The 1984 NCAA Division I-A football season was topsy-turvy from start to finish. It ended with the BYU Cougars being bestowed their first and only national championship by beating Michigan in the Holiday Bowl. While the Cougars finished with a perfect 13-0 record and were the consensus National Champions, some commentators maintain this title was undeserved citing their weak schedule (none of their conference opponents in the WAC finished with fewer than four losses, and even Michigan finished the season at 6-6 after the bowl loss) and argue that the championship should have gone to the 11-1 Washington Huskies. Despite this the Cougars were voted #1 in the final AP and UPI polls. The Huskies (and five other teams) declined an invitation to play BYU in the Holiday Bowl; they decided instead to play Oklahoma in the more prestigious 1985 Orange Bowl. All subsequent national champions have come from what are now known as the Power Five conferences + Notre Dame.
With the loss of Richmond and William and Mary the number of teams in Division 1-A fell from 112 to 110 for the 1984 season.
Defensive pass interference will be penalized 15 yards from the previous spot if the foul occurs more than 15 yards downfield. If the foul occurred 15 yards or less downfield, the penalty will be enforced from the spot of the foul.
Kickoffs that go through the back of the end zone or out of bounds in the end zone in the air untouched will be brought out to the 30-yard line instead of the 20.
Clipping is limited to an area 6-10 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Wide receivers are only permitted to block below the waist once the ball passes the line of scrimmage.
Eliminating the PAT if the game has been decided, and if both teams agree.
Offensive face-masking is now a foul, penalized 15 yards.
Florida was assessed a postseason ban following an NCAA investigation, and the SEC subsequently vacated any championship. The Sugar Bowl automatic bid for the conference champion was awarded to LSU. Under modern rules, LSU would be credited with the conference championship.