The 1987 college football season saw its structure shaped by four teams—Miami, Oklahoma, Florida State and Nebraska effectively went into two separate brackets and played a de facto playoff, replete with regular season semifinals, a bowl game consolation battle and ultimately an Orange Bowl battle for the national championship.
The articles below tells the story of the 1987 college football season’s best teams…
*How Miami sought redemption for recent high-profile bowl failures and ran the gauntlet through a tough schedule. Jimmy Johnson was finally a champion.
*Florida State’s surge to prominence. They lost just one game, a regular season thriller with Miami and the Seminoles started a long string of major bowl appearances.
*The paths of Oklahoma and Nebraska, who opened the season in the 1-2 poll spots, stayed there all the way until their November rivalry game and finally onto the bowls…where both came up short against their opponents from the Sunshine State.
*Syracuse exploded, seemingly from nowhere, to an undefeated regular season behind a splendid year from quarterback Don McPherson. Read how the Orange became the new Beast of the East and their controversial ending in the Sugar Bowl.
Each team’s seasonal narrative, from their key players to their biggest games, are covered in the articles below. Taken collectively, they tell the story of the 1987 college football season through the eyes of its best teams.