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College Football in 1986

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This year in college football there will be something called the BCS Championship Game or as I like to think of it, Fiesta Bowl II. It will match up the #1 and #2 teams in the BCS rankings and it will take place in the new Arizona Cardinals stadium which will be the new site of the Fiesta Bowl. It’s not a bowl game but it’ll be played at a bowl site the week after a bowl game was just played in it. It was the NCAA’s lame compromise they came up with for those who want to keep the bowl tradition and those who want a tournament or “plus one” format without actually addressing any of the flaws with the current format. But after it was after the 1986 regular season in the Fiesta Bowl where arguably the first true National Championship game may have ever taken place.

 

The landscape of college football was very different 20 years ago as many big time programs besides Notre Dame were still independents. Florida State, Boston College, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, South Carolina, and others were all independents. Two other national powerhouse independents would emerge as the #1 and #2 teams in the country in Miami and Penn State. Since neither had a conference affiliation thus neither was required to go to a particular bowl game. This is where the Fiesta Bowl came in as unlike the other major bowls they were not aligned with any conference to take their champion thus there able to invite both of the nation’s only undefeated teams. Miami were huge favorites with Heisman trophy winner Vinny Testaverde at quarterback, the Hurricanes beat their opponents by an average score of 38-12 during the regular season. Miami was the cockiest team on the planet at the time and infamously showed up to Tempe like this:

 

IPB Image

 

At a dinner to honor both teams the week of the game, the Hurricanes walked out of it. Jerome Brown was quoted as “Did the Japanese sit down and eat with Pearl Harbor before they bombed them?” You know equating yourself with the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor has never been the smartest thing to say. But Penn State would upset Miami 14-10 to win an undisputed national championship, intercepting Testaverde five times in the game. Four years later Penn State would join the Big Ten and spark the move of several independents to join conferences.

 

One other thing 1986 was also the Year of the Boz, probably the greatest marketing ever of a college athlete ever. Oklahoma's All-American linebacker Brian Bosworth created a complete alter ego for himself known as The Boz and made himself the most recognizable player in college football. Oklahoma won the Big 8 title but Bosworth would be suspended from the Orange Bowl for testing positive for steroids.

 

Here are useless facts from 1986.

 

Preseason AP Top 20

 

1. Oklahoma

2. Michigan

3. Miami

4. UCLA

5. Alabama

6. Penn State

7. Texas A&M

8. Nebraska

9. Ohio State

10. Tennessee

11. Florida State

12. Baylor

13. Florida

14. Auburn

15. LSU

16. Georgia

17. Washington

18. BYU

19. Arkansas

20. Michigan State

 

Top 20 Reguarl Season Match-ups

 

Week 1

#1 Oklahoma 38, #4 UCLA 3

#3 Miami 23, #13 Florida 15

#5 Alabama 16, #9 Ohio State 10

 

Week 2

#14 LSU 35, #7 Texas A&M 17

#17 Washington 40, #10 Ohio State 7

 

Week 3

#4 Alabama 21, #13 Florida 7

#7 Washington 52, #11 BYU 21

 

Week 4

#1 Miami 28, #2 Oklahoma 16

#5 Michigan 20, #20 Florida State 18

#12 USC 20, #6 Washington 10

 

Week 5

#11 Iowa 24, #17 Michigan State 21

#16 Arizona State 16, #15 UCLA 9

 

Week 6

#12 Washington 24, #18 Stanford 14

 

Week 7

#4 Michigan 20, #8 Iowa 17

#10 Arizona State 29, #15 USC 20

#11 Texas A&M 31, #20 Baylor 30

 

Week 8

#6 Penn State 23, #2 Alabama 3

#7 Auburn 35, #13 Mississippi State 6

 

Week 9

#1 Miami 41, #20 Florida State 23

#7 Arizona State 34, #6 Washington 21

#8 Alabama 38, #19 Mississippi State 3

#17 Ohio State 31, #11 Iowa 10

#18 USC 20, #14 Arizona 13

 

Week 10

#18 LSU 14, #6 Alabama 10

 

Week 11

#17 Arkansas 14, #17 Texas A&M 10

#10 Washington 17, #19 UCLA 17 tie

 

