A Review of P5 Team Records vs Ranked Teams In the 1980s

selmaborntidefan

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This information will piggyback on the previous thread regarding whether P5 conferences NOWADAYS are one-team races sans the Big Ten and SEC. (In general, they are). Since I already compiled a lot of the data for Bo Schembechler and Paul Bryant on that thread, I will bring the data over here and add to it each day or so. If you have a P5 that you want me to run then let me know. I've already done the 1970s.

1) This is one of those search missions upon which I embark; I have NO IDEA what the data will actually show before compiling it. Sometimes they affirm my assumptions, sometimes they overturn it. For those who are unaware, I have made this basic assertion before (so nobody misunderstands me): while in no way do I disparage Coach Bryant or Alabama, a quick overview has shown that MOST YEARS Alabama: a) did not have an overly challenging schedule; and b) the SEC AS A WHOLE in the 1970s was not the monster conference of 1954-1966 or 1980-onwards. IN NO WAY am I impugning the great coach. Indeed, I suspect (and the research on Bo sort of proved it) that while Alabama may not have played a powerhouse schedule every year during the 1970s, neither did hardly anyone else (my presumed exceptions at this time are Notre Dame and USC - and the Irish played a horrible schedule in 1973 as I've said on this board many times).

2) When I say "beat ranked teams," what I mean is this: "beat teams that were ranked AT THE END OF THE SEASON regardless of whether they were ranked when the two teams played." This is the only fair way - in my view - to do this. Northwestern opened the season at #20 in 1971 and Michigan beat them. They fell out of the rankings and never got back into them. This game does not count for Michigan as beating a ranked team, because they beat a ranked team in September that shouldn't have been ranked. It also enables us to allot for situations where a 3-loss team beats another good team in a bowl game and ends the year at #19.

3) I will be using the Associated Press poll during these years.

There are two reasons for this: 1) the AP poll was generally considered the more respected of the two. Yes, the UPI national championships counted, but prior to 1974, the UPI didn't conduct a post-bowl game poll. This could change the results at least a bit since a team might be #17 in the final UPI poll and then get blown out in the bowl game by an unranked team that replaces them.

4) Important point: in 1989, the polls expanded to 25 teams.To ensure equity across the decade, I WILL NOT INCLUDE RANKED TEAMS from 21-25 in the 1989 season. I WILL include them in any view going forward, but it's not as though beating a 4-loss team in 1989 should really be something to boast about (looking at Auburn's 1989 win over eventual #24 Ohio State as an example).
 
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selmaborntidefan

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ALABAMA VS RANKED TEAMS 1980-89
Paul Bryant

1980 - 1-2, beat Baylor (Cotton), lost to Miss St and Notre Dame
1981 - 1-1, beat Penn State, lost to Texas (Cotton)
1982 - 1-2, beat Penn State (national champs), lost to LSU and Auburn
Ray Perkins
1983 - 1-2, beat SMU (Sun Bowl), lost to Boston College and Auburn *
1984 - 1-2, beat Auburn, lost to Boston College and LSU
1985 - 2-2-1, beat ATM and Auburn, lost to Penn St and Tennessee, tie with LSU
1986 - 2-3, beat Ohio St and Washington (Sun Bowl), lost to Penn State (nat champs), LSU, Auburn
Bill Curry
1987 - 2-3, beat Tenn and LSU; lost to N Dame, Auburn, Michigan (HOF Game)
1988 - 0-2, lost to Auburn and LSU
1989 - 2-2, beat Tenn and Penn St; lost to Auburn and Miami

Bryant: 3-5
Perkins: 6-9-1
Curry: 4-7

Overall: 13-21-1

* - poll insanity is 9-3 Boston College ending the year at 19 while 8-4 Alabama (who BC beat head to head) ends the year at 15.
 

selmaborntidefan

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MIAMI HURRICANES VS RANKED TEAMS 1980-89
Howard Schnellenberger

1980 - 1-3, beat FSU; lost to Miss St, N Dame, Penn St
1981 - 1-1, beat Penn St, lost to Texas
1982 - 0-2, lost to FSU and Maryland
1983 - 2-1, beat WVA and Nebraska (Orange - nat champ), lost to Florida
Jimmy Johnson

