Ranking The National Champions of the 1990s

selmaborntidefan

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So it's off-season........81 brought this up, and I thought it was a fantastic idea. It will take me a few posts to follow the logic through, but I'll wind up giving the pros and cons of each national champion of the 1990s. Remember - there were a total of 13 national champions in the 1990s thanks to three split championship votes. I'll rank them according to a number of categories and we can discuss. If your list doesn't agree with mine - well, tough, you're just wrong. It will take a few days to fully develop but just some interesting info.


CHAMPIONS RANKED ACCORDING TO OPPONENT WINNING PERCENTAGE (e.g. the Strength of Schedule Argument)

96 Florida, .614
90 Colorado, .600
93 Florida St, .597
99 Florida St, .577
90 Georgia Tech, .569
98 Tennessee, .564
95 Nebraska, .553
91 Miami, .542
92 Alabama, .536
94 Nebraska, .523
91 Washington, .522
97 Michigan, .521
97 Nebraska, .503

What is probably not surprising.......the teams that played the three toughest schedules ALL had at least one imperfection on their records (Colorado had two - more on Fifth Down later on). Of course there's a problem - Florida's 1996 schedule is inflated a bit because two of their opponents were actually the same opponent, Florida State, a team whose overall record (calculated twice) of 22-2 raises the SoS for the Gators.

Of course.....take BOTH Florida State games away and the Gators still faced opponents who won at a .551 clip. Count the opponent only once (which is probably the fairest way to do it) and it's .585....which would still be in the top three.

Of course, SoS is only PART of the argument. 1990 Colorado played a schedule that was in another universe than that played by the pair of 1997 champions. We cannot assume that, "Well, Michigan played a .521 schedule and Nebraska a .503.....therefore, Michigan would have killed Nebraska." It doesn't work that way.


And there's another problem if you think about it.......the last game on the schedule of a national champion is pretty much always a stellar opponent with a really great record and (most of the time even then) a Top 10 ranking. So....what if we take away that last game that they have a month to prepare for and count only the regular season SoS?

Well, we get the following:


90 Colorado, .587
96 Florida, .585
93 Florida St, .570
99 Florida St, .546
98 Tennessee, .540
90 Georgia Tech, .530
91 Miami, .523
95 Nebraska, .508
94 Nebraska, .496
92 Alabama, .496
97 Michigan, .492
91 Washington, .491
97 Nebraska, .471


Notice that for the most part the teams don't move on the basis of that one game. If they move, it's up or down one spot at the most.

However we slice it, the toughest schedules were played by Colorado, Florida, and both FSU champs, and the easiest were played by Washington and the two 1997 champions.
 

selmaborntidefan

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A LOOK AT THE TEAMS, PART ONE


1990 Colorado

THE CASE FOR:
They beat two conference champions (Pac 10 and SWC), and they tied the SEC champions - without their best player and Heisman candidate, Eric Bieniemy, who was suspended for the game due to an altercation with a fireman. They played the toughest schedule of the 1990s and - back when there were only 19 bowl games - five of their 12 regular season opponents made bowl games, and they compiled a 2-3 record. (Oklahoma would have made a bowl but were ineligible due to probation). They were #14 in total offense, #15 in scoring offense (32.4 ppg), faced four higher ranked offenses on the year and had a good enough defense to go 3-0-1 against those teams. Most of their offense was due to the #6 rushing attack in the nation on a team that ran a variant of the wishbone. Their defense was ranked #25 in yardage allowed, and 29th in scoring defense, allowing 18.3 ppg (there were 106 teams back then).

It was heavily slanted towards the offense, but the team had several players drafted into the NFL from the defense, including Alfred Williams, Deion Figures, Joel Steed, and Kanavis McGhee.

2-0-1 against the Top Ten, 4-1-1 against the Top 25. Remember - the tie was against the SEC champions without their best player on the field.

