The 1982 college football season was a historical landmark, as the legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno won his first national championship, defeating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to seal the deal. It was also a year where highly regarded early favorites did not play to form. The articles below tell the season-long story of the six teams who shaped the race for the national title in 1982. You’ll read season-long narratives that include the following…
*The controversial win Penn State had over Nebraska in September, one that shaped the national championship race all the way through the finish line.
*Georgia’s undefeated season and the dominance of Heisman Trophy-winning back Herschel Walker, especially on a season-defining drive at Auburn.
*Speaking of great running backs, how about SMU’s Pony Express of Eric Dickerson and Craig James? Read how they led SMU to a coveted Southwest Conference title.
*Pitt’s push for the top spot in the polls until Dan Marino’s surprising inconsistency undid him and his team in November against Notre Dame and Penn State.
*Nebraska’s power running game led by Mike Rozier and why the controversy at Penn State may have denied the Cornhuskers a national championship.
*UCLA’s run to the Pac-10 title, highlighted by some great quarterback play from Tom Ramsey and a miracle finish where both Washington and Arizona State failed to close the deal on the Rose Bowl bid.
The articles below tell the story of the 1982 college football season through the eyes of its best teams.