The Miami Hurricanes finished the 1985 regular season with a 10-1 record. The lone loss was a 35-23 defeat to Florida on Opening Day at the Orange Bowl. The Gators were ranked number five at the time the teams met and were number six with a 9-1-1 record heading into the Bowls.
Miami had wins over number three Oklahoma in week six and a win at then number ten Florida State two weeks later. Miami, Oklahoma and Iowa were ranked two through four entering the bowl games and were the only top five teams with one loss and no tied. Penn State finished the regular season at 11-0.
Air Force was 11-1 and ranked tenth and Bowling Green finished 11-0 but was only ranked 20th. If they had been a BCS Championship game in 1985 by virtue of their victory over number three Oklahoma the Hurricanes would likely have played in the championship depending on how the computers ranked UM and OU.
A playoff also seemed pretty straightforward with Number One Penn State likely facing now Big Ten foe Iowa and Miami and Oklahoma squaring off in a rematch. Number five Michigan lost to Iowa and tied an average Illinois team. Florida lost to Georgia and tied with Rutgers.
As it was, Penn State elected to face their best opponent possible and that was Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. The Sooners went to the Orange as the Big Eight Champion. Miami still had a chance at the National Championship.
If Oklahoma defeated Penn State and the Hurricanes won their Sugar Bowl game against Tennessee, UM would likely have been the National Champion. The Sooners did their part, but Miami was crushed 35-7 by Tennessee in the Sugar. Oklahoma won the National Championship and Miami fell to ninth in the final polls.