What Became Of Those Preseason Number One Teams?

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What Became Of Those Preseason Number One Teams?
(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

With the talk finally getting back to actual College Football around here and it just being a few months away from the first rankings, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the past few years or so and see who did what when they actually played football.

Last season, some fans of a certain school, Clemson, tried to justify how good their team was by talking up their preseason ranking, what it amounted to was five wins over Division One opponents. Let's take a look and see how other teams made out.

2002

Preseason #1: Miami

National Champion: Ohio State (Preseason #13)

The Hurricanes picked up where they left off in 2001 and ran the table on their 2002 competition and looked to be a wire to wire National Champion. Miami ended up in the Fiesta Bowl playing an also undefeated Ohio State team. Ohio State dominated most of the game but Miami rallied in the second half to tie it up as time expired with a Todd Sievers field goal. The game looked over in the first overtime when Miami had stopped the Buckeyes cold on a 4th down. Several seconds after the play was over a flag was thrown that continued the Buckeye drive which eventually resulted in the tying score. The Canes never recovered and lost the game and were # 2.

 

2003

Preseason #1: Oklahoma

National Champion: LSU BCS(Preseason #15) USC AP (Preseason #8)

This is the season that brings to our current BCS methodology which still doesn't work. Oklahoma and LSU played in the Sugar Bowl with LSU winning. USC played in the Rose. LSU was 13-1, USC 12-1. This was splitting hairs and these two really needed to settle it on the field. There's a reason people call it the BCMess.

 

2004

Preseason #1: USC

National Champion: USC (Preseason #1)

USC was fired up from the year before when they felt cheated because of an anti-West Coast bias. Not only did the Trojans go the whole season as number one, Oklahoma remained number two. The two met in Miami in the Orange Bowl and USC took out a year's worth of frustration on the Sooners in front of a gigantic national TV audience.

 

2005

Preseason #1: USC

National Champion: Texas (Preseason #2)

These two teams opened the season numbers one and two and met in the final game of the season in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It was a back and forth game and really one for the ages. USC ran up and down the field but the Trojan D never figured out how to stop Vince Young. The whole game came down to one play which will simply be remembered as "4th and Championship". On that fourth down play, Vince Young ran the ball into the endzone for the game winner with less than 30 seconds on the clock and Mack Brown's Longhorns were National Champions.

 

2006

Preseason #1: Ohio State

National Champion: Florida (Preseason #7)

Ohio State ran the table and as many expected were playing in New Orleans in the National Title game. There was a cloud of controversy as to who was going to play the Buckeyes as they had just come off of a high scoring win over arch rival Michigan and many felt a rematch for the title was in order. Urban Meyer campaigned hard and heavy for his Gators and got his way as Florida was in the title game. After scoring on the opening kickoff, the celebrating was over for Ohio State as Florida took control and the game was over by halftime.

 

2007

Preseason #1: USC

National Champion: LSU (Preseason #2)

2007 will be remembered as the year no one wanted it. It was one of those extremely rare years where the National Champion had two losses. The were several combinations as to who could have actually played in the National Title game but based upon the time tested formula which has proved not work which is "who lost to who and when", LSU played Ohio State in the National Title game in a virtual home game for the Tigers. This game wasn't as close as the score and Les Miles hoisted the trophy among a cloud of rumors he was leaving Baton Rouge. Miles never left but many of his star players did for the big money of the NFL.

 

2008

Preseason #1: Georgia

National Champion: Florida (Preseason #5)

The poor Georgia Bulldogs led by text book under achieving QB Matthew Stafford were the worst performing preseason number one team of the decade going 10-3 overall and finishing out of the top ten teams in the country. The Bulldogs were slapped around by Alabama in the first half of their matchup and were waxed by the Gators in the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. No team ran the table though the Big 12 provided us with National Championship eliminator games nearly every week and Penn State, USC, and the entire SEC did all they could to make it one of the most competitive seasons at the top in recent memory. In the end, Tim Tebow made good on his promise that no team would ever try harder than his and Urban Meyer got his second BCS Trophy.

 

Visit Mitch anytime at The Sports Chat Place or The College Football Place

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