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1987 NCAA Division I-A football season: Map

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The 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with Miami winning its second National Championship during the 80's in an Orange Bowl match-up featuring a rare #1 vs. #2 matchup between the top ranked and the Hurricanes.

Miami's first three games were against ranked opponents in what was labeled a rebuilding year so 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, and . Syracuse finished the season 11-0-1 and ranked #4 after a controverisal Sugar Bowl game in which kicked a late field goal to end the game in a tie. LSU went 10-1-1, ending the season ranked #5. This was LSU's first ten win season in 26 years and their highest ranking since 1961.

Florida State finished ranked #2, their only loss to Miami, and began a streak of 14 years where FSU either finished in the top 5 or played for the national championship. The Seminoles beat Rose Bowl champion Michigan State and SEC champion on the road and beat in the Fiesta Bowl.

Conference standings

W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, Conf. = Conference Record
Conference Champion


Virginia Cavaliers
Atlantic Coast Conference
Team W L T Pct. Conf.
Clemson Tigers 10 2 0 .833 6-1
8 4 0 .667 5-2
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 7 4 0 .636 4-3
NC State Wolfpack 4 7 0 .364 4-3
Maryland Terrapins 4 7 0 .364 3-3
North Carolina Tar Heels 5 6 0 .454 3-4
Duke Blue Devils 5 6 0 .454 2-5
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2 9 0 .181 0-6
Big Eight Conference
Team W L T PCT Conf.
Oklahoma Sooners 11 1 0 .917 7-0
Nebraska Cornhuskers 10 2 0 .833 6-1
Oklahoma State Cowboys 10 2 0 .833 5-2
Colorado Buffaloes 7 4 0 .636 4-3
Missouri Tigers 5 6 0 .454 3-4
Iowa State Cyclones 3 8 0 .272 2-5
Kansas Jayhawks 1 9 1 .091 0-6-1
Kansas State Wildcats 0 10 1 .000 0-6-1
Big Ten Conference
Team W L T PCT Conf.
Michigan State Spartans 9 2 1 .750 7-0-1
Iowa Hawkeyes 10 3 0 .769 6-2
Indiana Hoosiers 8 4 0 .667 6-2
Michigan Wolverines 8 4 0 .667 5-3
Ohio State Buckeyes 6 4 1 .545 4-4
Minnesota Golden Gophers 6 5 0 .545 3-5
Purdue Boilermakers 3 7 1 .272 3-5
Illinois Fighting Ilini 3 7 1 .272 2-5-1
Northwestern Wildcats 2 8 1 .182 2-6
Wisconsin Badgers 3 8 0 .272 1-7
Big West Conference
Team W L T PCT Conf.
San Jose State Spartans 10 2 0 .833 7-0
Fresno State Bulldogs 6 5 0 .546 4-3
Cal State Fullerton Titans 6 6 0 .500 4-3
UNLV Rebels 5 6 0 .454 4-3
Utah State Aggies 5 6 0 .454 4-3
Pacific Tigers 4 7 0 .363 3-4
Long Beach State 49ers 4 7 0 .363 2-5
New Mexico State Aggies 2 9 0 .181 0-7
Mid-American Conference
Team W L T PCT Conf.
Eastern Michigan Eagles 9 3 0 .667 7-1
Kent State Golden Flashes 6 3 1 .600 5-2-1
Miami Redskins 8 3 0 .727 5-3
Bowling Green Falcons 7 4 0 .636 5-3
Western Michigan Broncos 4 6 1 .363 4-3-1
Central Michigan Chippewas 6 5 0 .545 4-4
Toledo Rockets 5 6 0 .454 3-5
Ball State Cardinals 2 8 1 .181 1-6-1
Ohio Bobcats 0 10 1 .000 0-7-1
Pacific Ten Conference
Team W L T PCT Conf.
UCLA Bruins 10 2 0 .833 7-1
USC Trojans 8 4 0 .667 7-1
Washington Huskies 7 4 1 .583 4-3-1
Oregon Ducks 6 5 0 .545 4-4
Stanford Cardinal 5 6 0 .455 4-4
Arizona State Sun Devils 7 4 1 .583 3-3-1
Arizona Wildcats 4 4 3 .363 2-3-3
California Golden Bears 3 6 2 .272 2-3-2
Washington State Cougars 3 7 1 .272 1-5-1
Oregon State Beavers 2 9 0 .181 0-7
Southeastern Conference
Team W L T PCT Conf.
Auburn Tigers 9 1 2 .750 5-0-1
LSU Tigers 10 1 1 .833 5-1
Tennessee Volunteers 10 2 1 .769 4-1-1
Georgia Bulldogs 9 3 0 .750 4-2
Alabama Crimson Tide 7 5 0 .583 4-2
Florida Gators 6 6 0 .500 3-3
Kentucky Wildcats 5 6 0 .455 1-5
Mississippi State Bulldogs 4 7 0 .363 1-5
Vanderbilt Commodores 4 7 0 .363 1-5
Mississippi Rebels 3 8 0 .272 1-5
Southwest Conference
Team W L T PCT Conf.
Texas A&M Aggies 10 2 0 .833 6-1
Arkansas Razorbacks 9 4 0 .692 5-2
Texas Longhorns 7 5 0 .583 5-2
Texas Tech Red Raiders 6 4 1 .545 3-3-1
Baylor Bears 6 5 0 .545 3-4
TCU Horned Frogs 5 6 0 .455 3-4
Houston Cougars 4 6 1 .363 2-4-1
Rice Owls 2 9 0 .181 0-8
Western Athletic Conference
Team W L T PCT Conf.
Wyoming Cowboys 10 3 0 .769 8-0
BYU Cougars 9 4 0 .692 7-1
Air Force Falcons 9 4 0 .692 6-2
UTEP Miners 7 4 0 .636 5-3
San Diego State Aztecs 5 7 0 .416 4-4
Hawaii Warriors 5 7 0 .416 3-5
Utah Utes 5 7 0 .416 2-6
Colorado State Rams 1 11 0 .091 1-7
New Mexico Lobos 0 11 0 .000 0-8
Independents
Team W L T PCT Conf.
Miami Hurricanes 12 0 0 1.00-
Syracuse Orangemen 11 0 1 .917 -
Florida State Seminoles 11 1 0 .917 -
South Carolina Gamecocks 8 4 0 .667 -
Pittsburgh Panthers 8 4 0 .667 -
Penn State Nittany Lions 8 4 0 .667 -
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 8 4 0 .667 -
Southern Miss Golden Eagles 6 5 0 .545 -
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 6 5 0 .545 -
Tulane Green Wave 6 5 0 .545 -
West Virginia Mountaineers 6 6 0 .500 -
Memphis State Tigers 6 6 0 .500 -



