The 1983 college football season was a seminal year in the history of the sport. Miami’s stunning upset of Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to win the national championship marked the start of a dynasty and a dramatic shift in the balance of power to the state of Florida in general.
1983 was also a year that looked like “chalk” much of the way, with the top-ranked teams holding serve until the bitter end. This series of articles offers a season-long narrative of the following…
*Nebraska, as they demolished opponent after opponent behind Heisman Trophy-winning running back Mike Rozier. But they also showed the deficiencies that ultimately cost them a title.
*Texas and their great defense as they went undefeated and kept hoping for the one Cornhusker loss that would open the door for the national championship…and then coughed it up when the moment finally arrived.
*Auburn becoming a rising force in the SEC, with a great running back in Bo Jackson and going through a great schedule that should have been given more weight in the final voting.
*Georgia losing a big star in Herschel Walker, but showing the strength of their program in returning to the major bowl stage. It was the Bulldogs pulling a big upset of their own that paved the way for the Hurricane legend.
*The Big Ten race, as Illinois joined traditional powers Michigan and Ohio State in an exciting race for the conference title. The Illini got their first Rose Bowl bid in twenty years and arrived in Pasadena ranked #4 in the country.
*And of course Miami’s quiet rise from a bad season-opening loss to an amazing national championship. See the growth of future NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar in his freshman year.
These articles tells about the season-long paths of each team—their key players and season defining moments. They tell the story of the 1983 college football season through the eyes of its most consequential teams.
READ ABOUT 1983 MIAMI
READ ABOUT 1983 NEBRASKA
READ ABOUT 1983 TEXAS
READ ABOUT 1983 AUBURN
READ ABOUT 1983 GEORGIA
READ ABOUT 1983 ILLINOIS