1987 NCAA Division I-A football season

Last updated
1987 NCAA Division I-A season
Number of teams104
Preseason AP No. 1 Oklahoma [1]
Post-season
Bowl games 18
Heisman Trophy Tim Brown (wide receiver, Notre Dame)
Champion(s) Miami (FL) (AP, Coaches, FWAA)
Division I-A football seasons
  1986
1988  

The 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with Miami winning its second national championship during the '80s in an Orange Bowl match-up featuring a rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between the top ranked Oklahoma Sooners and the Hurricanes.

Contents

Miami's first three games were against ranked opponents, in what was labeled as a rebuilding year, when after some late game theatrics by Michael Irvin against rival Florida State, the Hurricanes were 3–0, the national media started to take notice.

Oklahoma was also seen as quite the juggernaut, averaging 428.8 yards rushing per game with their potent wishbone offense. Miami was able to hold Oklahoma to just 179 yards on the ground, winning the game 20–14.

Also having notable seasons were Syracuse, LSU and Florida State. Syracuse finished the season 11–0–1 and ranked No. 4 after a controversial Sugar Bowl game in which Auburn kicked a late field goal to end the game in a tie. LSU went 10–1–1, ending the season ranked No. 5. This was LSU's first ten win season in 26 years and their highest ranking since 1961.

Florida State finished ranked No. 2, their only loss to Miami, and began a streak of 14 years where FSU finished in the top 5. The Seminoles beat Rose Bowl champion Michigan State and SEC champion Auburn on the road and beat Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl.

This would be the first of two years SMU would not field a team due to the NCAA's death penalty.

Rule changes

Conference and program changes

The loss of Wichita State and SMU and the gain of Akron decreased the number of teams to 104.

School1986 Conference1987 Conference
Akron Zips Ohio Valley (I-AA) I-A Independent
Wichita State Shockers I-A Independent Program Dropped

Conference standings

1987 Atlantic Coast Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 12 Clemson $610  1020
Virginia 520  840
Wake Forest 430  740
NC State 430  470
Maryland 330  470
North Carolina 340  560
Duke 250  560
Georgia Tech 060  290
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1987 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 3 Oklahoma $700  1110
No. 6 Nebraska 610  1020
No. 11 Oklahoma State 520  1020
Colorado 430  740
Missouri 340  560
Iowa State 250  380
Kansas 061  191
Kansas State 061  0101
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1987 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 8 Michigan State $701  921
No. 16 Iowa 620  1030
Indiana 620  840
No. 19 Michigan 530  840
Ohio State 440  641
Minnesota 350  650
Purdue 350  371
Illinois 251  371
Northwestern 260  281
Wisconsin 170  380
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1987 Mid-American football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Eastern Michigan $710  1020
Kent State 530  740
Miami 530  560
Bowling Green 530  560
Western Michigan 440  560
Central Michigan 341  551
Toledo 341  371
Ball State 350  470
Ohio 080  1100
  • $ Conference champion
1987 Pacific Coast Athletic Association football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
San Jose State $700  1020
Fresno State 430  650
Cal State Fullerton 430  660
UNLV 430  560
Utah State 430  560
Pacific (CA) 340  470
Long Beach State 250  470
New Mexico State 070  290
  • $ Conference champion
1987 Pacific-10 Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 18 USC +710  840
No. 9 UCLA +710  1020
Washington 431  741
No. 20 Arizona State 331  741
Oregon 440  650
Stanford 440  560
Arizona 233  443
California 232  362
Washington State 151  371
Oregon State 070  290
  • + Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll
1987 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 7 Auburn $501  912
No. 5 LSU 510  1011
No. 14 Tennessee 411  1021
No. 13 Georgia 420  930
Alabama 420  750
Florida 330  660
Kentucky 150  560
Mississippi State 150  470
Vanderbilt 150  470
Ole Miss 150  380
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1987 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 10 Texas A&M $610  1020
Arkansas 520  940
Texas 520  750
Texas Tech 331  641
Baylor 340  650
TCU 340  560
Houston 241  461
Rice 080  290
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1987 Western Athletic Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
Wyoming $800  1030
BYU 710  940
Air Force 620  940
UTEP 530  740
San Diego State 440  570
Hawaii 350  570
Utah 260  570
Colorado State 170  1110
New Mexico 080  0110
  • $ Conference champion
1987 NCAA Division I-A independents football records
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Miami (FL)      1200
No. 4 Syracuse      1101
No. 2 Florida State      1110
No. 15 South Carolina      840
Pittsburgh      840
Penn State      840
No. 17 Notre Dame      840
Southern Miss      650
Rutgers      650
Southwestern Louisiana      650
Memphis State      551
Northern Illinois      551
West Virginia      660
Tulane      660
Army      560
Boston College      560
East Carolina      560
Akron      470
Cincinnati      470
Louisville      371
Temple      380
Tulsa      380
Virginia Tech      290
Navy      290
Rankings from AP Poll