Season summary

Notable rivalry games

  • 20, 7
  • 10, Alabama 0
  • 17, Kansas State 17
  • 41, 36
  • 17, 7
  • 26, 25
  • USC 17 UCLA 13 (decided Rose Bowl berth)


The year 1987 saw the first meeting, since 1946, between the University of Miamimarker Hurricanes and Miami Universitymarker (more commonly referred to as "Miami of Ohio"). On November 7, in Florida, "Miami-FL" won 54-3 over "Miami-OH".

#1 and #2 progress

The were #1, and their Big 8 Conference rivals, the , were #2, during the first eleven polls taken in 1987. Beginning with the September 29 poll, Miami was ranked #3. For polls 4 through 11, the ranking remained 1.Oklahoma 2.Nebraska 3.Miami. With the Big Eight champion contracted to play in the 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 #1 and 10-0-0 Oklahoma #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 #1 and Miami at #2.

Bowl games



Polls

Final AP Poll

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


Final Coaches Poll

  1. Miami (FL)
  2. Florida St.
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Syracuse (NY)
  5. Louisiana St.
  6. Nebraska
  7. Auburn (AL)
  8. Michigan St.
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Clemson (SC)
  11. UCLA
  12. Oklahoma St.
  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
  2. Don McPherson, Syracuse, Sr. QB
  3. Gordie Lockbaum, Holy Cross, Sr. TB
  4. Lorenzo White, Michigan State, Sr. TB
  5. Craig Heyward, Pittsburgh, Jr. RB


Other major awards

  • Maxwell (Player):Don McPherson, Syracuse
  • Camp (Back): Tim Brown, Notre Dame
  • O'Brein Award (QB): Don McPherson, Syracuse
  • Rockne (Lineman): N/A
  • Lombardi (Linebacker): Chris Spielman, Ohio State
  • Outland (Interior): Chad Hennings, Air Force
  • Coach of the Year:


Notes and References




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