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We could have had Bo Jackson vs. Mike Rozier for the 1983 national title. That we didn't makes me angry.

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Nebraska was absolutely nasty in 1983.

This wasn't Tom Osborne's best defense, but it's hard to say how iffy it really was because the offense was sending games into garbage time so quickly. (My S&P+ formulas filter garbage time out, but since I'm working only on points scored and allowed with my Est. S&P+ method, that's not an option.) The defense seemed plenty solid when holding Penn State to six points in the season opener, or Syracuse to seven, or Missouri to 13, or even Oklahoma to 21.

But this offense belonged in a museum. Nebraska scored 654 points; the Huskers hadn't even scored 515 in a year before, and they'd been good for 20 years. They put up 84 on Minnesota, 69 on Colorado, 67 on Kansas, 63 on Syracuse, 56 on Wyoming, and 42 on a pretty good UCLA team. The only time they were held under 28 was against Jimmy Johnson and Oklahoma State; we would come to learn later on at Miami that Johnson was a bit of an option-stopping savant.

Nebraska beat six teams that would finish with a winning record. They began the season by crushing Penn State in Giants Stadium, and they finished it by winning in Norman. This was a brilliant year. All they had to do was finish it off against upstart Miami in the Orange Bowl. Granted, not the easiest task in the world, but one the Huskers seemed more than capable of.

And then Nebraska had its worst first quarter ever. Two Glenn Dennison touchdown passes and a field goal gave host Miami a 17-0 lead after one quarter; NU outscored the 'Canes 30-14 from that point forward, but the dreadful start doomed the Huskers far more than the famous deflected two-point conversion pass.

(What were they doing passing on that play anyway?)

This was a patented postseason upset, one that happens all the time in the NCAA basketball tournament. But it cost what was easily the best team of the season a national title.

It's hard to complain too much about Miami getting the title bid here -- the 'Canes lost only to Florida (No. 3 in Est. S&P+) on the road and was the only team besides OSU to even come close to Nebraska, much less win. Plus, they beat three teams that finished in the Est. S&P+ top 20: No. 11 FSU, No. 15 ECU, and No. 19 WVU. Solid résumé.

That said, if I'm Pat Dye, this still sticks in my craw a bit.

The former Auburn coach's team was loaded in 1983 with Bo Jackson, Lionel James and Tommie Agee racking up 2,545 rushing yards and the defense allowing barely 15 points per game. The Tigers put together as impressive a one-loss résumé as you could hope to compile. They beat Est. S&P+ No. 3 Florida, 6 Alabama, 7 Georgia, 11 FSU, 13 Michigan, 23 Maryland, and 24 Tennessee and lost only to No. 8 Texas. Their loss was to nearly as good a team by a lower margin (even adjusting for home field), and they had more good wins. But while Miami was hosting Nebraska, Auburn was stuck in the Sugar Bowl playing Michigan.

Meanwhile, AP No. 2 Texas was in the Cotton Bowl against Georgia (and losing), and No. 4 Illinois was stuck playing (getting smoked by, actually) unranked UCLA in the Rose Bowl. For that matter, No. 6 SMU was playing (losing to) unranked Alabama in the Sun Bowl.

1 vs. 5, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 8, 4 vs. NR, and 6 vs. NR. The next person who tells you college football was a lot better back in the day gets shot into the sun.

The 2015 equivalent of that: Clemson vs. Iowa, Alabama vs. Ohio State, Michigan State vs. Notre Dame, Oklahoma vs. USC, and Stanford vs. Tennessee. Fun matchups, all. But then, when those games are completed, the season just ends. Alabama beats Ohio State (or vice versa) but finishes second because Clemson smoked Iowa. Or maybe Ohio State and Iowa win (lol), Notre Dame beats Michigan State, and OU wins the national title by beating unranked USC. Or maybe Iowa just hops everybody by beating Clemson. I'm frustrated just thinking about these scenarios.

