The Paw Print
The Top 5 College Football teams in the last 10 years
1) Alabama – 2009
Record: 14 – 0
Coach : Nick Saban
Bear Bryant was dead. Joe Namath was no longer Broadway Joe, and War Eagle owned the state of Alabama. The Crimson Tide had finished 4-8, 6-7, and 7-6 in 3 of the last 5 seasons. With the firing of former Bama quarterback Mike Shula and the hiring of Nick Saban, the tide was expected to turn. With the upsetting beat down by UTAH the previous season, many thoughts were in the air that Bama would never be the same as it was in the Bear Bryant days. However, with new Texas Quarterback Greg Mcleroy dominating Virginia Tech in the opening game of the season, “Was the Tide back?” The team was stacked in almost every single position. They had Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram at runningback, and a backup who was without a doubt better than Ingram, Trent Richardson. Trent was only a freshman, but he went to the same high school Emmitt Smith had attended, and broke all of his records. Julio Jones and Marquis Maze were constant threats in the passing game. The defense was possibly one of the greatest defenses of all time, Rolando Mclain and Courtney Upshaw at linebacker. A lot of critics were curious on the reason Bama ran a 3-4 defense, but with a 6’5 350 lb. nose guard Terence Cody, Brandon Deaderick and Marcell Dareus beside him, it became easy to dominate the line. Beat down after beat down were delivered by the boys from Tuscaloosa. Going into the SEC championship, it was a rematch of the previous year, and Bama came to play. The 32-13 bashing of Florida secured Bama a spot to the national championship and the Heisman trophy for Mark Ingram. The Crimson Tide won the national championship against the Texas Longhorns 37-21.
The Tide finished the year with 3296 rushing yards and only allowing 1509 yards total from their opponents.
What If: 1) What if Tim Tebow would have actually gone to Bama? Would Mike Shula still be there? 2) What if Marcell Dareus would not have popped Colt McCoy in the national championship putting him out of the game?
2) Miami Hurricanes–2001
Record – 12 – 0
Coach – Larry Coker
Many people are probably wondering how the heck did I pick this team as the number 2 team. This team is extremely similar to the 2009 Alabama team. Ken Dorsey is almost identical to Greg Mcleroy, a not very athletic quarterback, but a leader and field-general. They both would be 7th round picks as well. They both had a nasty running back system. Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, and Willis McGahee combined for a total of 2,076 yards. Jeremy Shockey and Andre Johnson combined for 17 receiving touchdowns and 1,201 yards. The defensive had 27 interceptions and 39 sacks. But probably the most impressive statistic would be the fact that they had 13 first round picks on this team. Miami only had one difficult and close game all year, a 26-24 narrow win over the Michael Vick led Virginia Tech Hoakies.
What If: What if Miami would have never left the Big East? Would they still be a contender for a BCS game every year?
3) Texas Longhorns – 2005
Record – 13 – 0
Coach – Mack Brown
“We’ll be back,” was what Quarterback Vince Young left the 2005 Rose Bowl saying. Arguably, Vince Young could be one of the greatest college football players of all time. He led the team in passing with 3036 yards and also led the team in rushing as well with 1050 yards. This lethal QB was the primary reason they won the greatest national championship game. In the 41-38 victory over USC, Vince brought in 200 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns and 267 passing yards. Vince was not the only contributor to the team. Current NFL star Jamaal Charles was the key running back who had 878 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. The wide receiving core had Limas Sweed, David Thomas and Billy Pittman who combined for 120 receptions and 15 touchdowns. The Texas defense were lead by NFL players Cedric and Michael Griffin, Michael Huff, and Rodrique Wright. But it’s obvious that the main player was of course Vince Young. If there ever should have been a tie for the Heisman, Reggie Bush and Vince Young should have tied.
What If: What if Reggie Bush had not tossed back the lateral after the long run
he had in the second quarter? The Trojans were clearly in control of the game.
4) USC Trojans – 2005
Record 12 – 1
Coach – Pete Carroll
The 2005 National Title game could have swung either way. The Trojans were lead by two Heisman winners, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. The Trojans had only one close game going into the national title game, and they played 5 top 25 teams. The craziest statistic that this team had was the 3598 rushing yards. Heisman trophy winner had 1777 yards and 16 touchdowns. Backup running back Lendale White had 1319 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. Matt Leinart threw for 3815 yards. Sophomore Dwayne (4.6 Forty) Jarrett had 1274 receiving yards and Steve Smith had 957 yards. Both of the receivers combined for 21 touchdowns. The defense was exploited by the Longhorns in the Rose Bowl, but Sedrick Ellis and Keith Rivers were the key figures on the D.
What If: What if Matt Leinart would have declared for the draft? Would John David Booty been ready to lead the Trojans to the national title game?
5) Ohio State Buckeyes– 2002
Record – 14-0
Coach – Jim Tressel
Despite a 7-5 season the year before, the Buckeyes were still able to make it to the Tostito Fiesta Bowl, and it dramatic fashion. Not only was this the last time a Big 10 team won the national title, but also the last time a team from the North won a national title. The freshman sensation started the season off with a bang going 175 yards against Texas Tech in the opener, and would finish the year with 1237 yards and 16 touchdowns. Quarterback Craig Krenzel was not just a total mind blowing quarterback , but one similar to his counterpart in the Fiesta Bowl Ken Dorsey. He got the job done when it mattered. One of the most fascinating parts of this team came at the wide receiver and cornerback position, and they were both started by Chris Gamble. When was the last time you here’d of a major Division 1 school who started a guy on both sides of the ball? Gamble brought in 31 receptions for 500 yards and also came away with four interceptions. Michael Jenkins however was the main receiver who had 61 receptions and 1076 yards. The national championship game against Miami in the desert was a thriller, going in to double overtimes to have the Buckeyes prevail 31-24.
What If: What if Maurice Clarrett would not have been a screw up and actually finished his college career?