Season summary

Notable rivalry games

The year 1987 saw the first meeting, since 1946, between the University of Miami Hurricanes and Miami University. On November 7, in Florida, "Miami-FL" won 54–3 over "Miami-OH".

No. 1 and No. 2 progress

The Oklahoma Sooners were No. 1, and their Big 8 Conference rivals, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, were No. 2, during the first eleven polls taken in 1987. Beginning with the September 29 poll, Miami was ranked No. 3. For polls 4 through 11, the ranking remained 1.Oklahoma 2.Nebraska 3.Miami. For the remainder of polls 6 through 11, Florida State is ranked No. 4, with two Big 8 teams and two Florida independents ranked in the top 4. With the Big Eight champion contracted to play in the Orange Bowl in Miami, the hometown Hurricanes were an obvious choice. The only question was whether the Big 8 team would be the Sooners or the Huskers.

In the 12th poll, issued on the Tuesday before the annual Nebraska–Oklahoma game, 9–0–0 Nebraska was voted No. 1 and 10–0–0 Oklahoma No. 2. The two teams met at Lincoln, Nebraska, on November 21, 1987, with Oklahoma winning 17–7. In the last three polls, Oklahoma stayed at No. 1 and Miami at No. 2.

Bowl games

Polls

Final AP Poll

  1. Miami (FL)
  2. Florida State
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Syracuse
  5. LSU
  6. Nebraska
  7. Auburn
  8. Michigan State
  9. UCLA
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Oklahoma State
  12. Clemson
  13. Georgia
  14. Tennessee
  15. South Carolina
  16. Iowa
  17. Notre Dame
  18. Southern California
  19. Michigan
  20. Arizona State

Final Coaches Poll

  1. Miami (FL)
  2. Florida State
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Syracuse
  5. LSU
  6. Nebraska
  7. Auburn
  8. Michigan State
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Clemson
  11. UCLA
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. Tennessee
  14. Georgia
  15. South Carolina
  16. Iowa
  17. Southern California
  18. Michigan
  19. Texas
  20. Indiana

Awards

Heisman Trophy

  1. Winner: Tim Brown, Notre Dame, Sr. WR (1,442 points)
  2. Don McPherson, Syracuse, Sr. QB (831)
  3. Gordie Lockbaum, Holy Cross, Sr. TB (657)
  4. Lorenzo White, Michigan State, Sr. TB (632)
  5. Craig Heyward, Pittsburgh, Jr. RB (170)
  6. Chris Spielman, Ohio State, Sr. LB (110)
  7. Thurman Thomas, Oklahoma State, Sr. RB (99)
  8. Gaston Green, UCLA, Sr. RB (73)
  9. Emmitt Smith, Florida, Fr. RB (70)
  10. Bobby Humphrey, Alabama, Jr. RB (63)
Source: [2] [3]

Other major awards

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References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2009-01-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. Greene, Bob (December 6, 1987). "Heisman is won by Tim Brown". Gainesville Sun. (Florida). Associated Press. p. 1E.
  3. "Heisman voting". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). December 6, 1987. p. 2F.