10 best teams in sports history

Garrett SpainContributor ISeptember 25, 2008

These are the ten best teams in sports history, in my opinion.

10. 2004 USC Trojans

 The 2004 USC Trojans football team represented the University of Southern California in the 2004-2005 NCAA Division I-A college football season. The Trojans ended this season with 13 wins and no losses. They were the Pacific 10 Conference champions as well as the national champions, and remained the top-ranked team for the entire season. USC became just the second team ever to hold the APNo. 1 ranking from the pre-season through the bowl, also referred to as wire-to-wire (Florida State did it in 1999). The Trojans also became the 10th team to win consecutive AP national championships. Quarterback Matt Leinart won the Heisman Trophy as the most outstanding collegiate football player in the U.S.; teammate, running back Reggie Bushfinished fifth in Heisman voting, winning the following year. Both were named co-winners of the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. The team captains were Shaun Cody, Matt Grootegoed and Matt Leinart. Because of the controversy that ended the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football seasonwith a split national title between LSU and USC, the motto for the Trojans' 2004 season became "Leave No Doubt." Ironically, the changes made to the BCS due to the 2003 season did not resolve issues with multiple undefeated teams, as an undefeated Auburn team started the season lower in the polls but played one of the nation's toughest schedules. Yet, Auburn did not get to play USC or any other team for the title.The team is often argued, among few others, as the greatest college football team of all-time.

9. 2005 Texas Longhorns

The 2005 Texas Longhorn football team (variously "Texas", "UT" or the "Horns") represented The University of Texas at Austin during the college football season of 2005–2006, winning the Big 12 Conference Championship and the national championship. The team was coached by Mack Brown, led on offense by quarterback Vince Young, and played its home games at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.The team's penultimate victory of the season, the Big 12 Championship Game, featured the biggest margin of victory in the history of that contest. They finished the season by winning the 2006 Rose Bowl against the University of Southern California Trojans for the national championship. Numerous publications have cited this victory and this team's season as standing among the greatest performances in college football history, and ESPN awarded the 2006 ESPY Award for the "Best Game" in any sport to the Longhorns and the Trojans. The Longhorns finished as the only unbeaten team in NCAA Division I-A football that year, with thirteen wins and zero losses. Texas earned their second Big 12 Conference football championship to make 27 conference championships total, including 25 in the Southwest Conference. It was their fourth national championshipin football and the ninth perfect season in the history of Longhorn football. The team set numerous school and NCAA records, including their 652 points which set an NCAA record for points scored in a season. After the season ended, six Longhorns from this championship team joined professional football teams through the 2006 NFL Draft.[15] Seven more Longhorns followed suit in the 2007 NFL Draft and they were joined by two free agents. Another nine followed through the 2008 Draft and free-agency to make a total of twenty-four players who entered into the National Football League (NFL)

 8. 1997 Detroit Red wings

In 1995-96, the Detroit Red Wings set an NHL record for most wins in a regular season. It was thought that the team would easily capture the Stanley Cup, but a powerful and hungrier Colorado Avalanche halted their 41-year journey. In 1997, it was time for redemption and the team with the longest Cup drought in the NHL lost only four playoff games en route to a Stanley Cup title. Mike Vernon, the Detroit goaltender was fabulous and posted an incredible 1.76 goals-against average in the playoffs becoming the first goaltender to win the Conn Smythe Trophy since Patrick Roy in 1993."

7. 1985 Chicago Bears

The 1985 Chicago Bears season was their 66th regular season and 16th post-season completed in the NFL. The club posted a 15-1 record, earning them the top seed in the NFC for the playoffs. The franchise did not stop there as they rolled through the playoffs crushing their three opponents by a combined score of 91-10 en route to a victory in Super Bowl XX, their ninth NFL Championship. Also, linebacker Mike Singletary was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year and the UPI Defensive NFC Player of the Year. Running back Walter Payton won the NFC Offensive Player of the Year, head coach Mike Ditka was named NFL Coach of the Year and defensive end Richard Dent was named Super Bowl MVP

6. 1987 Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers made quick work of the Boston Bruins capturing their fourth Stanley Cup in five years. Edmonton only lost two games due to the stellar play of Vezina-winner Grant Fuhr and the unbelievable 43 points from the great Wayne Gretzky. This would be Gretzky's last season as an Oiler, as he would be traded to the Kings in the off-season. In a rare occurrence, game four of the Stanley Cup Finals ended in a tie. The game was suspended at 16:37 of the second period due to a power failure in the Boston Arena. As NHL rules stated, the game was suspended at a 3-3 tie. The series shifted back to Edmonton where the Oilers won the deciding game 6-3. Gretzky was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy after amassing 43 playoff points

