The 1984 college football season was a year of chaos and it started early. Every one of the preseason Top 5 teams had lost a game by the time September was out, and three of those teams—Auburn, Pitt and Clemson would go on to be disappointments. It opened the door for a hotly disputed Cinderella national championship. In the articles below you’ll read about the following…
*How BYU capitalized on the chaos to ride an undefeated season to the national title and managed to do so while playing a 6-5 Michigan team in the Holiday Bowl on December 21.
*The Big Eight was dominated by its traditional duo of Nebraska and Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers and Sooners met in late November to see who would get the backing of the anti-BYU contingent going into the Orange Bowl. OU won and Nebraska settled for the Sugar Bowl.
*The Pac-10 had a terrific year, with three teams winning major bowl games. Oddly enough, the one that made a bid for the national championship didn’t go to the Rose. Washington went 10-1, was ranked #4, but tiebreakers kept them from Pasadena. It worked out okay for the Huskies—they got a shot against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, won the game and ended up inheriting the support of anti-BYU voters.
*No play from this season—nor any other—has stood the test of time like Doug Flutie’s desperation pass to Gerald Phelan that gave Boston College an improbable 47-45 win over Miami on Black Friday. The Eagles were playing some pretty good football before that and already had a Cotton Bowl bid wrapped up.
*The five articles below tell the story of these teams, the most consequential in the 1984 college football season.