The Cougars were named No. 1 by the Associated Press, the United Press International, Sports Illustrated, CNN-USA Today, and the Football Writers of America. They won the Grantland Rice Trophy and the MacArthur Bowl. LaVell Edwards was selected as the NCAA National Coach of the Year and was invited to visit President Ronald Reagan in the White House.
The dream season featured plays like wide receiver Adam Haysbert’s deep touchdown catch at third-ranked Pittsburgh, safety Kyle Morrell’s timed leap over the center on a goal-line stand at Hawaii, tight end David Mill’s catch with a clouded eye against Wyoming and running back Kelly Smith’s winning TD catch against Michigan, who had been ranked second earlier in the season.
With a TV blimp in the sky over Jack Murphy Stadium, junior quarterback Robbie Bosco left the Holiday Bowl in the second quarter with an ankle injury and returned taped to play shotgun late in the second quar-ter. The 24-17 victory over Michigan was the first time a No. 1 team played in a non-New Year’s Day bowl. Other injuries throughout the season were to offensive lineman Craig Garrick and circus-catching wide receiver Glen Kozlowski, who came through time and again.
The Cougars ascended to the number one spot on Nov. 17 following a 24-14 victory at Utah combined with a Nebraska loss to Oklahoma and a Navy upset over unbeaten and then second-ranked South Carolina.
The Cougars rose from no ranking to 12th, sixth, fourth, down to eighth, to fifth for two weeks, back to fourth, then third, back to fourth, again to third and then first in the 1984 campaign. Baylor Coach Grant Teaff, whose team lost at BYU 47-13, in game two, was the first to cast a No. 1 vote for the Cougars.
Controversy was abundant as many of the so-called experts such as NBC announcer Bryant Gumbell and Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer, accused BYU of playing a “Bo-Diddley Tech” schedule.
Fifteen players from the 1984 team were drafted by the National Football League. Seven different teams held the No. 1 spot in 1984, but in the end it belonged to undefeated BYU.