The 1986 College Football Season Narrative

The 1986 college football season was a seminal moment in the history of the sport and this narrative from takes readers on a season-long ride to see all its twists and turns from every vantage point…

*Penn State and Miami are the teams that defined the season. You’ll read about their big regular season wins and in the case of the Nittany Lions, the two moments where it nearly got away from them.

*Oklahoma was the third prong of a Power Trio that ruled college football. See the Sooners, in all their outlaw explosiveness, as well as the shortcomings that did them in a regular season game with Miami.

*The pressure Alabama faced, now in their fourth season since the retirement and passing of the legendary Bear Bryant. The Tide flirted with greatness, then suffered disappointment.

*Michigan and feisty quarterback Jim Harbaugh rode close to the edge all season long, with repeated narrow escapes. Read how they eventually got to the Rose Bowl…and about the loss where their flirtations with danger finally did them in.

*The heartbreak of Nebraska, as the Cornhuskers first let a shot at the national championship get away, then took a crushing loss that denied them a conference title.

*Texas A&M was a rising power. Watch them take a body blow early, but get back off the mat to reach the New Year’s stage.

*Go game-by-game through all four traditional major bowl games—the Orange, Sugar, Cotton and Rose.

*Then it’s time to read about the epic Duel In The Desert between Penn State and Miami in the Fiesta Bowl—it’s controversial buildup and ultimate on-field drama.

*Finally, wrap it up with an exploration of the legacy of this epic Fiesta Bowl battle, from the perspective of both college football as a whole, along with each individual program.

The 1986 college football season still lives vividly in the memory of those of us who watched it, even thirty years later. This narrative brings back both its famous moments, as well as the consequential ones that time forgot.