THE CASE AGAINST:
Unfortunately, evaluating Colorado's 1990 team starts - and ends - with two words mouthed as a cliche that inhibit fair analysis: Fifth Down. Yes, Colorado DID get an extra down at the end of the game against Missouri. But it is simplistic to reduce their accomplishment to ridicule. After all, it wasn't Colorado's fault the officials messed up. Things were moving so rapidly that Colorado's coaches AND some Missouri players AND some Colorado players got confused on the number of downs. If this doesn't happen, Colorado calls a different play sequence - and who knows?



1990 Georgia Tech

THE CASE FOR:
The nation's ONLY unbeaten team in the season, they ended the year with a tie but no loss. The schedule was respectable and included a 3-0 record against Top 25 teams, and the knocking off of the #1 Virginia Cavaliers on November 3 with a last second FG. Colorado and Georgia Tech shared one common opponent - Nebraska - and while the Buffs trailed Nebraska, 12-0, entering the fourth quarter, Georgia Tech never was challenged in their three touchdown rout of the Huskers.

Tech had the nation's #34 offense (23 scoring offense) and a substantially better (statistically) defense (#14 total, #15 scoring) against a weaker schedule. Tech surrendered an average of 15.0 ppg.

One can also argue the "Central Florida Needs To Be Smacked" Argument: Tech beat Clemson who beat Illinois who beat Colorado....for those laughing, Bobby Ross implicitly argued this after thumping Nebraska in the Citrus Bowl.

THE CASE AGAINST
How many of you - without looking or having a friend or relative on the team - can name a Tech player OTHER than Ken Swilling or Shawn Jones? Or maybe Scott Sisson?

It was an anonymous team coached by a guy who bolted for the NFL, and Tech's 1990 season stands out like a skyscraper compared to the years before and after it. Look at these records and tell me which doesn't belong in the group: 2-9, 3-8, 7-4, 11-0-1, 8-5, 5-6, 5-6, 1-10, 6-5, 5-6, 7-5. That's Tech's record year-by-year for an ENTIRE DECADE. Win a national title and in no other year have fewer than four losses.

And it's difficult to take the "we beat Nebraska" argument seriously for another reason that never gets mentioned: Nebraska had five players suspended for the game, including their leading rusher, Leodis Flowers. This combined with the fact Tech - unlike Colorado - had a full month to get ready for the game, and the argument doesn't hold near so much water.


More as the opportunity presents.
 
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81usaf92

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If you asked me before I looked at this what my assumptions are about the teams, I'd guess:

1) 1990 Colorado, 1997 Michigan were the "worst" champions of the 90s

2) 96 Florida is likely the best.

I actually thought 90 Tech was better than Colorado AT THE TIME.

I'm not convinced of that now.
I’ve always thought Florida or Washington were the best and the 1997 Nebraska was one of the worst
 

BamaJama17

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If you asked me before I looked at this what my assumptions are about the teams, I'd guess:

1) 1990 Colorado, 1997 Michigan were the "worst" champions of the 90s

2) 96 Florida is likely the best.

I actually thought 90 Tech was better than Colorado AT THE TIME.

I'm not convinced of that now.
So you think that ‘97 Nebraska would have beaten Michigan??? I certainly do. However that ‘97 Michigan team seems to mirror ‘02 Ohio State. Average on offense but suffocating and ranked #1 in scoring defense. Also the GOAT QB was the backup.
 

81usaf92

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So you think that ‘97 Nebraska would have beaten Michigan??? I certainly do. However that ‘97 Michigan team seems to mirror ‘02 Ohio State. Average on offense but suffocating and ranked #1 in scoring defense. Also the GOAT QB was the backup.
My biggest issue with the 97 Nebraska team is that they literally won a championship because the refs just hate Missouri. The 97 Nebraska team wasn’t near as good as the 94 and 95 teams. The truth is that both Michigan and Nebraska should probably thank Dinardo and Donnan in eliminating Florida from the mix otherwise Nebraska wouldn’t have gotten choking Manning and Michigan might not have an easy claim.
 

saturdaysarebet

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I'm guessing this is a dogfight for #2 as '95 Nebraska is generally recognized as the best team in CFB history. Best defense of that decade's champions either Alabama '92 or Michigan '97 and thankfully Selma will help refresh my old memory.
 

