There’s been a debate brewing about the best college football team in recent history. Which makes sense, since it is just now August and we’re at the peak of College Football offseason, where we no longer remember what it was like to have college football Saturdays (don’t worry it’s getting closer). Rival fanbases need something to argue about, and arguing over which BCS team was the best ever is about as college football as you can get.
I’ve also been involved in some Vince Young vs Baker Mayfield debates, whether or not Mississippi State is good at football, and whether 2011 OSU deserved a spot over Alabama. Oh and of course, 2001 Miami vs 2014 Ohio State. Thanks Skip Bayless.
But the only way to solve all these problems is of course, with my unified official rankings that no one can dispute. I’ll be ranking the 10 best teams, players, games, and the best season of college football, along with some bonus lists, all in the BCS Era of course.
Let’s start with the 10 best teams:
- 2001 Miami – No debate here. 17 first rounders on one roster. 38 would go on to be drafted. 12-0. Only one game decided by less than 22 points. The close win, a 26-24 win over #14 Virginia Tech, saw just how clutch defensively Miami was, as Ed Reed came down with an interception on the final possession. Miami then went on to beat #2 Nebraska, 37-14. Ken Dorsey was 38-2 as Miami’s starting QB.
- 2004 USC – When you’re preseason #1, go 13-0, pitch 2 shutouts, have two Heisman Trophy Winners, and win the National Championship 55-19 over a team that was 12-0, pitched two shutouts, and 2 Heisman Trophy winners (Sorry Adrian Peterson you should have had this one), and was #2 all season, you get to be called one of the best teams of all time. Also Pete Carroll.
- 2005 Texas Longhorns – The only team that could beat the team above in the next season was this team right here. Vince Young passed for over 3000 and rushed for over 1000 and the Longhorns would win the most memorable game of the BCS era at the Rose Bowl over the invincible USC program.
- 2012 Alabama – Four times an opponent played Alabama that season and came away with 0 points. The only ones to put up more than 17 were Johnny Manziel and Aaron Murray with Georgia and A&M’s near best teams ever. Alabama still beat Georgia and nearly beat A&M. Everyone else? Well. They demolished. Just ask former #1 team Notre Dame, who was 12-0 and on top of the world before they played Bama. Afterwards they were just another team. 2012 Alabama nearly made it over another Nick Saban team. Also, 2012 Bama had Amari Cooper.
- 2011 Alabama – The only defense on the list that might have been more dominant than 2012 Bama’s is 2011 Bama. The one that went up to LSU and lost 9-6 OT in the game of the century. That team didn’t have Amari Cooper, but it did have Trent Richardson and Donta Hightower. This team avenged their only loss of the season to LSU in the National Championship game, winning 21-0. However, teams shouldn’t be given rematches for title games. That’s why I have an asterisk in this one. They’re freaking good, but come on. 2011 Oklahoma State did everything they could, aside from beating Iowa State.
- 2013 Florida State – Those Seminoles were good man. Geez. They single handedly ended the SEC’s title run and dominated nearly every team the faced. Winston had a miracle season as well and they had a ridiculous amount of NFL talent.
- 2008 Florida Gators – Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas really needed a playoff that year. Throw in Tech as a wild card.
- 2010 Auburn – Cam Newton. Nick Fairley. That’s all you gotta know. Also they beat Alabama on the road in the middle of their dynasty.
- 2009 Alabama – Nick Saban’s one perfect season. Smashing a Tebow led Florida 32-13 was a big moment but Bama was robbed of being placed higher because of Colt McCoy’s injury in the title game. We’ll never know who would have won which is a shame.
- 2000 Oklahoma – Come on, who beats #2 in the country and #1 in back to back weeks by double digits? Then holds a Heisman winner to 0 points in a championship game. Josh Heupel wasn’t Mayfield or Bradford, but he was good enough to make this Bob Stoops best season at OU. If any of OU’s other title contention teams would have won, it’s likely they’d be higher on the list somewhere.
2003 LSU nearly missed the list. 2007 LSU did not.
What about players? Oh this is gonna be hard. So we’ll do QB’s and non QB’s list.
- Matt Leinart USC – 37-2 as a starter with back to back AP National Championships to go with a Heisman. Find me a better BCS resume.
- Tim Tebow FL – From 2nd string QB who scored two touchdowns in a title game to Heisman Trophy winner scoring two touchdowns again in a title game. Tebow stayed for four years and was dominant in all four.
- Sam Bradford OU – 88 TD’s and 16 INT despite never playing as an upperclassman revolutionary for a non air-raid team. Bradford is the reason QB’s have to throw 40 TD’s a season to be in the Heisman race because he was doing it before anyone else was. In fact, he threw 50 in 2008.
