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UNC’s 1980 National Champion Football Team

by Charly Mann

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Comments:

DARRYL LUCAS      2:16 PM Wed 12/14/2011

I was a freshman on that team and figured we would win more ACC championships as well as contended for a National Championship. We were definitely a great defense that took pride in holding all opposing running backs to under 100 yards with two super stars at running back (Amos Lawrence and Kelvin Byrant). I certainly agree that we do have the facilities and talent in the state to complete with any SEC program. First we must maintain some stability with our coaching staff and secondly win the recuiting battles of our home grown talent. Look at how we played and almost beat LSU with a depleted roster last year. I don't know if Larry Ferado is the man for the job, but I am about to retire from the US Army after twenty years of service and I certainly will be there at Kenan Stadium cheering for the Heels on a regular basis. As far as the National Champs for 1980. I'm just glad to be one of the five freshman to letter that year, receive a ACC Championship ring and would be delighted for us to compete for ACC championships. The rest will take care if itself as far as the National picture. Yeah strength of schedule has to improve as well.
 

amos howard      10:33 PM Sun 11/13/2011

Amos Lawrence is my father and I feel that his Jersey should be retired.
 

Taylor      1:34 PM Thu 12/16/2010

Charly, please email me at tsharp94@gmail.com?

Thanks!
 

Scott      9:04 PM Thu 7/15/2010

This is really a stretch, don't ya think Charly? UGA was 12-0 in 1980, defeating Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. UNC had a great season, but were blown out by OU - there is really no comparison.

" For the record, three of the teams that various polls awarded the National Championship to that year, Florida State, Nebraska, and Oklahoma all had worse records than UNC at 10-2." I'd be curious as to what polls other than the AP and UPI you might have consulted for this blog.

BTW, @ Doris, if this article focused on the best public colleges rankings, we'd discuss that, too.

Charly, feel free to contact me.
 

Doris Anthony      4:15 PM Wed 7/14/2010

This afternoon my Grandfather asked me to see if I could find a picture of Amos Lawrence on the internet and I find this article. These comments make make me laugh. I am 16, and to see men taking who was football champion in 1980 so seriously seems ridiculous. Why is this so important?

So for you men - The #1 public university as ranked by most surveys is William and Mary. UNC is a respectable #7 and the University of Georgia is #29. Why don't you guys argue about this instead.
 

TARDAWG      2:16 PM Wed 7/14/2010

I think if you list the score of that one defeat in the article the line of "two months earlier Texas had beat Oklahoma at their annual Red River Shootout at the neutral Cotton Bowl in Dallas 20 to 13. It does not take a math genius to see that UNC vindicated their one blemish to clearly establish that they were the best team in the country in 1980" becomes a complete joke.

I am both a TAR HEEL and Dawgs fan, but this makes UNC football historians look stupid.
 

Charly Mann      12:34 PM Wed 7/14/2010

This posting was made in early September of 2009. In the last two days (Mid July 2010) there have been a slew of anonymous comments. If you leave your full name and e-mail address (which I will need to verify) - I will leave your comment up. Otherwise I will delete it like it is spam.
 

Don Moore      10:23 AM Wed 7/14/2010

1 loss vs. 0 loss
Bluebonnet Bowl vs. Sugar Bowl
UPI and AP champs vs. Charlie champs

UGA beat

Clemson
Tech
Florida
Tennessee
Auburn
South Carolina (Undefeated at time with Hiesman winner Rodgers)
Texas A&M
TCU
And Notre Dame in Bowl

And lost to no one. Your revisonist history is interesting but flawed. UNC is kings of basketball, but not football. Still upset you didn't beat GT in 1990 knocking them out of Mythical Championship.

Not even a mention of University of Georgia in that whole article. Leave this response in comments so your readers can get the Paul Harvey "Rest of the story"

 

Charly Mann      9:40 AM Wed 7/14/2010

As I said in Chapel Hill Memories "opinion" they were the national champs. As many of you know for many years there were two or three teams declared National Champs by various polls.

I did note UNC had one lost to Oklahoma, but UNC beat a team (Texas) in their BOWL game had beaten Oklahoma earlier in that season.

For the record I live in Oklahoma, and have been a University of Texas (where my daughter went to college) football fan for twenty years. During the past two decades I have seen several national championship Oklahoma and Texas teams in person, and in my opinion none were as good as the 1980 UNC team. I also attended one Pitt game that year and can say Carolina was a much better team.


