The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
College Football, Year by Year

(team, record, head coach)
1. Georgia Bulldogs 12-0-0 Vince Dooley
2. Pittsburgh Panthers 11-1-0 Jackie Sherrill
3. Oklahoma Sooners 10-2-0 Barry Switzer
4. Michigan Wolverines 10-2-0 Bo Schembechler
5. Florida State Seminoles 10-2-0 Bobby Bowden
6. Alabam Crimson Tide 10-2-0 Bear Bryant
7. Nebraska Cornhuskers 10-2-0 Tom Osborne
8. Penn State Nittany Lions 10-2-0 Joe Paterno
9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 9-2-1 Dan Devine
10. North Carolina Tar Heels 11-1-0 Dick Crum
11. Southern Cal.....12. Brigham Young.....13. UCLA.....14. Baylor.....15. Ohio State.....16. Washington .....17. Purdue.....18. Miami (FL).....19. Mississippi State.....20. SMU

Bluebonnet Bowl: North Carolina 16, Texas 7
Cotton Bowl: Alabama 30, Baylor 2
Fiesta Bowl: Penn State 31, Ohio State 19
Gator Bowl: Pittsburgh 37, South Carolina 9
Holiday Bowl: Brigham Young 46, SMU 45
Liberty Bowl: Purdue 28, Missouri 25
Orange Bowl: Oklahoma 18, Florida State 17
Peach Bowl: Miami 20, Virginia Tech 10
Rose Bowl: Michigan 23, Washington 6
Sugar Bowl: Georgia 17, Notre Dame 10
Sun Bowl: Nebraska 31, Mississippi State 17
Tangerine Bowl: Florida 35, Maryland 20

Running back Herschel Walker rambles for a big gain in '80

Coming off a disappointing 6-5 record for 1979, The Georgia Bulldogs got a big lift from freshman Herschel Walker. At 6'-2" and 220 lbs., Walker could run a lightning 9.1 100-yard-dash. In his very first game, the season opener against Tennessee, Walker's two rushing TDs led the Bulldogs to a come-from-behind win. Later in the season Walker carried for an SEC-record 43 times against South Carolina. The following week, a 93-yard TB toss from QB Buck Beleu to Lindsay Scott put the Dogs at 8-0 and #1 in the nation. Walker went on to break Tony Dorsett's all-time freshman rushing record in the regular season finale, and was the only rusher to post over 100 yards against the formidable Notre Dame defense in the college football championship Sugar Bowl, which the Bulldogs won by a score of 17-10.


(team, record, head coach)
1. Clemson Tigers 12-0-0 Danny Ford
2. Texas Longhorns 10-1-1 Fred Akers
3. Penn State Nittany Lions 10-2-0 Joe Paterno
4. Pittsburgh Panthers 11-1-0 Jackie Sherrill
5. SMU Mustangs 10-1-0 Ron Meyer
6. Georgia Bulldogs 10-2-0 Vince Dooley
7. Alabama Crimson Tide 9-2-0 Bear Bryant
8. Miami Hurricanes 9-2-0 H. Schnellenberger
9. North Carolina Tar Heels 10-2-0 Dick Crum
10. Washington Huskies 10-2-0 Don James
11. Nebraska.....12. Michigan.....13. Brigham Young.....14. Southern Cal.....15. Ohio State.....16. Arizona State.....17. West Virginia.....18. Iowa.....19. Missouri.....20. Oklahoma

Bluebonnet Bowl: Michigan 33, UCLA 14
Cotton Bowl: Texas 14, Alabama 12
Fiesta Bowl: Penn State 26, Southern Cal 10
Gator Bowl: North Carolina 31, Arkansas 27
Holiday Bowl: Brigham Young 38, Washington State 36
Independence Bowl: Texas A&M 33, Oklahoma State 16
Liberty Bowl: Ohio State 31, Navy 28
Orange Bowl: Clemson 22, Nebraska 15
Peach Bowl: West Virginia 26, Florida 6
Rose Bowl: Washington 28, Iowa 0
Sugar Bowl: Pittsburgh 24, Georgia 20
Sun Bowl: Oklahoma 40, Houston 14

Terry Kinard keeps Georgia's Herschel Walker out of the end zone, and  the Tigers handed
 Walker the only regular-season loss of his college career

With their 6-5 record in 1980, the Clemson Tigers weren't expected to do much in '81. Even though they had 27 returning seniors, they weren't listed on anyone's Top 20 preseason list. But led by the likes of All-American linebacker Jeff Davis and QB Homer Jordan, the Tigers defeated the national champs, the Georgia Bulldogs, 13-3 early on, and squeaked by North Carolina 10-8 on the road to a meeting with the vaunted Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Orange Bowl. Thanks to three field goals by Donald Igwebuike, a touchdown run by Cliff Austin, and a TD reception by All-American Perry Tuttle, the Tigers won their first -- and, so far, their only -- national championship.


(team, record, head coach)
1. Penn State Nittany Lions 11-1-0 Joe Paterno
2. SMU Mustangs 11-0-1 Bobby Collins
3. Nebraska Cornhuskers 12-1-0 Tom Osborne
4. Georgia Bulldogs 11-1-0 Vince Dooley
5. UCLA Bruins 10-1-1 Terry Donahue
6. Arizona State Sun Devils 10-2-0 Darryl Rogers
7. Washington Huskies 10-2-0 Don James
8. Clemson Tigers 9-1-1 Danny Ford
9. Arkansas Razorbacks 9-2-1 Lou Holtz
10. Pittsburgh Panthers 9-3-0 Foge Fazio
11. Louisiana State.....12. Ohio State.....13. Florida State.....14. Auburn.....15. USC .....
16. Oklahoma.....17. Texas.....18. North Carolina.....19. West Virginia.....20. Maryland
Bowl Games
Aloha Bowl: Washington 21, Maryland 20
Bluebonnet Bowl: Arkansas 28, Florida 24
Cotton Bowl: SMU 7, Pittsburgh 3
Fiesta Bowl: Arizona State 32, Oklahoma 21
Gator Bowl: Florida State 31, West Virginia 12
Holiday Bowl: Ohio State 47, Brigham Young 17
Independence Bowl: Wisconsin 14, Kansas State 3
Liberty Bowl: Alabama 21, Illinois 15
Orange Bowl: Nebraska 21, Louisiana State 20
Peach Bowl: Iowa 28, Tennessee 22
Rose Bowl: UCLA 24, Michigan 14
Sugar Bowl: Penn State 27, Georgia 23
Sun Bowl: North Carolina 26, Texas 10

(to be continued)