I thought it would be interesting to see what the skyline was like 25 years ago. Pulling information from my 1982 issue of Street and Smith Official Yearbook for College.
Opening to page 114, coverage of the Atlantic Coast. There were seven ACC teams in 1982. Georgia Tech was not eligible for the championship in 1982 and would make 8 ACC teams.
The Independents in the Atlantic Coast region were 9 teams, not all Division I-A teams today:
- Virginia Tech
- South Carolina
- East Carolina
- William & Mary
- James Madison
- Towson State
In the West (page 26), I will not mention any of the 7 teams, since they are all Division I-AA type teams. By the way, there were 10 teams in the Pac Ten in 1982.
Turning next to the Midwest on page 67. There are three independents in the Midwest:
- Notre Dame
By the way, the talk in the Big Ten was the ending of the "Ohio State-Michigan monopoly" in the Big Ten. During the 1981 season, Iowa finished first with Ohio State and won the trip to Pasadena and the 1982 Rose Bowl. Illinois was projected as the next team to watch.
Now, on to the Deep South on page 92. The SEC had 10 teams back in 1982. The Independents in the Deep South in 1982 were:
- Florida State
- Southern Mississippi
- Memphis State
- Tennessee State
Turning to the Big Eight on page 133, there were no mention of any Independents in this region, but the Missouri Valley Conference still existed with 8 teams: Wichita State, Tulsa, Indiana State, Drake, Southern Illinois, West Texas State, New Mexico State and Illinois State. fwiw
Moving to the East Section on page 148. A haven for Independents in 1982:
- Penn State
- West Virginia
- Boston College
- Holy Cross
Finally, the Rockies and again, no Independents. The Western Athletic Conference and Big Sky Conference were highlighted. BYU and Boise State, respectively, were picked as the top teams in each conference. Not much different than last year's MWC and WAC, respectively, for BYU and Boise State.
If you are keeping score:
1982 : 30 schools mentioned
Today: 3 schools, who were also Independents back in 1982
This season's top Independent schools:
- Notre Dame