College Football on USA
During USA's first three seasons (1980-1982), they broadcast several games (they in essence, cherry picked games from regional and national syndicators like Raycom, Mizlou, and Katz) a week. These broadcasts were shown on a tape delayed basis as much as two days later. For USA's final four seasons (1983-1986), they narrowed their coverage to only one game a week. Initially, the games were selected from virtually every conference. However, in the later years, USA would frequently (but not exclusively) air games involving Pittsburgh, Penn State, Notre Dame, Boston College and Maryland. More to the point, by 1984, USA primarily aired games from the Big Eight Conference.
|Date||Start time (EST)||Teams|
|September 15||12:00||West Virginia-Virginia Tech|
|September 22||12:00||San Diego State-Oklahoma State|
|October 20||12:00||Pittsburgh-Miami Florida|
|October 27||12:00||Rutgers-Boston College|
|November 17||12:00||Syracuse-Boston College|
- 1981 Liberty Bowl - This was the first college bowl game to be exclusively broadcast on cable television.
- "The Play" - The Play refers to a last-second kickoff return during a college football game between the University of California Golden Bears and the Stanford University Cardinal on Saturday, November 20, 1982. After Stanford had taken a 20-19 lead on a field goal with four seconds left in the game, the Golden Bears used five lateral passes on the ensuing kickoff return to score the winning touchdown and earn a 25-20 victory. Members of the Stanford Band had come onto the field midway through the return, believing that the game was over, which added to the ensuing confusion and folklore. There remains disagreement over the legality of two of the laterals, adding to the passion surrounding the traditional rivalry of the annual "Big Game."
- The biggest highlight of University of Maryland quarterback Frank Reich's college career was the comeback he led against the University of Miami Hurricanes on November 10, 1984 at the Orange Bowl Stadium. Reich came off the bench to play for Stan Gelbaugh, who had previously replaced him as the starter after Reich separated his shoulder in the fourth week of the season against Wake Forest. Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar had led the 'Canes to a 31-0 lead at halftime. At the start of the third quarter, Reich led the Maryland Terrapins multiple scoring drives. Three touchdowns in the third quarter and a fourth at the start of the final quarter turned what was a blowout into a close game. With the score 34-28 Miami, Reich hit Greg Hill with a 68-yard touchdown pass which deflected off the hands of Miami safety Darrell Fullington to take the lead. Maryland scored once more to cap a 42-9 second half, and won the game 42-40, completing what was then the biggest comeback in NCAA history.
- 1985 Cherry Bowl - The end of NCAA control over television rights resulted in a major increase in televised games, and TV rights fees dropped sharply amid the resulting glut, something not anticipated by the Cherry Bowl organizers.
- 1985 Holiday Bowl
- 1985 Freedom Bowl
- 1985 Independence Bowl (produced by Mizlou)
- 1985 Bluebonnet Bowl (produced by Lorimar Sports Network)
- 1986 Independence Bowl (produced by Mizlou)
- 1986 Peach Bowl (produced by Mizlou)
- 1984 TBS, ESPN and USA Network College Football TV Schedules
- ESPN.com - ESPN 25 - 18: Cal's five-lateral kickoff return shocks Stanford
- This Year, It's Chili On The Porch And Pass The Orange- .
- Kyle's Pitch Done By Rote.