1985 NCAA Division I-A football season

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The 1985 NCAA Division I-A football season saw the Oklahoma Sooners, led by head coach Barry Switzer, win the national championship.

Oklahoma finished the season 11-1, with their only loss to Miami at home, in a game future NFL star Troy Aikman was lost for the season. The Sooners regrouped and went undefeated the rest of the way, finishing the season with a win over Penn State in the Orange Bowl.

Michigan would finish #2, the highest finish of a Bo Schembechler led team. The team shined on defense, led by All-Americans Mike Hammerstein and Mark Messner.

Tennessee finished the season with a victory over #2 Miami in the Sugar Bowl. This team won the school's first SEC championship in 16 years and was nicknamed the "Sugar Vols". The SEC title was the first of three for coach Johnny Majors.

Air Force Falcons, under Fisher DeBerry had what is considered[3] their best season ever, defeating Texas in the Bluebonnet bowl and finishing #5.

This year's edition of the Iron Bowl is widely considered[4] to be one of the greatest ever. Despite Auburn having Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson on its side, Alabama won this game with a last second field goal.

This would be the last year for the Missouri Valley Conference in Division 1-A football. 5 of the 7 teams in the conference (Drake, Illinois State, Indiana State, Southern Illinois, and West Texas State) would drop from Division 1-A football the following season with the other 2 members (Tulsa and Wichita State) becoming independents the following season.

Rule changes[edit]

  • Kickoffs that sail through the end zone untouched will be placed at the 20-yard line, rescinding a rule adopted in 1984 that required the ball be placed at the 30-yard line.
  • Offensive lineman will be allowed to use extended arms and open hands on all blocks, not just retreat blocks.
  • The use of "offset uprights" (two goalposts) is prohibited. All goalposts must now be of the "tuning fork" or "slingshot" style, with the crossbar rising from a single post.

Conference standings[edit]

1985 ACC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#18 Maryland 6 0 0     9 3 0
#19 Georgia Tech 5 1 0     9 2 1
Virginia 4 3 0     6 5 0
Clemson 4 3 0     6 6 0
North Carolina 5 2 0     7 4 1
Duke 2 5 0     4 7 0
NC State 2 5 0     3 8 0
Wake Forest 1 6 0     4 7 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1985 Big 8 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1 Oklahoma 7 0 0     11 1 0
#11 Nebraska 6 1 0     9 3 0
Oklahoma State 4 3 0     8 4 0
Colorado 4 3 0     7 5 0
Iowa State 3 4 0     5 6 0
Kansas 2 5 0     6 6 0
Kansas State 1 6 0     1 10 0
Missouri 1 6 0     1 10 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1985 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#10/9 Iowa 7 1 0     10 2 0
#2/2 Michigan 6 1 1     10 1 1
Illinois 5 2 1     6 5 1
#14/11 Ohio State 5 3 0     9 3 0
Michigan State 5 3 0     7 5 0
Minnesota 4 4 0     7 5 0
Purdue 3 5 0     5 6 0
Wisconsin 2 6 0     5 6 0
Indiana 1 7 0     4 7 0
Northwestern 1 7 0     3 8 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll / Coaches' Poll
1985 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Bowling Green 9 0 0     11 1 0
Miami 7 1 1     8 2 1
Central Michigan 6 3 0     7 3 0
Western Michigan 4 4 1     4 6 1
Northern Illinois 4 4 0     4 7 0
Ball State 3 6 0     4 7 0
Eastern Michigan 3 6 0     4 7 0
Toledo 3 6 0     4 7 0
Kent State 2 6 0     3 8 0
Ohio 2 7 0     2 9 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1985 Missouri Valley Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Tulsa 3 0 0     6 5 0
West Texas State 3 1 1     6 3 1
Illinois State 3 1 1     6 3 1
Indiana State 2 2 0     4 6 0
Wichita State 2 3 0     3 8 0
Drake 1 4 0     4 7 0
Southern Illinois 1 4 0     4 7 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1985 Pacific-10 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#7 UCLA 6 2 0     9 2 1
Arizona 5 2 0     8 3 1
Arizona State 5 2 0     8 4 0
Washington 5 3 0     7 5 0
USC 5 3 0     6 6 0
Oregon 3 4 0     5 6 0
Washington State 3 5 0     4 7 0
Stanford 3 5 0     4 7 0
Oregon State 2 6 0     3 8 0
California 2 7 0     4 7 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1985 Pacific Coast Athletic Association football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Fresno State 7 0 0     11 0 1
Cal State Fullerton 5 2 0     6 5 0
UNLV 4 2 1     5 5 1
Long Beach State 4 3 0     6 6 0
Utah State 3 4 0     3 8 0
San Jose State 2 4 1     2 8 1
Pacific 2 5 0     5 7 0
New Mexico State 0 7 0     1 10 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1985 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#4 Tennessee 5 1 0     9 1 2
#5 Florida 5 1 0     9 1 1
#13 Alabama 4 1 1     9 2 1
#20 LSU 4 1 1     9 2 1
Georgia 3 2 1     7 3 2
Auburn 3 3 0     8 4 0
Ole Miss 2 4 0     4 6 1
Vanderbilt 1 4 1     3 7 1
Kentucky 1 5 0     5 6 0
Mississippi State 0 6 0     5 6 0
† – Conference champion
  • Florida ineligible for SEC championship due to NCAA probation.
    Rankings from AP Poll
1985 Division I-A independents football records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#3 Penn State           11 1 0
#9 Miami (FL)           10 2 0
Army           9 3 0
#15 Florida State           9 3 0
West Virginia           7 3 1
Southern Miss           7 4 0
Syracuse           7 5 0
Virginia Tech           6 5 0
Pittsburgh           5 5 1
Cincinnati           5 6 0
Notre Dame           5 6 0
South Carolina           5 6 0
Southwestern Louisiana           4 7 0
Navy           4 7 0
Temple           4 7 0
Boston College           4 8 0
Memphis           2 7 2
Rutgers           2 8 1
East Carolina           2 9 0
Louisville           2 9 0
Tulane           1 10 0
Rankings from AP Poll
1985 Southwest Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#6 Texas A&M 7 1 0     10 2 0
#12 Arkansas 6 2 0     10 2 0
#17 Baylor 6 2 0     9 3 0
Texas 6 2 0     8 4 0
SMU 5 3 0     6 5 0
Houston 3 5 0     4 7 0
Rice 2 6 0     3 8 0
Texas Tech 1 7 0     4 7 0
TCU 0 8 0     3 8 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
1985 WAC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#8 Air Force § 7 1 0     12 1 0
#16 BYU § 7 1 0     11 3 0
Utah 5 3 0     8 4 0
Hawaii 4 3 1     4 6 2
Colorado State 4 4 0     5 7 0
San Diego State 3 4 1     5 6 1
New Mexico 2 6 0     3 8 0
Wyoming 2 6 0     3 8 0
UTEP 1 7 0     1 10 0
§ – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