Regardless, Miami's win was still amazing. I'd just be a little bitter about getting hopped if I were an Auburn fan.

Okay, a lot bitter.

S&P+ Rk Team Record Est S&P+ Percentile Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk
1 Nebraska 12-1 24.2 99.23% 45.7 1 21.5 61
2 Auburn 11-1 22.6 98.81% 32.0 5 9.4 2
3 Florida 9-2-1 20.1 97.79% 29.2 10 9.1 1
4 BYU 11-1 18.6 96.90% 40.7 2 22.1 64
5 Miami-FL 11-1 17.8 96.24% 27.6 22 9.8 4
6 Alabama 8-4 15.3 93.72% 32.5 4 17.2 22
7 Georgia 10-1-1 15.1 93.52% 25.5 31 10.4 5
8 Texas 11-1 14.7 92.98% 24.2 42 9.5 3
9 UCLA 7-4-1 14.4 92.46% 31.1 7 16.8 18
10 Missouri 7-5 14.1 92.11% 27.6 19 13.5 8
11 Florida State 7-5 13.9 91.82% 35.9 3 22.0 63
12 Oklahoma State 8-4 13.6 91.39% 25.0 34 11.3 6
13 Michigan 9-3 12.9 90.18% 27.9 16 15.0 14
14 Oklahoma 8-4 12.4 89.33% 28.5 14 16.0 15
15 Ohio State 9-3 11.6 87.79% 31.5 6 19.9 45
16 East Carolina 8-3 10.6 85.59% 24.4 40 13.8 10
17 Iowa 9-3 10.6 85.46% 29.0 11 18.4 30
18 Clemson 9-1-1 10.4 85.15% 29.4 9 19.0 35
19 West Virginia 9-3 10.3 84.85% 26.4 26 16.1 16
20 Penn State 8-4-1 9.6 83.13% 28.7 12 19.1 38
21 Pittsburgh 8-3-1 9.4 82.75% 23.6 46 14.1 11
22 Illinois 10-2 9.0 81.70% 27.9 17 18.8 33
23 Maryland 8-4 8.6 80.54% 28.0 15 19.4 40
24 Tennessee 9-3 8.4 80.07% 22.2 54 13.7 9
25 Boston College 9-3 8.3 79.77% 25.3 32 17.0 21
S&P+ Rk Team Record Est S&P+ Percentile Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk
26 Arizona State 6-4-1 8.0 78.79% 27.6 18 19.7 42
27 Notre Dame 7-5 7.5 77.44% 24.3 41 16.8 19
28 Arizona 7-3-1 6.9 75.38% 27.6 21 20.7 54
29 Washington State 7-4 6.7 74.91% 24.0 45 17.3 26
30 Wisconsin 7-4 6.4 73.84% 30.6 8 24.2 72
31 North Carolina 8-4 6.4 73.79% 26.2 27 19.9 44
32 Northern Illinois 10-2 6.3 73.42% 24.7 38 18.4 29
33 Tulsa 8-3 6.2 73.29% 25.0 36 18.7 32
34 Southern Miss 7-4 5.8 71.98% 19.1 76 13.3 7
35 Memphis 6-4-1 5.4 70.65% 25.3 33 19.8 43
36 SMU 10-2 5.3 70.13% 19.8 70 14.5 12
37 Central Michigan 8-3 4.7 68.11% 19.4 74 14.7 13
38 Air Force 10-2 4.3 66.48% 26.6 25 22.4 66
39 Southern Illinois 13-1 4.1 66.04% 23.2 49 19.1 37
40 Baylor 7-4-1 4.0 65.66% 27.2 24 23.2 70
41 Kentucky 6-5-1 3.3 63.03% 21.0 57 17.7 27
42 Washington 8-4 3.1 62.33% 20.8 58 17.7 28
43 Bowling Green 8-3 2.5 59.97% 24.9 37 22.3 65
44 Virginia Tech 9-2 2.4 59.31% 19.3 75 17.0 20
45 Mississippi State 3-8 2.1 58.25% 22.6 51 20.5 52
46 Utah State 5-6 1.9 57.51% 20.4 65 18.5 31
47 Wyoming 7-5 1.8 57.14% 27.6 20 25.8 81
48 Indiana State 9-4 1.8 57.05% 23.1 50 21.4 59
49 Illinois State 6-4-1 1.7 56.80% 26.1 28 24.4 73
50 Utah 5-6 1.7 56.64% 27.5 23 25.8 82
S&P+ Rk Team Record Est S&P+ Percentile Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk
51 Arkansas 6-5 1.1 54.57% 17.6 85 16.5 17
52 Kansas 4-6-1 1.1 54.56% 28.6 13 27.5 88
53 South Carolina 5-6 1.0 54.18% 21.8 56 20.7 55
54 LSU 4-7 0.9 53.68% 23.4 47 22.5 67
