1984 College Football Recap
Halfway into the 1980s, it was obvious that parity had overtaken Division 1–A college football. For the fifth consecutive year the national champion was a first-time winner.
Georgia, Clemson, Penn State, Miami, and now Brigham Young. Of the five, only BYU's credentials were suspect. Critics accused the high-scoring WAC champion of having a quarterback (Robbie Bosco) with a strong arm and a schedule with a weak heart. Real weak. None of the teams on it would make the final AP Top 20.
Still, the Cougars were the only major college team to win all their games, so they were national champions by default. The way to the top was cleared on Nov.17th. BYU, ranked third behind Nebraska and South Carolina, rose to No.1 that afternoon when Oklahoma beat the Huskers and the Gamecocks lost to Navy.
A 6–5 Michigan team that finished sixth in the Big Ten gave the Cougars a scare in the Holiday Bowl, but BYU won by a touchdown to wrap up the title before Christmas.
Washington, a winner over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, and first-time SEC champ Florida ranked 2nd and 3rd. On probation, Florida had to vacate its title.
BC quarterback Doug Flutie, the first player to pass for 10,000 yards, won the Heisman. He also engineered the most memorable play in the year's most exciting game: a 65–yard pass to end Gerard Phelan for the winning touchdown in a wild, 47–45 victory over Miami.