Week 12

#3 Oklahoma 20, #5 Nebraska 17

#14 Arizona 34, #4 Arizona State 17

#6 Michigan 26, #7 Ohio State 24

#18 UCLA 45, #10 USC 25

 

Week 13

#14 Auburn 21, #7 Alabama 17

 

Bowl Games (MVP)

California: San Jose State 37, Miami of Ohio 7 (Mike Perez)

Independence: Mississippi 20, Texas Tech 17 (Mark Young)

Hall of Fame: Boston College 27, #17 Georgia 24 (James Jackson, Georgia)

Sun: #13 Alabama 28, #12 Washington 6 (Cornelius Bennett)

Aloha: #16 Arizona 30, North Carolina 21 (Alfred Jenkins)

Gator: Clemson 27, #20 Stanford 21 (Rodney Williams)

Liberty: Tennessee 21, Minnesota 14 (Jeff Francis)

Holiday: #19 Iowa 39, San Diego State 38 (Mark Vlasic)

Freedom: #15 UCLA 31, BYU 10 (Gaston Green)

Bluebonnet: #14 Baylor 21, Colorado 9 (Ray Berry)

All-American: Florida State 27, Indiana 13 (Sammie Smith)

Peach: Virginia Tech 25, #18 N.C. State 24 (Erik Kramer, N.C. State)

Rose: #7 Arizona State 22, #4 Michigan 15 (Jeff Van Raaphorst)

Citrus: #10 Auburn 16, USC 7 (Aundray Bruce)

Cotton: #11 Ohio State 28, #8 Texas A&M 12 (Chris Spielman)

Orange: #3 Oklahoma 42, #9 Arkansas 8 (Spencer Tillman)

Sugar: #6 Nebraska 30, #5 LSU 15 (Steve Taylor)

Fiesta: #2 Penn State 14, #1 Miami 10 (Shane Conlan)

 

Final AP Top 20

 

1. Penn State

2. Miami

3. Oklahoma

4. Arizona State

5. Nebraska

6. Auburn

7. Ohio State

8. Michigan

9. Alabama

10. LSU

11. Arizona

12. Baylor

13. Texas A&M

14. UCLA

15. Arkansas

16. Iowa

17. Clemson

18. Washington

19. Boston College

20. Virginia Tech

 

All-Americans

 

QB

Vinny Testaverde, Miami

 

RB

Brent Fullwood, Auburn

Paul Palmer, Temple

Terrence Flagler, Clemson

Brad Muster, Stanford

 

WR

Cris Carter, Ohio State

Wendall Davis, LSU

Tim Brown Notre Dame

 

TE

Keith Jackson, Oklahoma

 

OL

Jeff Bregel, USC

Randy Dixon, Pittsburgh

Danny Villa, Arizona State

John Clay, Missouri

Ben Tamburello, Auburn

Jeff Zimmerman, Florida

Chris Conlin, Penn State

Dave Croston, Iowa

Paul Kiser, Wake Forest

John Elliott, Michigan

Randal McDaniel, Arizona State

Mark Hutson, Oklahoma

Harris Barton, North Carolina

John Phillips, Clemson

 

DL

Jerome Brown, Miami

Danny Noonan, Nebraska

Tony Woods, Pittsburgh

Jason Buck, BYU

Reggie Rogers, Washington

Tim Johnson, Penn State

 

LB

Cornelius Bennett, Alabama

Shane Conlan, Penn State

Brian Bosworth, Oklahoma

Chris Spielman, Ohio State

Terry Maki, Air Force

 

DB

Thomas Everett, Baylor

Tim McDonald, USC

Bennie Blades, Miami

Rod Woodson, Purdue

Garland Rivers, Michigan

John Little, Georgia

Gordon Lockbaum, Holy Cross

Mark Moore, Oklahoma State

 

K

Jeff Jaeger, Washington

Marty Zendejas, Nevada

Jeff Ward, Texas

 

P

Barry Helton, Colorado

Greg Horne, Arkansas

Bill Smith, Mississippi

Greg Montgomery, Michigan State

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Interesting that the Bills got all 3 of the good LB's that year (Spielman in the later part of his career, but whatever).

 

And Gordie Lockbaum... that brings back memories. He remained a QB/DB in preseason scrub games.

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