The 1980s

January 1, 1980

Sooners Spoil Seminole Uprising
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Oklahoma    24    Florida State    7

J.C. Watts and Billy Sims each rushed for more than 100 yards and a stingy Oklahoma defense shut down undefeated and fourth-ranked Florida State for a 24-7 victory.


January 1, 1981

Wishbone Watts Airs Out FSU
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Oklahoma    18    Florida State    17

Oklahoma quarterback J.C. Watts went to the air in the fourth quarter to defeat Florida State, 18-17, in an exciting finish.


January 1, 1982

Clemson Perfect In Title Game
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Clemson    22    Nebraska    15

Top-ranked Clemson won its first national championship and finished with its third perfect season in its 88-year history with a 22-15 win over Nebraska in the 48th Orange Bowl.


January 1, 1983

Fumblin’ Nebraska Holds On
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Nebraska    21    Louisiana State    20

Louisiana State’s Tigers came within one point of upsetting No. 3 Nebraska, but the Huskers held on to win 21-20. Despite four fumbles and a pair of interceptions, the Big Red Machine was able to come back from a 17-7 deficit to win.


January 2, 1984

Golden Game for Hurricanes
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Miami    31    Nebraska    30

In arguably the greatest college football bowl game ever played, Miami won its first national championship, 31-30, after Nebraska missed a two-point conversion attempt in the 50th anniversary Orange Bowl Classic. The first Husker points came on a second period Dean Steinkuhler's controversial 19-yard "fumblerooskie" play.


January 1, 1985

Huskies Beat Sooners, Finish No. 2
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Washington    28    Oklahoma    17

Washington, the first Pac-10 team to be invited to the Orange Bowl, rallied to beat No. 2 Oklahoma, 28-17.


January 1, 1986

Holieway Steers Sooners to Title
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Oklahoma    25    Penn State    10

Oklahoma scored 16 second-quarter points and shut out top-ranked Penn State in the second half as it won its third national championship in the Orange Bowl.


January 1, 1987

Sooners Steamroll Razorbacks
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Oklahoma    42    Arkansas    8

The University of Oklahoma capped its third consecutive season as Big 8 Champions with a 42-8 rout of the Arkansas Razorbacks in the 1987 Orange Bowl.


January 1, 1988

Miami Earns Championship Ring
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Miami    20    Oklahoma    14

For the second time in five years, Miami became the national champion in the Orange Bowl, this time knocking off Oklahoma, 20-14.


January 2, 1989

‘Canes Pass Test, Finish No. 2
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Miami    23    Nebraska    3

Second-ranked Miami, with no chance to repeat as national champion after undefeated Notre Dame won earlier in the day, overwhelmed Nebraska 23-3 in the 55th annual Orange Bowl. It was Head Coach Jimmy Johnson's last game at Miami before moving on to the NFL.