|1982 SMU Mustangs football|
National champion (Helms)
Southwest Conference champion
Cotton Bowl Classic champion
|1982 record||11–0–1 (7–0–1 SWC)|
|Head coach||Bobby Collins (1st season)|
|Home stadium||Texas Stadium|
|1982 Southwest Conference football standings|
|No. 2 SMU $||7||–||0||–||1||11||–||0||–||1|
|No. 17 Texas||7||–||1||–||0||9||–||3||–||0|
|No. 9 Arkansas||5||–||2||–||1||9||–||2||–||1|
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, 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, 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, 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.
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. 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.
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.
- In the Battle for the Iron Skillet, SMU beat TCU 16–13.
- In the Mayor's Cup, SMU beat Rice 41–14.
- Senior running back Eric Dickerson was third in the Heisman Trophy voting, despite splitting time with Craig James.
|September 11||Tulane*||No. 8||W 51–7||33,814|
|September 18||at UTEP*||No. 6||W 31–10||33,509|
|September 25||TCU||No. 6||W 16–13||43,321|
|October 2||North Texas State*||No. 7||W 38–10||30,118|
|October 9||at Baylor||No. 6||W 22–19||30,000|
|October 16||Houston||No. 5||W 20–14||31,817|
|October 23||at No. 19 Texas||No. 4||W 30–17||80,157|
|October 30||Texas A&M||No. 4||W 47–9||50,008|
|November 6||at Rice||No. 2||W 41–14||25,000|
|November 13||at Texas Tech||No. 2||W 34–27||45,954|
|November 20||No. 9 Arkansas||No. 2||T 17–17||65,101|
|January 1, 1983||vs. No. 6 Pittsburgh||No. 4||W 7–3||60,359|
|1982 SMU Mustangs football team roster|
Six Mustangs sere selected in the 1983 NFL Draft, which lasted twelve rounds (335 selections).
|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|
Awards and honors
- "Mustangs (11-0-1) cotton to No. 1". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1983. p. 4D.
- Putnam, Pat (January 10, 1983). "Cottoning on to No. 2, it's SMWho". Sports Illustrated: 21.
- "Mustangs lose No. 2 position to Penn State". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. November 23, 1982. p. 3B.
- "SMU makes a tie as good as a win". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. November 21, 1982. p. 6F.
- "SMU in high Cotton after stopping Pitt". Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). Associated Press. January 2, 1983. p. 4B.
- "Only dissent on No. 1 comes from No. 2". Eugene Register Guard. (Oregon). AP, UPI. January 3, 1983. p. 1C.
- "At long last". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 3, 1983. p. 23.
- Donovan, Dan (January 3, 1983). "National title belongs to players - Paterno". Pittsburgh Press. p. C1.
- Eric's College Days at SMU, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2003-06-04. Retrieved 2015-07-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Eric Dickerson: Pro Football Hall of Fame, http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?PLAYER_ID=55