1984 - 2-4, beat Auburn and Florida; lost to FSU, Maryland, BC, and UCLA (Fiesta Bowl)
1985 - 3-2, beat Oklahoma, FSU, Maryland; lost to Florida and Tennessee (Sugar)
1986 - 1-1, beat Oklahoma, lost to Penn St (Fiesta Bowl)
1987 - 4-0, beat FSU, Notre Dame, S Carolina, Oklahoma
1988 - 5-1, beat FSU, Michigan, LSU, Arkansas, Nebraska (Orange), lost to N Dame
Dennis Erickson
1989 - 4-1, beat Sparty, Pitt, N Dame, Alabama (Sugar); lost to FSU

Schnellenberger - 4-7
Johnson -15-8
Erickson 4-1

Miami Overall Record: 23-16
 

selmaborntidefan

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AUBURN TIGERS VS RANKED TEAMS 1980-89
Doug Barfield

1980 - 0-3, lost to MSU, UGA, Alabama
Pat Dye
1981 - 0-3, lost to Nebraska, UGA, Alabama
1982 - 0-2, lost to Nebraska, UGA
1983 - 4-1, beat Florida, UGA, Alabama, Michigan (Sugar), lost to Texas
1984 - 1-2, lost to Miami, Texas; beat FSU
1985 - 1-4, lost to Tenn, Florida, Alabama, ATM (Cotton); beat FSU
1986 - 1-0, beat Alabama
1987 - 1-1-2, beat UGA, lost to FSU, tied Tenn and Syracuse (Sugar)
1988 - 2-2, beat Alabama, UGA; lost to LSU and FSU (Sugar)
1989 - 1-2, beat Alabama, lost to Tenn, FSU

Barfield: 0-3
Dye: 11-17-2

Overall: 11-20-2
 

selmaborntidefan

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OKLAHOMA SOONERS VS RANKED TEAMS 1980-89
Barry Switzer

1980 - 3-0, beat N Carolina, Nebraska, FSU (Orange)
1981 - 0-4, lost to USC, Texas, Missouri, Nebraska
1982 - 1-4, beat Texas; lost to WVA, USC, Nebraska, ASU (Fiesta)
1983 - 0-3, lost to Ohio St, Texas, Nebraska
1984 - 2-1, beat Nebraska, Okie St; lost to Washington (Orange)
1985 - 2-1, beat Nebraska, Penn State; lost to Miami
1986 - 3-1, beat UCLA, Nebraska, Arky (Orange); lost to Miami
1987 - 2-1, beat Nebraska, Okie St, lost to Miami (Orange)
1988 - 1-3, beat Okie State; lost to USC, Nebraska, Clemson (Citrus)
Gary Gibbs
1989 - 0-2, lost to Colorado, Nebraska

Switzer: 14-18
Gibbs: 0-2

Overall: 14-20

Key observation: 9-4 in 84-87, 5-16 in rest of decade. This points to 1-2 blockbuster recruiting classes...plus, 2/3 of the wins came against conference teams so........
 

selmaborntidefan

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While none are NCs of the 80's they played and beat a boat load of ranked teams.

Florida
Tennessee
Pitt
Washington
USC
UCLA
Florida, in particular, is a massive oversight on my part.
Spot me some grace.....I got to bed at 2 am doing some of this last night :)


One thing may require further examination: how many times the winner had an off week prior to the game.....
 

81usaf92

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OKLAHOMA SOONERS VS RANKED TEAMS 1980-89
Barry Switzer

1980 - 3-0, beat N Carolina, Nebraska, FSU (Orange)
1981 - 0-4, lost to USC, Texas, Missouri, Nebraska
1982 - 1-4, beat Texas; lost to WVA, USC, Nebraska, ASU (Fiesta)
1983 - 0-3, lost to Ohio St, Texas, Nebraska
1984 - 2-1, beat Nebraska, Okie St; lost to Washington (Orange)
1985 - 2-1, beat Nebraska, Penn State; lost to Miami
1986 - 3-1, beat UCLA, Nebraska, Arky (Orange); lost to Miami
1987 - 2-1, beat Nebraska, Okie St, lost to Miami (Orange)
1988 - 1-3, beat Okie State; lost to USC, Nebraska, Clemson (Citrus)
Gary Gibbs
1989 - 0-2, lost to Colorado, Nebraska

Switzer: 14-18
Gibbs: 0-2

Overall: 14-20

Key observation: 9-4 in 84-87, 5-16 in rest of decade. This points to 1-2 blockbuster recruiting classes...plus, 2/3 of the wins came against conference teams so........
Why is the fact that Switzer totally owned Nebraska and Osborne never brought up in these Top 10 Greatest coaches of all time is never brought up? If you look at Oklahoma from the end of Switzer to Stoops they went from averaging 10 wins a year to 6. Osborne really was the Bill Cowher and Andy Reid of his time.
 