KrAzY3

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Not trying to disparage the work you've put in, I think it's interesting, but I will have to add that the winning percentage of an opponent by itself produces a misleading SoS calculation. I remember some writer trying to use it to disparage Alabama's schedule (by using the records from the previous season to calculate an alleged SoS). They concluded Alabama had one of the easiest power conference schedules based on this. For the record I took great exception to that pre-season article.

Using a meaningful formula (Sagarin) Alabama actually went on to have the #1 or #2 SoS that year. So it wasn't even close to being accurate. This can be illustrated simply. If a team plays Alabama 12 times, and only wins once does that make them a terrible team? They'd have a 1-11 record after all. If another team instead played Oregon St. 12 times, and went 11-1 would that make them a fantastic team?

The truth is that the team that only beat an excellent Alabama team once is probably better than the team that lost to a horrible Oregon St. only once, despite one having an excellent record and one having a terrible one. So, you have to do more to calculate the strength of an opponent beyond their winning percentage (and I understand you're not a computer, but I thought that part was worthy of an asterisk)
.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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Not trying to disparage the work you've put in, I think it's interesting, but I will have to add that the winning percentage of an opponent by itself produces a misleading SoS calculation.
Absolutely correct, 100% - and easy to demonstrate.

Which team plays a harder schedule?

A team that plays a four 8-3 teams, an 11-1 team, and a bunch of 3-win nobodies can wind up with a tougher SoS than a team that played FOUR 10-win teams (3 back-to-back, 2 on the road) and a bunch of 2-win teams.

There's simply not a substantial difference in a 2-win team and a 4-win team but there is a MAJOR difference between an 8-win and a 10-win team.

So I concur with your point, I will be posting other data as evaluated. I'm not beholden to "the team with the best SoS is the best team." As I noted earlier, Florida's from 1996 gets a tad inflated because they played FSU twice.


I remember some writer trying to use it to disparage Alabama's schedule (by using the records from the previous season to calculate an alleged SoS). They concluded Alabama had one of the easiest power conference schedules based on this. For the record I took great exception to that pre-season article.
Disparaging Alabama's schedule is amusing and nothing new....except Alabama mows down every single team put in front of them not named Clemson. Unless someone can name the team they would actually bet their house on to beat Alabama, the objection is frivolous.

Using a meaningful formula (Sagarin) Alabama actually went on to have the #1 or #2 SoS that year. So it wasn't even close to being accurate. This can be illustrated simply. If a team plays Alabama 12 times, and only wins once does that make them a terrible team? They'd have a 1-11 record after all. If another team instead played Oregon St. 12 times, and went 11-1 would that make them a fantastic team?

The truth is that the team that only beat an excellent Alabama team once is probably better than the team that lost to a horrible Oregon St. only once, despite one having an excellent record and one having a terrible one. So, you have to do more to calculate the strength of an opponent beyond their winning percentage (and I understand you're not a computer, but I thought that part was worthy of an asterisk)
.
Context is everything. Let's take one team I've covered so far.


1990 Colorado played teams that won 3/5 of their games, the 2nd highest total of the 90s.
Here's a look at that schedule:

Tennessee - SEC and Sugar Bowl champions, tied
Stanford (5-6) - CU won in the final minute at home
Illinois (8-4) - CU lost, 23-22, after leading 17-3 in the 2nd qtr - on the road. Illinois lost the HOF Bowl to Clemson
Texas SWC champs (10-2) - won the game late on the road in Austin, only team to beat Texas until Miami smashed them, 46-3, in Cotton
Washington (10-2) Rose Bowl champs - CU won by 6 at home thanks to staving off a UW comeback at the end

So in the first six weeks of the season, Colorado played five games (they had the Stanford game on a Thursday night, which gave them "extra time" before and after that game). They went 3-1-1, the loss was on the road by a single point, and the tie was in a game where their Heisman candidate couldn't play. With Bieniemy? Colorado probably beats Tennessee.


