1980 College Football Recap

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Final AP Top 20

Bowl Games with Top 20 Teams

Div. 1–A Conference Champs

Heisman Trophy Voting

Other Major Award Winners

Consensus All-America Team

Before 1980, Georgia finished in the Top 3 of the final AP poll twice—No.2 in 1942 and No.3 in 1946. Those were also the only two years the Bulldogs had a consensus All-America running back—first Heisman winner Frank Sinkwich, then Heisman runner-up Charlie Trippi.

Thirty-four years later, along came Herschel Walker and Georgia ran all the way to Number One. With Walker rushing for a NCAA freshman record 1,616 yards, the Dawgs went undefeated and untied and clinched their first national title ever in the Sugar Bowl with a 17–10 victory over Notre Dame.

Important as Walker was, the play that saved Georgia's perfect season was a 93–yard TD pass from quarterback Buck Belue to split end Lindsay Scott in the last two minutes to beat Florida, 26–21.

Pittsburgh, led by defensive end Hugh Green, was the nation's second-ranked team. The Panthers won 11 of 12, losing a regular season game to Florida State. FSU was undefeated everywhere but in the Orange Bowl where it lost two games by a point. The Seminoles were beaten 10–9 by Miami early in the season, then lost 18–17 to Oklahoma on New Year's.

Alabama's attempt to win an unprecedented third straight national title fell short with two November losses to Mississippi State and Notre Dame. The Tide did, however, get Bear Bryant his 300th career victory. And Michigan finally won a Rose Bowl for Bo Schembechler, his first in six attempts.

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