81usaf92

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Florida, in particular, is a massive oversight on my part.
Spot me some grace.....I got to bed at 2 am doing some of this last night :)


One thing may require further examination: how many times the winner had an off week prior to the game.....
You asked for more names. I thought you may want the challenge of comparing non champions as well ;)
 
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selmaborntidefan

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Why is the fact that Switzer totally owned Nebraska and Osborne never brought up in these Top 10 Greatest coaches of all time is never brought up? If you look at Oklahoma from the end of Switzer to Stoops they went from averaging 10 wins a year to 6. Osborne really was the Bill Cowher and Andy Reid of his time.
Well, I bring it up all the time, but I know what you mean.

I think the reason Switzer is bypassed - and one CAN make a VERY strong argument that Barry is Top Ten - is because OU and Nebraska are viewed through a prism of contrast where the narrative controls the interpretation.

Barry is a bootlegger's boy and unapologetic cheater - proof being they wound up on probation THREE TIMES while he was coaching there (well, the last one was after he resigned but...). He's the guy who tried to take a gun on a plane (earning him the nickname "Gunsmoke" in the Dallas area), he's the buffoon who went for it on fourth and one against the Eagles in 1995 and lucked into a Super Bowl primarily because Green Bay upset the 49ers. He's basically the redneck coach who made good.

Tom Osborne - with his PhD - is a Renaissance man, a throwback to time when men were both academics AND athletically inclined. He's seen as "all that's good in college football" much as Joe Paterno was (and I would add - just as WRONGLY to be blunt about it). He's the homegrown coach from the little town that made it big at the big university and HOW DARE YOU CHALLENGE THE NARRATIVE!!!!!

When Osborne put Lawrence Phillips back on the team, he drew the wrath of an entire generation of numbskulls who somehow thought Dr Tom would never do something like that. (If Osborne was coaching today and the Phillips case of dragging Kate McEwan down three flights of stairs by her hair occurred, Phillips would be off the team and in jail before Osborne even knew the crime occurred). What bothered the pundits wasn't even that Osborne did it - it's that he overturned their assumption that he was "really" substantially better than Switzer. Osborne NEVER said he was a saint - THEY TOLD US he was a saint. And then they turned on him because he betrayed something he never claimed to be.

I can (and do) say MANY positive things about Tom Osborne. But you're correct in this: his career is NOT evaluated against "standard zero", where he would be less exalted. He is instead evaluated against "assumed mean," which makes him look stellar by comparison. When you line up the personal indiscretions of Osborne (which were few) against (now) Paterno, Bobby Bowden, Sherill, Switzer, Jimmy Johnson/Dennis Erickson, or Woody Hayes, he looks like the stellar being.

When you line up his ACTUAL COACHING ACCOMPLISHMENTS against those guys, he doesn't compare nearly as well.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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You asked for more names. I thought you may want the challenge of comparing non champions as well ;)
I wanted to know, no doubt.

Florida would have eventually occurred to me simply because of 1984.
A number of outlets thought the Gators were the best overall team, but they were already tarnished by the shenanigans of Charley Pell and his assistant coaches.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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While none are NCs of the 80's they played and beat a boat load of ranked teams.

Florida
Tennessee
Pitt
Washington
USC
UCLA
UCLA played some pretty tough schedules as I recall. They didn't duck anybody.
Prior to the late Fulmer era, neither did Tennessee, which is one reason Tide fans admired/respected them so much.
 

81usaf92

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When you line up his ACTUAL COACHING ACCOMPLISHMENTS against those guys, he doesn't compare nearly as well.
im willing to say he was a great coach, but I think pushing the Top 10 distinction is a bit much. I mean does anyone really want to say Gene Stallings was a better coach than Spurrier because he had an undefeated NC year? That's kinda where i view the Osborne> Switzer argument at some point you have to realize one was totally out of his depth when facing the other.
 

selmaborntidefan

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NEBRASKA CORNHOLES VS RANKED TEAMS 1980-89
Tom Osborne