5. 1968 UCLA Bruins

The Bruins, playing with an injured Alcindor, suffered a mid-season loss to Houston and Elvin Hayes in the Astrodome, but proved that was a fluke in the tourney semifinal, burying the Cougars 101-69. The final was also cake, a 78-55 win over UNC. How'd they do it? To start, they had Alcindor, the best player in college basketball history, who averaged 26 points and 16 rebounds per game. Junior guard Lucius Allen, senior Mike Warren, Jr., Lynn Shackleford and senior Mike Lynn also averaged in double figures for the season

4. 1971 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska’s 1971 season came down to a single game at Owen Field in Norman, Okla., on Thanksgiving Day. At least, that’s how it is most often remembered. The No. 1 Cornhuskers played No. 2 Oklahoma in what still is regularly regarded as college football’s "Game of the Century.’’ The teams were undefeated and untied, and they included 17 of 22 first-team All-Big Eight players. Nebraska had the nation’s top-ranked defense. Oklahoma had its most productive offense. The cover of Sports Illustrated (Nov. 22, 1971) published the week of the game included photographs of Nebraska linebacker Bob Terrio and Oklahoma running back Greg Pruitt, nose-to-nose, beneath the headline: "Irresistible Oklahoma Meets Immovable Nebraska.

3. 1975 Cincinnati Reds

The Red Sox hadn't won a World Series for 57 years, but that year they won 95 games during the regular season and then ended the Oakland A's championship run with a 3-0 sweep in the ALCS. They also had the two best young hitters in the American League in Jim Rice and AL MVP Fred Lynn, and a strong pitching rotation featuring Luis Tiant and the Space Bill Lee. After five hard fought games, the Reds had a three games to two lead over the Sox when the Series returned to Boston. However, they lost Game 6, a legendary 12-inning affair that culminated with Carlton Fisk hitting a walk-off home run that won the game 7-6. The next night, reeling from exhaustion and the psychological letdown from the night before, the Reds fell behind 3-0. In the top of the sixth, Cincinnati began to chip away at Boston's lead when Tony Perez hit a two run blast that closed the gap. Pete Rose tied the score in the top of the seventh inning when he singled home Ken Griffey with two outs. Then, in the top of the ninth inning, Morgan drove a single to right field that scored Griffey and put the Reds ahead by a run. Reds' reliever Will McEnany pitched the bottom of the ninth and got Carl Yazstremski to fly out to center field for the final out. The Reds had done it: the first world championship for Cincinnati in 35 years

2. 1986 Los Angeles Lakers

 Stunned by Houston and a game-winning basket by Ralph Sampson in the playoffs a year before,the Lakers came back in 1986-87 stronger than ever. With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar now 39 years old, Coach Pat Riley made key changes in the offense, shifting the focus onto Magic Johnson, with James Worthy as his primary sidekick. Mychal Thompson, acquired from San Antonio in midseason, helped take some more of the load off Abdul-Jabbar in the pivot and also played power forward along with A.C. Green and Kurt Rambis. Riley also was blessed with two extraordinary role players, Byron Scott as the designated shooter (17.0 ppg including 65 three-pointers, shooting .436 from behind the arc) and Michael Cooper as the defensive stopper (he would be voted the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year). The Lakers' Showtime offense never ran better. Johnson was brilliant, averaging a career-high 23.9 ppg and leading the league in assists for the fifth year in a row at 12.2 apg. With Abdul-Jabbar and the other big men controlling the boards, Johnson ran the floor and set up Worthy, Scott and Cooper for basket after basket. The result was beautiful to watch as the Lakers raced to a league-best 65-17 record that was the second-best in franchise history, behind only the 69-13 mark posted by the 1971-72 team

1. 1927 New York Yankees

The 1927 Yankees batted .307, slugged .489, scored 975 runs, and outscored their opponents by a record 376 runs. Center fielder Earl Combs had a career best year, batting .356 with 231 hits, left fielder Bob Meusel batted .337 with 103 RBIs, and second baseman Tony Lazzeri drove in 102 runs. Gehrig batted .373, with 218 hits, 52 doubles, 18 triples, 47 home runs, a then record 175 RBIs, slugged at .765, and was voted A.L. MVP. Ruth amassed a .356 batting average, 164 RBIs, 158 runs scored, walked 137 times, and slugged .772. Most notably, his 60 home runs that year broke his own record and remained the Major League mark for 34 years until Roger Maris broke it. The pitching staff led the league in ERA at 3.20, and included Waite Hoyt, who went 22-7, which tied for the league lead, and Herb Pennock, who went 19-8. Wilcy Moore won 19 as a reliever. The 1927 Yankees would eventually send six players along with manager Miller Huggins and president Ed Barrow to the Baseball Hall of Fame; only the 1928 Yankees had more with 9 players along with Huggins and Barrow. Three other Yankees pitchers had ERAs under 3.00 that season."