And how good was the other team, Stanford? Good enough to beat #1 Notre Dame in South Bend, an Irish team that was 27-1 in the previous 28 games entering that contest.


And after that insanely tough start to a season, they still had to play OU (8-3) and Nebraska (9-3) in back-to-back games......and the Huskers were unbeaten with the game at home. And then.....CU had to play the team most thought was the best team in the country, Notre Dame.


But folks disparage them with, "They needed help from the referees to beat Missouri." The fact is they played EIGHT quality foes (yes, I'd call 5-6 Stanford a quality foe just not a "great team") and went 6-1-1. No, Missouri wasn't good, but Colorado played that game without their QB, too.


So we're in agreement that it's not a simple thing. The overall assessment of a team cannot be based solely on that one criterion. Here are things I consider:

who did they beat?
who did the team they beat beat?
were there common opponents? (not really relevant in this exercise save for split title years)
if assessing their overall off and def, how would they have fared against teams they didn't face?
bowl games? were there extenuating circumstances (e.g. Holtz benched his starting backfield in the 2nd half vs CU)?
who beat them?
was the loss a fluke explainable by circumstance?
what was the overall quality of the teams CFB wide that year?


And 2-3 other things I can't just say, "Well this!"

Such assessments are hardly objective anyway. My goal is to use OBJECTIVE means to help inform the SUBJECTIVE positions I take. Speaking hypothetically - You may think 95 Nebraska is the greatest team of all-time, and I may think they're just a decent team who went undefeated.
That's where informing our positions with data comes in.

So bear with me a bit. I don't expect everyone to agree, but I'm used to it. And let's just say kickoff is still way too far away.
 

selmaborntidefan

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1991 Washington Huskies

THE CASE FOR


A very persuasive case can be made that the 1991 Washington Huskies were the best team of the decade - and one of the greatest of all-time. That may sound like hyperbole from a decade that produced a team consistently touted as an all-time team (95 Nebraska), but the evidence is solidly on Washington's side.

Washington had the #2 scoring offense in 1991, averaging 41.2 ppg. Perhaps even more incredible, though, was their defense. The Huskies played the nation's 3rd, 4th, and 5th rated offenses (Nebraska, Cal, and Michigan) - and Washington held them 20.3, 19.6, and 22.9 points BELOW their average. Overall, the Dawgs had BOTH the#2 scoring offense AND the #2 scoring defense (think 92 Alabama defense with a high octane attack).

They beat the Big Eight champions in Lincoln by 15 points in a game where they turned the ball over early and fell into a 21-9 hole. They throttled the Big Ten champions (Michigan) and the Heisman winner (Desmond Howard) by 20 points in the Rose Bowl.

How good were the Huskies? Think of all the teams that are thrown into the mix as all-time great teams: 2018 Clemson, 2001 Miami, 1971 Nebraska, 1995 Nebraska, 1979 or 1966 Alabama - and a few others. Only TWO of those teams beat every single opponent by at least 7 points, the 95 Huskers and the 91 Huskies. Washington won their games BY AN AVERAGE of 31 ppg. They were 2-0 against the Top 10 and 4-0 against the Top 25. Those four ranked opponents were beaten by an average of 19 ppg and ALL FOUR GAMES were AWAY from home (3 away and 1 neutral site).

You also have to remember that blowing foes out as Washington did dramatically affects the stats with garbage time numbers where opponents keep their first string playing while Washington pulls the starters. To give some perspective, however, Washington's defense surrendered 9.2 ppg and Alabama's great defense of a year later gave up 9.3.


THE CASE AGAINST

The case against Washington basically comes down to one objection that we hear too often - "but they didn't really play anybody." The Huskies faced the weakest schedule of any champion in the 1990s except for the split titlists of 1997. Entering the Rose Bowl, the Huskies' opponents had an overall winning percentage of just .491.


