Who Is the College Football Team of the 21st Century?
Nine years into the 21st Century, it is time to evaluate the polls to determine the "Team of the Century."
The methodology is simple and unbiased.
Take the final AP poll and award points, just like AP ballots, 25 points for a national championship on down to one point for a 25th-place finish.
While many of the teams that dominated the 20th Century of college football, such as Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Michigan and Southern California made the list, it is interesting to see who are the "nouveau riche" of the college football world.
One thing is for sure—while the rich may still be rich, the popularity of football in America, as well as scholarship limitations, has led to much more equity than we had during the 20th Century.
I do want to be clear—this is not my opinion. If it was my opinion, the No. 3 team would be No. 1 for the decade, and the No. 7 team would probably be No. 2.
Anyway, I hope that you all enjoy this slideshow, and please feel free to leave any comment.
No. 25 Notre Dame
Finishing ranked after the 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2006 seasons helped the Irish earn 46 points.
No. 24 Texas Christian
Strong defenses have hepled the Horned Frogs rack up 47 points and a No. 24 ranking for the decade.
No. 23 Kansas State
Despite not finishing ranked since 2003, the Wildcats racked up 48 points after strong 2000, 2002, and 2003 seasons.
No. 22 Washington State
How many people remember the Cougs had three straight top 10 seasons from 2001-2003?
Well, they did, and it is good enough for 49 points and a No. 22 ranking.
No. 21 Utah
Two BCS victories have put the Utes solidly in the top 25 with 51 points. However, this is still not good enough for Orrin Hatch, who wants this title settled by a playoff.
No. 19 Penn State (tie)
Although many in Happy Valley think they should be higher, Joe Paterno keeps on putting winners on the field.
No. 19 Alabama (tie)
Despite finishing ranked only three times this decade, the Tide racked up 53 points to tie the Nittany Lions for 19th.
No. 18 Louisville
Bobby Petrino led the Cardinals to two top 10 finishes this decade.
Unfortunately, he also left behind a mess.
No. 17 Iowa
Three straight years the Hawkeyes finished ranked No. 8 (2002-2004), racking up 60 points for the century and a No. 17 ranking.
No. 15 Tennessee (tie)
Despite taking a step backward since the 1990s, the Vols are still solidly a top 20 program for the 21st century.
No.15 West Virginia (tie)
Things have been almost heaven this century in West Virginia. The Mountaineers have been consistantly ranked the last four years, racking up 61 points to tie the 'Neers with Rocky Top for the 15th spot.
No. 13 Florida State (tie)
The top program of the 1990s saw their reign in the AP top five come to an end, but the Seminoles still racked up 71 points, which good enough for a tie for No. 13.
No. 13 Boise State (tie)
Yes, the Broncos are tied for 13th with 71 points. With a BCS victory, a top five finish and five top 25 finishes, Boise State is the No. 1 team from a non-BCS conference.
No. 12 Oregon
Known for their flashy uniforms and unstoppable offense, the Ducks have had three top 10 finishes this century helped the Ducks rack up 76 points.
No. 11 Auburn
While Alabama may be seen as the team with the momentum, the Tigers have actually already clinched having a better decade than the 'Tide with 84 points.
No. 10 Michigan
Most schools would be happy to be in the top 10 for the century. Not the Wolverines, who have been owned recently by Ohio State.
Let's see if Rich Rodriguez can make them once again the "Conquerors of the West."
No. 9 Virginia Tech
With 106 points, the Hokies have remained a national force despite leaving the Big East for the ACC.
No. 7 Miami (tie)
Top 5 finishes from 2000-2003 (including the 2001 national championship) helped the 'Canes earn 118 points.
While the program has been down in recent years, strong recruiting classes have the Miami faithful optimistic for the future.
No. 7 Florida (tie)
Two national championships (2006 and 2008) have the Gators chomping the competition this decade.
Will Tebow and company add a third national championship in 2009?
No. 6 LSU
The Bayou Bengals have an outright national championships (2007), another BCS national championship (2003, second in the AP poll) and two other top 10 finishes, assuring their place as one of the top teams of the decade.
No. 5 Georgia
Georgia has five top 10 finishes and has finished ranked every season this century. With 127 points, the Bulldogs are a solid No. 5 in the race for team of the decade.
No. 4 Ohio State
Six top 10 finishes, a national championship (2002,) and two other championship game appearances helped the Buckeyes earn 137 points and a No. 4 ranking for the team of the decade. Not bad for a bunch of slow pokes from the Big Ten conference.
No. 3 USC
Seven straight top five finishes, two AP national championships (2003 and 2004) and six BCS bowl victories make the Trojans the logical choice as the team of the decade.
But their 164 points has them currently third—only one point behind No. 2 and six points behind No. 1.
No. 2 Texas
Vince Young's amazing fourth-and-13 run in the 2005 Rose Bowl—the BCS National Championship Game—helps the Longhorns hold off USC for the No. 2 spot. But Texas has been much more than a one-hit wonder, as they have finished every season this decade ranked in the top 15.
Unfortunately for Mack Brown, the No. 1 team this century is...
No. 1 Oklahoma
Call them "Chokelahoma" all you want. The Sooners did win the 2000 national championship, have six top five finishes and finished every season this century ranked in the top 25.
With 170 points, the Sooners are currently the "Team of the 21st Century."