55 Texas A&M 5-5-1 0.7 52.67% 18.0 83 17.3 25
56 New Mexico 6-6 0.4 51.47% 20.4 64 20.1 46
57 USC 4-6-1 0.3 51.14% 20.5 63 20.2 48
58 Syracuse 6-5 -0.2 49.33% 17.1 89 17.2 23
59 Toledo 9-2 -0.5 48.01% 18.5 80 19.0 34
60 California 5-5-1 -1.0 46.20% 20.8 59 21.8 62
61 Vanderbilt 2-9 -1.1 45.60% 20.2 68 21.3 58
62 Fullerton State 7-5 -1.2 45.25% 19.1 77 20.2 49
63 UNLV 7-4 -1.3 45.00% 19.4 73 20.7 53
64 Ole Miss 6-6 -1.3 44.89% 17.8 84 19.1 36
65 Cincinnati 4-6-1 -1.3 44.88% 18.0 82 19.3 39
66 Georgia Tech 3-8 -1.5 44.08% 24.5 39 26.0 83
67 Tulane 4-7 -2.5 39.96% 18.4 81 20.9 56
68 Temple 4-7 -3.1 37.89% 17.0 90 20.1 47
69 Hawaii 5-5-1 -3.5 36.29% 20.4 66 23.9 71
70 Miami-OH 4-7 -3.7 35.59% 13.6 107 17.3 24
71 Colorado 4-7 -4.2 33.83% 25.0 35 29.1 94
72 Purdue 3-7-1 -4.5 32.77% 25.9 29 30.3 102
73 Michigan State 4-6-1 -4.7 32.01% 15.6 97 20.3 50
74 San Jose State 5-6 -4.8 31.61% 20.8 61 25.5 79
75 Virginia 6-5 -5.1 30.56% 22.4 52 27.5 89
S&P+ Rk Team Record Est S&P+ Percentile Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk
76 Texas Tech 3-7-1 -5.4 29.34% 16.0 93 21.5 60
77 Western Michigan 6-5 -5.5 29.01% 14.8 99 20.3 51
78 Long Beach State 8-4 -5.6 28.88% 14.1 104 19.6 41
79 Fresno State 6-5 -5.6 28.68% 17.0 91 22.7 68
80 Duke 3-8 -5.9 27.75% 24.2 43 30.1 101
81 Iowa State 4-7 -5.9 27.63% 25.9 30 31.8 109
82 San Diego State 2-9-1 -6.2 26.89% 20.8 60 27.0 86
83 Wichita State 3-8 -6.3 26.26% 24.1 44 30.4 103
84 NC State 3-8 -6.8 24.90% 18.7 78 25.4 78
85 Houston 4-7 -7.2 23.46% 18.5 79 25.7 80
86 Wake Forest 4-7 -7.3 23.40% 22.2 53 29.5 97
87 UL-Lafayette 4-6 -7.6 22.41% 15.6 96 23.2 69
88 Ball State 6-5 -7.7 22.01% 20.2 67 27.9 90
89 Oregon 4-6-1 -8.0 21.07% 13.0 109 21.1 57
90 Kansas State 3-8 -8.6 19.42% 19.8 71 28.4 92
91 Stanford 1-10 -9.5 17.13% 15.8 95 25.3 76
92 West Texas A&M 0-10-1 -9.6 16.94% 21.8 55 31.4 106
93 New Mexico State 5-6 -9.6 16.89% 19.9 69 29.4 96
94 Louisville 3-8 -10.2 15.46% 17.2 88 27.3 87
95 Colorado State 5-7 -10.4 14.88% 17.6 86 28.0 91
96 Ohio 4-7 -10.7 14.14% 14.3 102 25.0 75
97 Kent 1-10 -10.8 13.94% 14.5 101 25.3 77
98 TCU 1-8-2 -11.3 12.90% 13.7 106 25.0 74
99 Navy 3-8 -11.4 12.59% 15.3 98 26.7 85
100 Indiana 3-8 -12.1 11.30% 19.5 72 31.6 108
S&P+ Rk Team Record Est S&P+ Percentile Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk
101 Rutgers 3-8 -12.1 11.25% 14.5 100 26.7 84
102 UTEP 2-10 -12.3 10.87% 17.5 87 29.8 99
103 Pacific 3-9 -13.7 8.47% 15.8 94 29.5 98
104 Drake 1-10 -15.2 6.39% 16.2 92 31.4 107
105 Oregon State 2-8-1 -16.2 5.26% 13.8 105 30.0 100
106 Eastern Michigan 1-10 -16.3 5.16% 12.8 110 29.1 93
107 Northwestern 2-9 -16.8 4.62% 14.3 103 31.1 105
108 Minnesota 1-10 -17.2 4.29% 23.3 48 40.4 112
109 William & Mary 6-5 -18.6 3.14% 20.7 62 39.3 111
110 Army 2-9 -19.5 2.57% 13.2 108 32.7 110
111 Rice 1-10 -21.3 1.66% 9.3 111 30.5 104
112 Richmond 3-8 -23.0 1.08% 6.2 112 29.2 95

