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, thus denying them a shot at #1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl (although as conference champions the Mustangs would have had to play in the Cotton Bowl). They instead won the Cotton Bowl by defeating 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 and the Helms Athletic Foundation declared the team to be their national champions.