1982 SMU Mustangs football team
|1982 SMU Mustangs|
Helms Poll national champion
Cotton Bowl Classic champion
Southwest Conference champion
|1982 record||11–0–1 (7–0–1 SWC)|
|Head coach||Bobby Collins|
|Home stadium||Texas Stadium|
|1982 Southwest Conference football standings|
|#2 SMU $||7||–||0||–||1||11||–||0||–||1|
The 1982 SMU Mustangs football team represented the Southern Methodist University in the 1982 college football season. It was the first year for the team under head coach Bobby Collins and the Mustangs finished undefeated at 11–0–1. However, the tie in their final game against Arkansas caused the voters in the Associated Press poll to drop SMU out of the #2 spot in their ranking, possibly costing the Mustangs the national championship in the wire-service polls when Penn State defeated top-ranked Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Penn State had inherited the No. 2 ranking when SMU tied Arkansas, and went on to win the AP and coaches' polls after their victory over Georgia despite a slightly less impressive final record of 11–1.
As Southwest Conference champions, the Mustangs earned an automatic bid to the Cotton Bowl, where they defeated #6 Pittsburgh 7–3 in what was the final college football game for the "Pony Express" running back tandem of Eric Dickerson and Craig James (as well as for Pitt quarterback Dan Marino). The Mustangs were voted #2 in the AP Poll, but the Helms Athletic Foundation, in the final year in which it selected a national college football champion, split the honor between SMU and Penn State. 
- In the Battle for the Iron Skillet, SMU beat TCU 16–13.
- In the Mayor’s Cup, SMU beat Rice 41–14.
- In his senior year despite splitting time with Craig James, Eric Dickerson finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting.
|1982-09-11||Tulane*||No. 8||Texas Stadium • Irving, TX||W 51–7||33,814|
|1982-09-18||at Texas-El Paso*||No. 6||Sun Bowl Stadium • El Paso, TX||W 31–10||33,509|
|1982-09-25||Texas Christian||No. 6||Texas Stadium • Irving, TX||W 16–13||43,321|
|1982-10-02||North Texas State*||No. 7||Texas Stadium • Irving, TX||W 38–10||30,118|
|1982-10-09||at Baylor||No. 6||Floyd Casey Stadium • Waco, TX||W 22–19||30,000|
|1982-10-16||Houston||No. 5||Texas Stadium • Irving, TX||W 20–14||31,817|
|1982-10-23||at No. 19 Texas||No. 4||Texas Memorial Stadium • Austin, TX||W 30–17||80,157|
|1982-10-30||Texas A&M||No. 4||Texas Stadium • Irving, TX||W 47–9||50,008|
|1982-11-06||at Rice||No. 2||Rice Stadium • Houston, TX||W 41–14||25,000|
|1982-11-13||at Texas Tech||No. 2||Jones Stadium • Lubbock, TX||W 34–27||45,954|
|1982-11-20||No. 9 Arkansas||No. 2||Texas Stadium • Irving, TX||T 17–17||65,101|
|1983-01-01||vs. No. 6 Pittsburgh||No. 4||Cotton Bowl • Dallas, TX (Cotton Bowl Classic)||W 7–3||60,359|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.|
Team players drafted into the NFL
|Eric Dickerson||Running Back||1||2||Los Angeles Rams|
|Russell Carter||Safety||1||10||New York Jets|
|Wes Hopkins||Safety||2||35||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Michael Carter||Nose Tackle||5||121||San Francisco 49ers|
|Gary Moten||Linebacker||7||175||San Francisco 49ers|
|Craig James||Running Back||7||187||New England Patriots|
Awards and honors
- Eric Dickerson, All-America choice 
- Eric's College Days at SMU, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2003-06-04. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
- Eric Dickerson: Pro Football Hall of Fame, http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?PLAYER_ID=55