1980 - 2-2, beat Penn St, Miss St; lost to Oklahoma and FSU
1981 - 2-3, beat Oklahoma, Missouri; lost to Iowa, Penn St, Clemson (Orange - nat title game)
1982 - 3-1, beat Auburn, Oklahoma, LSU (Orange); lost to Penn St
1983 - 2-1, beat UCLA and Penn St, lost to Miami
1984 - 3-1, beat Okie St, UCLA, LSU; lost to Oklahoma
1985 - 0-3, lost to FSU, Oklahoma, Michigan
1986 - 1-1, lost Oklahoma, beat LSU (Sugar)
1987 - 3-2, beat UCLA, Okie St, Ariz St, lost to Oklahoma, FSU (Fiesta)
1988 - 2-2, beat Okie St, OU, lost to UCLA, Miami (Orange)
1989 - 0-2, lost to Colorado, FSU (Fiesta)

Overall record: 18-18

Osborne's record 1973-1989 vs season-ending ranked teams: 31-31.
 

selmaborntidefan

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im willing to say he was a great coach, but I think pushing the Top 10 distinction is a bit much. I mean does anyone really want to say Gene Stallings was a better coach than Spurrier because he had an undefeated NC year? That's kinda where i view the Osborne> Switzer argument at some point you have to realize one was totally out of his depth when facing the other.
Correct.

Gene Stallings was NOT an all-time great; his record at ATM really weights him down in that evaluation (fairly or unfairly). I liked the guy, but I would not rank Stallings (at least on my initial thought) in the top 20 of all-time college football coaches. Spurrier's OVERALL record is substantially superior to CGS - including the pros.
 

81usaf92

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I wanted to know, no doubt.

Florida would have eventually occurred to me simply because of 1984.
A number of outlets thought the Gators were the best overall team, but they were already tarnished by the shenanigans of Charley Pell and his assistant coaches.
Wasnt it Dooley who told on them, and basically put Florida's eventual rise off for a decade?
 

selmaborntidefan

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I have to stop for awhile, I have some things to do today.

So far the most surprising development to me is that Miami (whom I make no bones about despising) played substantially more end of season ranked teams than I would have thought. Their 23-16 record is not in "all-time great" territory, but it might still wind up being the best of the 1980s. In fact, I think that's probably what will happen.
 

selmaborntidefan

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Wasnt it Dooley who told on them, and basically put Florida's eventual rise off for a decade?
Allegedly - keep that in mind - Dooley had an inside mole in the NCAA office, which is why Georgia never got socked for their recruiting of Herschel Walker (or the fact they actually knew he was ineligible to play in the 1983 Sugar Bowl because he'd been in contact with the USFL). That's why when the Jan Kemp grade scandal broke, it really fueled the fire of the World's Largest Celebration of the Repeal of Prohibition.

I don't know if Dooley stooged them out on this one, but every time Florida stuck their heads above water, they got beat down.
 

DzynKingRTR

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Allegedly - keep that in mind - Dooley had an inside mole in the NCAA office, which is why Georgia never got socked for their recruiting of Herschel Walker (or the fact they actually knew he was ineligible to play in the 1983 Sugar Bowl because he'd been in contact with the USFL). That's why when the Jan Kemp grade scandal broke, it really fueled the fire of the World's Largest Celebration of the Repeal of Prohibition.

I don't know if Dooley stooged them out on this one, but every time Florida stuck their heads above water, they got beat down.
I used to work for a guy that had an office a few doors down from a uga booster. He told me quite a few stories about seeing Walker coming and going from that office.
 

selmaborntidefan

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FLORIDA GATORS VS END OF SEASON RANKED TEAMS 1980-89
Charley Pell

1980 - 1-3, beat MSU; lost to FSU, Miami, Georgia (the Lindsay Scott game)
1981 - 0-3, lost to Miam, UGA, WVA (Peach)
1982 - 3-3, beat USC, Auburn, FSU; lost to LSU, UGA, Arky (Bluebonnet Bowl)
1983 - 2-2, beat national champs Miami, Iowa (Gator); lost to UGA and Auburn
Pell and Galen Hall
1984 - 2-1-1, beat Auburn and FSU; lost to Miami; tied LSU
Galen Hall
1985 - 4- 0, beat Miami, FSU, LSU, Tennessee
1986 - 1-3, beat Auburn; lost to Miami, Alabama, LSU
1987 - 0-6, lost to Miami, LSU, Auburn, UGA, FSU, UCLA (Aloha Bowl)
1988 - 1-3, beat LSU; lost to Auburn, UGA, FSU
Hall and Gary Darnell
1989 0-2, lost to Auburn and FSU

Pell: 6-12-1
Hall: 8-12
Darnell: 0-2

Overall record: 14-26-1

(Note: Hall resigned after 5 games against unranked teams in 1989).
 

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