Boston College hosted North Carolina and won 52-20. The next poll featured No. 1 Nebraska, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Penn State, and No. 5 Boston College.

September 29: No. 1 Nebraska lost 17-9 at Syracuse. No. 2 Texas squared off against No. 4 Penn State and won 28-3. No. 3 Ohio State won 35-22 at Minnesota. No. 5 Boston College was idle. No. 6 Washington dominated Miami-Ohio 53-7, and No. 7 Oklahoma beat Kansas State 24-6. The next poll featured No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Washington, No. 4 Boston College, and No. 5 Oklahoma.

OctoberEdit

October 6: No. 1 Texas won 38-13 at Rice, but No. 2 Ohio State was upset 28-23 by Purdue. No. 3 Washington defeated Oregon State 19-7. No. 4 Boston College was again idle, as was No. 5 Oklahoma. No. 7 Brigham Young won 59-9 at Colorado State and moved up in the next poll: No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Washington, No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 Boston College, and No. 5 Brigham Young.

October 13: The Red River Shootout between No. 1 Texas and No. 3 Oklahoma ended in a controversial 15-15 tie after the officials nullified an Oklahoma interception in the end zone, allowing the Longhorns to kick a game-tying field goal as time expired. No. 2 Washington moved up with a 37-15 win at Stanford. No. 4 Boston College returned to the field with a 24-10 defeat of Temple. No. 5 Brigham Young struggled to beat Wyoming, edging the Cowboys 41-38, and No. 6 Nebraska’s 33-23 win over Missouri moved them up in the next poll: No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Boston College, and No. 5 Nebraska.

October 20: For the first time all year, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams both won a game on the same weekend. No. 1 Washington defeated Oregon 17-10, and No. 2 Oklahoma made a late comeback to beat Iowa State 12-10. No. 3 Texas won 24-18 over Arkansas, but No. 4 Boston College fell 21-20 to No. 20 West Virginia. No. 5 Nebraska beat Colorado 24-7, and No. 7 Brigham Young defeated Air Force 30-25, moving up in the next poll: No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Nebraska, and No. 5 Brigham Young.

October 25-27: No. 1 Washington hosted Arizona and won 28-12, but No. 2 Oklahoma lost 28-11 at Kansas. No. 3 Texas won 13-7 over No. 14 SMU, No. 4 Nebraska blasted Kansas State 62-14, No. 5 Brigham Young blanked New Mexico 48-0, and No. 9 South Carolina beat East Carolina 42-20. The next poll featured No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 4 Brigham Young, and No. 5 South Carolina.

November-DecemberEdit

November 3: No. 1 Washington defeated California 44-14. No. 2 Texas squeaked past Texas Tech 13-10 while No. 3 Nebraska shut out Iowa State 44-0, leading the two teams to switch places in the next poll. No. 4 Brigham Young beat UTEP 42-9, and No. 5 South Carolina won 35-28 over North Carolina State. The next poll featured No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Brigham Young, and No. 5 South Carolina.

November 10: No. 1 Washington went from first in the nation to second in their conference, losing 16-7 at No. 14 USC. Since the Trojans had the head-to-head advantage and were one game ahead in the Pac-10 standings with just one more to play, this ensured a Rose Bowl berth for them. No. 2 Nebraska beat Kansas 41-7, but No. 3 Texas lost 29-15 to Houston. After a 6-0-1 start, the Longhorns would go on to lose four of their last five games. Now the only remaining undefeated teams were two decidedly untraditional powers: No. 4 Brigham Young, which defeated San Diego State 34-3, and No. 5 South Carolina, which won 38-26 over No. 11 Florida State. No. 7 Oklahoma State, whose only loss was to Nebraska, beat Missouri 31-13. No. 10 Florida, which had started the season under a cloud as coach Charley Pell was forced to resign due to recruiting violations, had caught fire under interim coach Galen Hall and shut out No. 8 Georgia 27-0 for their seventh straight victory. The next poll featured Nebraska back at No. 1, followed by No. 2 South Carolina, No. 3 Brigham Young, No. 4 Oklahoma State, and No. 5 Florida.

November 17: No. 1 Nebraska finished their season with a disappointing 17-7 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma. No. 2 South Carolina also lost, falling 38-21 to Navy. This opened the door for No. 3 Brigham Young, which moved to the top spot with a 24-14 victory at Utah. No. 4 Oklahoma State defeated Iowa State 16-10, and No. 5 Florida won 25-17 at Kentucky to clinch the SEC title. However, due to the Gators’ recruiting violations, the Sugar Bowl berth would go to the second-place team, No. 9 LSU. No. 8 Washington closed their schedule with a 38-29 win at Washington State. The next poll featured No. 1 Brigham Young, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Florida, and No. 5 Washington.