The funny part here is that a hypothetical College Football Playoff may have left the eventual national champion out. Here's the AP poll at the end of the regular season:

1. Nebraska (11-0)
2. Texas (11-0)
3. Auburn (10-1 with a loss to Texas)
4. Illinois (10-1 with a loss to Missouri)
5. Miami (10-1 with a loss to Florida)
6. SMU (10-1 with a loss to Texas)
7. Georgia (9-1-1 with a loss to Auburn)

NU and UT are obviously in, and Georgia's out because of a tie against Clemson. But how in the world do you separate the other four?

Okay, Auburn's in, but how do you separate the other three? SMU's probably out because the Mustangs hadn't beaten any ranked teams (though they had smoked five straight SWC opponents following the 15-12 loss to Texas), but despite the fact that Illinois wasn't actually very good (22nd in Est. S&P+), the Illini had wins over Iowa (33-0), Ohio State (17-13), and Michigan (16-6), all of whom were ranked in the AP top 10 at the time. Miami had wins over two ranked-at-the-time teams: WVU (then No. 12) and Notre Dame (then No. 13).

Honestly, I think Illinois gets the nod here. The Illini proceed to get summarily slaughtered by Nebraska, but I think they get the nod. Miami hadn't built up enough indie cred and obviously hadn't had the chance to play Nebraska yet.

I think we end up with 1 Nebraska vs. 4 Illinois and 2 Texas vs. 3 Auburn, followed by a spectacular Nebraska-Auburn finale.

That we didn't get a Bo Jackson vs. Mike Rozier battle for the national title makes me very, very angry. I was five years old and wouldn't have remembered it, but it would have existed on YouTube, and I'd have watched it daily in 2016.