- Michael Vick VT – Took VT to a national title appearance, declared early or could have been even higher. Led NCAA in pass efficiency as a freshman and did it in 1999 and 2000 before anyone thought a quarterback could run and pass at a high level like this.
- Vince Young TEX – Beat USC and was amazing in 2005. In his prime that season, he might be better than every QB on this list. Didn’t do much to make the list the other two seasons though.
- Pat White WVU – 42-9 at West Virginia. 4-0 in bowl games. 56 passing and 47 rushing touchdowns.
- Andrew Luck STAN – Most talented thrower of the BCS Era. 10000 yards of offense and 37 touchdowns to 10 interceptions isn’t supposed to happen in a Pro offense. But Luck was a back to back Heisman finalist for a reason.
- Kellen Moore BSU – 50-3 as a starter. First QB in FBS history to win 50. He was 7th, 4th, and 8th in Heisman voting. 146 TD’s in his career places him at 5th all time.
- Ken Dorsey MIAMI – 38-2 as a starter and back to back Heisman finalist.
- Cam Newton AUB – If he had played four full seasons instead of 1, he’d be number one on the list. Same situation with Jameis Winston, who played in the CFB Playoff era as well as the BCS.
Case Keenum just missed the list and arguably should be on there. Same with Aaron Murray, Colt McCoy, and Russell Wilson. Russell Wilson should be on the list okay. What a crappy list.
What about the non-quarterbacks? Let’s see:
- Ndamokung Suh, DT Nebraska – Perhaps the most dominant season ever for a defensive player in college football. He won the 2009 Outland and Nagurski Trophies as well as the Lombardi, Bednarik and Willis. He also won AP Player of the Year and was 4th in Heisman Voting.
- Reggie Bush, RB/KR USC – Doak Walker, Walter Camp, Heisman Trophy, and two time AP national champion who could catch, run, and receive.
- Adrian Peterson, RB OU – The most physically dominating RB of the last twenty years in college and NFL, Adrian Peterson got 2nd in the Heisman voting as a freshman in 2004. A sophomore hadn’t even won the award at that time.
- Larry Fitzgerald, WR Pitt – Back to back 1000 yard seasons, 34 touchdowns in 26 games, and only WR in the BCS era to finish in the top 3 in Heisman Voting.
- Ed Reed, S Miami – 9 INT and 3 TD’s in his senior season and two time all american, and was the best player on the best team of the BCS era.
- Patrick Willis, LB Ole Miss – 265 tackles his last two seasons and a Butkus and Lambert award winner.
- Eric Berry, S Tennessee – SEC Freshman of the year, then SEC Defensive player of the year his sophomore season, then Thorpe and Jack Tatum award winner by his junior season. There’s a reason he was the 5th overall pick.
- Michael Crabtree, WR Texas Tech – Most TD’s for a Freshman WR and most TD’s in a two year span with 41. He averaged over 9 points per football game and he was a freaking WR. Also the first to win two Biletnikoff Awards. No big deal.
- Ladanian Tomlinson, RB TCU – 2000+ yards and 22 TD’s and a Doak Walker Award isn’t a bad way to go out on your senior season. Tomlinson was a dominant RB before TCU hit their prime with Gary Patterson, or else he might have won a Heisman.
- Barrett Jones, OL Bama – All you need to know is he’s played three different positions on the offensive line, and won a title with all three and was an Outland and Rimington Award winner. Take that for data.
Well, that was rough. Ricky Williams, Calvin Johnson, and Ron Dayne are first to mind to miss the list along with Sean Taylor.
Now here comes for the fun part, the top 10 games of the BCS Era:
- 2006 Rose Bowl Drama and VY Goes Out On Top – Texas beats USC, 41-38
- 2013 Kick Six! Auburn Upsets Bama To Win SEC West, 34-28
- 2007 App State upsets #5 Michigan in Ann Arbor, 34-32
- 2002 Ohio State 2OT Win over Miami Dynasty, 31-24
- 2013 FSU Ends SEC’s Streak in Last BCS Game vs Auburn, 34-31
- 2005 USC Beats Notre Dame Behind Bush Push, 34-31
- 2013 The Prayer at Jordan Hale! Auburn 43 UGA 38,
- 2008 Crabtree TD with 1 Second Left, Tech 39 Texas 33
- 2002 Blue Grass Miracle! Nick Saban Needs A Hail Mary: LSU 33 Kentucky 30
- 2011 Game Of The Century, LSU beats Bama 9-6
Disclaimer: I was a child and I cried after Boise State beat Oklahoma and the childhood trauma I recieved means I will not be ranking that on the list today.
However, Game of the Century Michigan-Ohio State just missed the cut. So did Auburn’s entire 2013 season.
And now it’s 3:22 A.M, so I’m signing off. Thanks for reading!