November 23-24: No. 1 Brigham Young finished the year undefeated with a 38-13 win over Utah State. No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Oklahoma State faced off for the Big 8 title, with the Sooners pulling out a 24-14 victory and an Orange Bowl berth. No. 4 Florida was idle, and No. 5 Washington and No. 7 Nebraska had finished their seasons. The famous “Hail Flutie” game also took place this weekend, with No. 10 Boston College defeating No. 12 Miami on a last-second 48-yard touchdown pass by Doug Flutie. The next poll featured No. 1 Brigham Young, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Washington, and No. 5 Nebraska.

December 1: The only highly-ranked team which had not finished its schedule was No. 3 Florida, which closed with a 27-17 win at No. 12 Florida State. The rankings in the final poll remained the same.

As the champions of the WAC, No. 1 Brigham Young was tied in to the Holiday Bowl, where they would face an underwhelming opponent in unranked Michigan. The highest-ranked bowl matchup was the Orange Bowl between No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 4 Washington. The Sugar Bowl would feature No. 5 Nebraska against No. 11 LSU, the Rose Bowl would pit No. 6 Ohio State, the Big Ten champion, against No. 18 USC, and the Cotton Bowl matched No. 8 Boston College against SWC winner Houston.

Conference standingsEdit

1984 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 12 Maryland $ 5 0 0 9 3 0
No. 20 Virginia 3 1 2 8 2 2
North Carolina 3 2 1 5 5 1
Wake Forest 3 3 0 6 5 0
Georgia Tech 2 2 1 6 4 1
NC State 1 5 0 3 8 0
Duke 1 5 0 2 9 0
Clemson 0 0 0* 7 4 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • * – Clemson was under NCAA and ACC probation and was ineligible for the ACC title. As a result, their ACC games did not count in the league standings.[2]
Rankings from AP Poll
1984 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 4 Nebraska + 6 1 0 10 2 0
No. 6 Oklahoma + 6 1 0 9 2 1
No. 7 Oklahoma State 5 2 0 10 2 0
Kansas 4 3 0 5 6 0
Missouri 2 4 1 3 7 1
Kansas State 2 4 1 3 7 1
Colorado 1 6 0 1 10 0
Iowa State 0 5 2 2 7 2
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1984 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 13 Ohio State $ 7 2 0 9 3 0
Illinois 6 3 0 7 4 0
Purdue 6 3 0 7 5 0
No. 16 Iowa 5 3 1 8 4 1
Wisconsin 5 3 1 7 4 1
Michigan State 5 4 0 6 6 0
Michigan 5 4 0 6 6 0
Minnesota 3 6 0 4 7 0
Northwestern 2 7 0 2 9 0
Indiana 0 9 0 0 11 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1984 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Toledo $ 7 1 1 8 3 1
Bowling Green 7 2 0 8 3 0
Central Michigan 6 2 1 8 2 1
Ohio 4 4 1 4 6 1
Northern Illinois 3 5 1 4 6 1
Miami 3 5 0 4 7 0
Ball State 3 5 0 3 8 0
Western Michigan 3 6 0 5 6 0
Kent State 3 6 0 4 7 0
Eastern Michigan 2 5 2 2 7 2
  • $ – Conference champion
1984 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Tulsa $ 5 0 0 6 5 0
No. 5 Indiana State ^ 3 1 0 9 3 0
Illinois State 3 2 0 5 6 0
Wichita State 2 2 0 2 9 0
Drake 2 3 0 4 7 0
West Texas State 1 3 0 3 8 0
Southern Illinois 0 5 0 3 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • ^ – NCAA Division I-AA playoff participant
  • The conference was a hybrid of NCAA Division I-A and I-AA programs. Tulsa and Wichita State were I-A and the other teams were I-AA.
Rankings from NCAA Division I-AA Football Committee poll
1984 Pacific Coast Athletic Association football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Cal State Fullerton $ 7 0 0 12 0 0
San Jose State 6 1 0 7 4 0
Fresno State 4 3 0 7 5 0
Long Beach State 4 3 0 5 6 0
Pacific (CA) 3 4 0 5 6 0
Utah State 2 4 0 2 9 0
New Mexico State 0 6 0 2 9 0
UNLV 0 7 0 0 13 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • Records adjusted for UNLV's forfeit of all 11 victories}
1984 Pacific-10 Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 10 USC $ 7 1 0 9 3 0
No. 2 Washington 6 1 0 11 1 0
No. 9 UCLA 5 2 0 9 3 0
Arizona 5 2 0 7 4 0
Washington State 4 3 0 6 5 0
Arizona State 3 4 0 5 6 0
Oregon 3 5 0 6 5 0
Stanford 3 5 0 5 6 0
Oregon State 1 7 0 2 9 0
California 1 8 0 2 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1984 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 3 Florida 5 0 1 9 1 1
No. 15 LSU 4 1 1 8 3 1
No. 14 Auburn 4 2 0 9 4 0
Georgia 4 2 0 7 4 1
No. 19 Kentucky 3 3 0 9 3 0
Tennessee 3 3 0 7 4 1
Vanderbilt 2 4 0 5 6 0
Alabama 2 4 0 5 6 0
Ole Miss 1 5 0 4 6 1
Mississippi State 1 5 0 4 7 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • Florida was assessed a postseason ban following an NCAA investigation, and the SEC subsequently vacated any championship. The Sugar Bowl automatic bid for the conference champion was awarded to LSU. Under modern rules, LSU would be credited with the conference championship.
Rankings from AP Poll
1984 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 8 SMU + 6 2 0 10 2 0
Houston + 6 2 0 7 5 0
TCU 5 3 0 8 4 0
Arkansas 5 3 0 7 4 1
Texas 5 3 0 7 4 1
Baylor 4 4 0 5 6 0
Texas A&M 3 5 0 6 5 0
Texas Tech 2 6 0 4 7 0
Rice 0 8 0 1 10 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1984 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 1 BYU $ 8 0 0 13 0 0
Hawaii 5 2 0 7 4 0
Air Force 4 3 0 8 4 0
Utah 4 3 1 6 5 1
San Diego State 4 3 1 4 7 1
Wyoming 4 4 0 6 6 0
Colorado State 3 5 0 3 8 0
New Mexico 1 7 0 4 8 0
UTEP 1 7 0 2 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1984 NCAA Division I-A independents football records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 5 Boston College       10 2 0
No. 11 South Carolina       10 2 0
Army       8 3 1
Rutgers       7 3 0
No. 17 Florida State       7 3 2
Virginia Tech       8 4 0
West Virginia       8 4 0
No. 18 Miami (FL)       8 5 0
Notre Dame       7 5 0
Southwestern Louisiana       6 5 0
Penn State       6 5 0
Syracuse       6 5 0
Temple       6 5 0
Memphis State       5 5 1
Navy       4 6 1
Southern Miss       4 7 0
Pittsburgh       3 7 1
Tulane       3 8 0
Cincinnati       2 9 0
East Carolina       2 9 0
Louisville       2 9 0
Rankings from AP Poll

