1982 SMU Mustangs football
National champion (Helms)
Southwest Conference champion
Cotton Bowl Classic champion
ConferenceSouthwest Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 2
APNo. 2
1982 record11–0–1 (7–0–1 SWC)
Head coachBobby Collins (1st season)
Home stadiumTexas Stadium
Seasons
← 1981
1983 →
1982 Southwest Conference football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#2 SMU 7 0 1     11 0 1
#17 Texas 7 1 0     9 3 0
#9 Arkansas 5 2 1     9 2 1
Houston 4 3 1     5 5 1
Baylor 3 4 1     4 6 1
Texas A&M 3 5 0     5 6 0
Texas Tech 3 5 0     4 7 0
TCU 2 6 0     3 8 0
Rice 0 8 0     0 11 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1982 SMU Mustangs football team represented the Southern Methodist University in the 1982 NCAA Division I-A football season. It was the first year for the team under head coach Bobby Collins and the Mustangs finished undefeated at 11–0–1,[1][2] and were Southwest Conference champions (7–0–1).

A tie in their regular season finale against #9 Arkansas on November 20 caused the voters in both polls to drop SMU from second to fourth,[3] costing the Mustangs the national championship. The tie was attributed in part to a lengthy and highly questionable pass interference call on Arkansas late in the game that allowed SMU to score the game-tying touchdown,[4] a call that announcer Keith Jackson stated on air was a bad call by the officials. Trailing by a point, head coach Collins opted not to go for the two-point conversion and the lead, and they kicked the extra point to knot the score at seventeen with under three minutes remaining. There was no further scoring, as SMU missed a long field goal attempt in the final seconds.[2][4]

Repeating as SWC champions, the Mustangs again earned the automatic bid to the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day, where they defeated sixth-ranked Pittsburgh 7–3.[1][5] Played in near-freezing conditions, it was the final college game for the "Pony Express" running back tandem of Eric Dickerson and Craig James, as well as for Pitt quarterback Dan Marino.

After SMU's tie to Arkansas, Penn State moved up to second and then defeated #1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to secure the top spot in the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll, despite a slightly less impressive final record of 11–1.[6][7][8]

The Mustangs were runner-up in the final 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.[9]

Regular season[edit | edit source]

Schedule[edit | edit source]

DateOpponentRankSiteResultAttendance
September 11Tulane*No. 8W 51–733,814
September 18at UTEP*No. 6W 31–1033,509
September 25TCUNo. 6
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
W 16–1343,321
October 2North Texas State*No. 7
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
W 38–1030,118
October 9at BaylorNo. 6W 22–1930,000
October 16HoustonNo. 5
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
W 20–1431,817
October 23at No. 19 TexasNo. 4W 30–1780,157
October 30Texas A&MNo. 4
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
W 47–950,008
November 6at RiceNo. 2W 41–1425,000
November 13at Texas TechNo. 2W 34–2745,954
November 20No. 9 ArkansasNo. 2
  • Texas Stadium
  • Irving, Texas
T 17–1765,101
January 1, 1983vs. No. 6 PittsburghNo. 4W 7–360,359
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll

Roster[edit | edit source]

1982 SMU Mustangs football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
RB 19 Dickerson, EricEric Dickerson Sr
T 70 Hellestrae, DaleDale Hellestrae So
RB 32 James, CraigCraig James Sr
QB 2 King, DonDon King Fr
QB 11 McIlhenny, LanceLance McIlhenny Jr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DT 74 Carter, MichaelMichael Carter So
DB 29 Carter, RussellRussell Carter Jr
DB 46 Hopkins, WesWes Hopkins
CB 1 Jones, RodRod Jones Fr
CB 5 Phillips, ReggieReggie Phillips So
DT 98 Willis, MitchMitch Willis Jr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

NFL Draft[edit | edit source]

Six Mustangs sere selected in the 1983 NFL Draft, which lasted twelve rounds (335 selections).

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Eric Dickerson Running back 1 2 Los Angeles Rams
Russell Carter Safety 1 10 New York Jets
Wes Hopkins Safety 2 35 Philadelphia Eagles
Gary Moten Linebacker 7 175 San Francisco 49ers
Craig James Running back 7 187 New England Patriots
Source:[11]

Awards and honors[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Mustangs (11-0-1) cotton to No. 1". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press ((Oregon)): p. 4D. January 2, 1983. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=rW8RAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XuIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4594%2C451463.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Putnam, Pat (January 10, 1983). "Cottoning on to No. 2, it's SMWho". Sports Illustrated: 21. https://www.si.com/vault/1983/01/10/627614/cottoning-on-to-no-2-its-smwho.
  3. "Mustangs lose No. 2 position to Penn State". Eugene Register-Guard. wire services ((Oregon)): p. 3B. November 23, 1982. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=fhVWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JuIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3504%2C5580331.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "SMU makes a tie as good as a win". Eugene Register-Guard. wire services ((Oregon)): p. 6F. November 21, 1982. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=fBVWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JuIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6582%2C5355027.
  5. "SMU in high Cotton after stopping Pitt". Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press ((Alabama)): p. 4B. January 2, 1983. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=eTMdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=g6UEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6882%2C217690.
  6. "Only dissent on No. 1 comes from No. 2". Eugene Register Guard. AP, UPI ((Oregon)): p. 1C. January 3, 1983. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=rm8RAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XuIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6518%2C661061.
  7. "At long last". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press: p. 23. January 3, 1983. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=DdFRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9G0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5657%2C253054.
  8. Donovan, Dan (January 3, 1983). "National title belongs to players - Paterno". Pittsburgh Press: p. C1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=LXEjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=B2AEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6316%2C1476438.
  9. http://homepages.cae.wisc.edu/~dwilson/rsfc/history/helms.html
  10. Eric's College Days at SMU, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2003-06-04. https://web.archive.org/web/20030604082837/http://ericdickerson29.com/college.htm. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
  11. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1983.htm
  12. Eric Dickerson: Pro Football Hall of Fame, http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?PLAYER_ID=55

Template:Southwest Conference football champions

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