Digital Postcard No. 8: The FWAA’s 1982 All-America Team

Ed. Note: This is the eighth in the series of digital postcards commemorating 75 years of the FWAA All-America Team.  The first FWAA All-America Team was published in 1944 during World War II and is the second longest continuously published team in major-college football.) 

In 1982….Chariots of Fire won Best Picture…The first CD (Compact Disc) was produced in Germany…Disney World opened in Orlando…Michael Jackson released the Thriller album…U.S. Postage Stamps cost 20 cents each…Country Western singing star LeAnn Rimes was born.

Nebraska center Dave Rimington became the first person to win the Outland Trophy for a second straight year and 37 years later is still the only one to do so.  He anchored an FWAA All-America Team line that featured a dream backfield of Eric Dickerson (SMU), Mike Rozier (Nebraska) and Herschel Walker (Georgia).  Toss in Stanford’s John Elway at quarterback and wide receiver Anthony Carter (wide receiver) and BYU’s Gordon Hudson (tight end), and it would have been quite a formidable offensive team if it took the field.  A total of 11 future College Football Hall of Famers were on this FWAA team, including six on the defensive side of the ball with William Fuller (North Carolina) and Wilbur Marshall (Florida) as notables. Joe Paterno of Penn State was the FWAA Coach of the Year for the second time in five years.

Herschel Walker Clip:


SMU defeated Pittsburgh, 7-3, in the Jan. 1, 1983 bowl. SMU’s FWAA All-America Eric Dickerson rushed for 124 yards as the Mustangs completed their first undefeated season since 1947.  SMU scored in the fourth quarter for the victory. But Penn State swept the major polls as national champion.

SMU’s Cotton Bowl victory:

Your 1982 FWAA Selectors

  • Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Press
  • Dan Foster, Greenville News
  • Bill Lumpkin, Birmingham Post-Herald
  • Jack Gallagher, Houston Post
  • Bob Hentzen, Topeka Capital-Journal
  • John Bansch, Indianapolis Star
  • Marion Dunn, Provo Daily Herald
  • Georg   N. Meyers, Seattle Times
  • Jack Hairston, Gainesville Sun