AP Final pollEdit

  1. BYU
  2. Washington
  3. Florida
  4. Nebraska
  5. Boston College
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. SMU
  9. UCLA
  10. USC
  11. South Carolina
  12. Maryland
  13. Ohio State
  14. Auburn
  15. LSU
  16. Iowa
  17. Florida State
  18. Miami (FL)
  19. Kentucky
  20. Virginia

Coaches Final PollEdit

  1. BYU
  2. Washington
  3. Nebraska
  4. Boston College
  5. Oklahoma State
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Florida
  8. SMU
  9. University of Southern California
  10. UCLA
  11. Maryland
  12. Ohio State
  13. South Carolina
  14. Auburn
  15. Iowa
  16. LSU
  17. Virginia
  18. West Virginia
  19. Kentucky
  20. Florida St.

Notable rivalry gamesEdit

Bowl gamesEdit

Heisman Trophy votingEdit

The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the Most Outstanding Player of the year.

  1. Doug Flutie, QB, Boston College (2,240 points)
  2. Keith Byars, RB, Ohio State (1,251)
  3. Robbie Bosco, QB, Brigham Young (443)
  4. Bernie Kosar, QB, Miami (FL) (320)
  5. Kenneth Davis, RB, TCU (86)
  6. Bill Fralic, OT, Pittsburgh (81 )
  7. Greg Allen, RB, Florida State (37)
  8. Chuck Long, QB, Iowa (37)
  9. Jerry Rice, WR, Mississippi Valley State (36)
  10. Rueben Mayes, RB, Washington State (32)

Source:[3][4]

Other annual awardsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1983 Preseason AP Football Poll - AP Poll Archive - Historical College Football and Basketball Polls and Rankings". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  2. ^ Williams, Larry (2012). The Danny Ford Years at Clemson.
  3. ^ "Flutie can believe it now: the Heisman is his". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 2, 1984. p. 1B.
  4. ^ "Flutie easy winner in Heisman voting". Sunday Star-News. Wilmington, North Carolina). (New York Times). December 2, 1984. p. 1D.