 

Bert Maxwell      9:14 AM Wed 7/14/2010

The UNC team was beaten soundly by Oklahoma, while Georgia finished the season undefeated. Pitt was also 11-1 that season with their only loss, a close one to Florida State. It was an incredible UNC team, but they were in no way the National Champions of that season.
 

Charly Mann      8:39 AM Wed 7/14/2010

There has recently been comments attributed to me on this article that are totally untrue, as well as malicious comments from sources that did not leave a real name or e-mail address.

If those individuals wish to comment on the article again I invite them to e-mail me at the Chapel Hill Memories e-mail address and give me their phone number, and I will call them to discuss their comments.

I have now deactivated all the mentioned comments.
 

Ronnie Williams      4:12 AM Fri 1/8/2010

I remember this season. It is probably the first season of any sport I remember. I watched the Steelers beat the Rams, but I was in my awakening around this time. Famous Amos was my hero and I will always love Carolina for Steve Streeter and LT. I must admit I love Rod Elkin too. I must say though that as a child of 7 I did not realize the Heels had the best record and were snubbed as National Champions that year. I watched the Bluebonnet Bowl I remember that. They beat Texas, I was so happy. It did not occur to me at the time they were 11-1 and the other teams in the hunt were 10-2 I feel outraged. Thanks for this education!!
Even though it is 30 yrs later we need more vocalization on this. Choo choo demands it. Pride is recruiting and there is plenty of pride here to build on we just need to not let it die. Go Heels, recruiters take heed to the 30 for 30 film about Miami. Take a look at your own state and keep in mind that there is more talent in the state than at the 4A level. Small town kids with talent would love to go to Chapel Hill so bring em home. Kevin Wilson is at Oklahoma why? That guy is a huge coaching talent who could recruit anywhere, but I'll bet he could recruit the pants off of anyone in this area. If he were at UNC, Spikes doesn't go to Florida nor does any of the top notch talent that consistently leaves the state. Go Heels!!
 

Kyle Davis      3:58 PM Sat 9/12/2009

I wonder why UNC has never been in the same class of football as teams like Florida State, USC, Notre Dame, Alabama, Oklahoma, Penn State, or Texas. It would seem that UNC has the enrollment and facilities to develop an elite football program.
 

Peter Garrett      11:28 AM Fri 9/11/2009

Amos Lawrence deserves the attention he got. I think he had almost 5000 yards of rushing offense in his Carolina Career. The last I heard he was working at his old high school, Lake Taylor, in Norfolk Virginia. I think Carolina should consider having a special day to honor him, and retire his jersey.
 

Jack Arthur      5:51 PM Thu 9/10/2009

I love the tradition of Carolina football. It bothers me when a UNC basketball team has a poor season, but that is our heritage. Football for a true Tarheel fan has got to be more of a social experience, where expecting more than comradery should not be desired. I wish instead of posting the scores of football games the headlines would proclaim something like "Carolina Played Hard On a Beautiful Afternoon".
 

Laura Jasper (UNC 94)      11:41 AM Thu 9/10/2009

It does not matter how good or bad Carolina is, especially on a beautiful fall day when the surrounding oaks are in peak colors and the bell tower and splendid pines accentuate the background.
 

David Carpenter      5:54 PM Wed 9/9/2009

Most of my life the UNC football program has been like a horror story. They run poorly conceived plays, lose to opponents they should beat, and I always use to think things will get better, but they never did. Mack Brown was the last coach we had that knew how to create a first-rate team. Recently UNC either has an offense or defense that stinks. A school with the enrollment and facilities that Carolina has should do better, and at least be a regular contender in the ACC race. I wish I was old enough to have remembered this 1980 team (I was born in 1977).
 

Thomas Frank      3:48 PM Wed 9/9/2009

I think that the fact that UNC’s non-conference opponents this year are Connecticut, Georgia Southern, and The Citdadel, tells us that UNC’s atheletic department has no pride, and will go to the bottom of the barrel to insure victories. UNC should look to this 1980 team for inspiration, and aim high in its goals and recruitment effort.
 

Big Ram      2:43 PM Wed 9/9/2009

Thanks's for giving UNC its first football national championship. As you may know there was no "official" NCAA football champion until the BCS bowl series started in 1998, so you bestowing the Tarheels this crown is really all the legitmacy they need.

I suggest we start a fundraider to give the University a trophy to display for this national championship.
 

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