AP Final Poll[edit]

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Michigan
  3. Penn State
  4. Tennessee
  5. Florida
  6. Texas A&M
  7. UCLA
  8. Air Force
  9. Miami (FL)
  10. Iowa
  11. Nebraska
  12. Arkansas
  13. Alabama
  14. Ohio State
  15. Florida State
  16. BYU
  17. Baylor
  18. Maryland
  19. Georgia Tech
  20. LSU

Final Coaches Poll[edit]

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Michigan
  3. Penn St.
  4. Tennessee
  5. Air Force
  6. UCLA
  7. Texas A&M
  8. Miami (FL)
  9. Iowa
  10. Nebraska
  11. Ohio St.
  12. Arkansas
  13. Florida St.
  14. Alabama
  15. Baylor
  16. Fresno St.
  17. Brigham Young
  18. Georgia Tech
  19. Maryland
  20. LSU

Notable rivalry games[edit]

#1 and #2 Progress[edit]

WEEKS #1 #2 Event
PRE-1 Oklahoma Auburn Auburn 49, LA-Lafayette 7 Sep 7
2-4 Auburn Oklahoma Tennessee 38, Auburn 20 Sep 28
5-6 Iowa Oklahoma Miami 27, Oklahoma 14 Oct 12
7 Iowa Michigan Iowa 12, Michigan 10 Oct 19
8-9 Iowa Florida Ohio State 22, Iowa 13 Nov 2
10 Florida Penn State Georgia 24, Florida 3 Nov 9
11-12 Penn State Nebraska Oklahoma 27, Nebraska 7 Nov 23
13 Penn State Air Force Miami 58, Notre Dame 7 Nov 30
14-15 Penn State Miami Oklahoma 25, Penn State 10 Jan 1

Bowl games[edit]

Heisman Trophy voting[edit]

The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is given to the

Most Outstanding Player of the year
Winner: Bo Jackson, Auburn, RB (1,509 points)

Other annual awards[edit]

References[edit]