1991 Miami Hurricanes

THE CASE FOR

1991 saw a continuation of the Hurricane dynasty that had been rolling almost unimpeded since 1983. With the nation's best defense (9.1 ppg) and averaging 33.1 ppg on offense, Miami roared through 12 games unbeaten, and they had a 2-0 record not just against the top ten but against the TOP FOUR, with close wins over Florida State and Penn State as well as blasting Tulsa and Nebraska, shutting out the Cornhuskers despite missing their starting RB for the Orange Bowl. Miami also had the special credential of knocking off the sportswriters's consensus choice as best in the nation, the Florida State Seminoles, in the first Wide Right of the series.

They deserved the title because they played a much tougher schedule than Washington did. The two teams, in fact, played a common foe - Nebraska - and Washington struggled with Nebraska before winning by 15 while Miami punched out Nebraska with a "no doubt about it" 22 point shutout despite missing their starting RB.

THE CASE AGAINST

If you were old enough to follow the game at the time (as was I), you understand WHY it happened, but it makes it no less unjust. Miami - to be blunt about it - had no business winning the national championship that year.

Miami's entire case came down to the kind of hype that used to settle these things before BCS title games and playoffs and can be summarized by the following points:

a) Miami had the reputation as champion (like FSU or Nebraska in the 90s, USC in the 00s, and Alabama or Clemson today)
b) Miami beat the team that everyone thought was the best, FSU
c) Miami beat Nebraska by more points than Washington did
d) Miami played a tougher schedule (on the basis of winning pct)
e) Washington played their games on the West Coast after the East Coast based media had already gone to sleep

This case is more full of holes than the dead gangsters at the St Valentine's Day Massacre.

What cost Miami the coaches' poll were some shenanigans they pulled in choosing their bowl game. You see, for all of the "Miami is the greatest dynasty ever" nonsense they espoused, Miami was not a very good team outside the confines of the Orange Bowl - at least in bowl games. Think about this: the Hurricanes lost national title game upsets to Penn St (Fiesta Bowl) and Alabama (Sugar Bowl). They were also demolished, 35-7, by Tennessee when they were making a title claim in 1985 (they'd beaten Oklahoma, who was playing Penn St for the title). And in 1989, they might well have lost to an inferior Alabama opponent if only the current replay rules were in effect (Miami made a 14-point swing on two fumbles not called - in a game they won by 8, not including what points Alabama may have gotten on those drives).

In short, Miami was not very good against highly ranked teams with plenty of time to prepare when the game was outside the Orange Bowl. (The destruction of Texas in the 91 Cotton Bowl is the anomaly). And in 1991, the Canes were courted by the Sugar Bowl and one-loss SEC champion Florida. The Canes basically decided they held the high cards, they stayed home in the Orange Bowl, and they routed Nebraska.

Given the other history of Miami - I surmise Spurrier makes their lives miserable. In short, Miami played the tougher schedule, but they also ducked a quality foe. Furthermore, the entire "they beat Florida State" argument is rendered moot when you remember (as few do) that Florida beat the Noles two weeks later far more convincingly than Miami did - and then the Noles snoozed their way to a 10-2 win over the Aggies in the Cotton Bowl.

And then there's the other quality win of a top five team - Miami barely beat Penn State.....the same Penn State who lost to 3-8 USC by 11 points.....the same USC that Washington thumped by 11 points.....

Miami also struggled with 4-7 Boston College, but I'll be kind since that game was the week following the season long hyped showdown with the Noles.

And speaking of quality foes, Tulsa shows why we can't use the winning pct of the opponents in a double blind. Tulsa was 10-2 and finished the year at the bottom of the top 25. How did little Tulsa go 10-2? They played 2 really good teams (Miami and ATM) and upset the Aggies to go 1-1. Then they beat San Diego State to go 2-1. Tulsa's opponents in the other nine games had a combined record of 17-59-3 in the eight wins and a 6-5 Kansas actually beat Tulsa. In other words, one of Miami's four wins over a top 25 team is a sick joke nobody should take seriously.

If Washington had played Miami in 1991, I'm persuaded that the demolition the Canes got from Alabama just one year later would likely have been the result. Unlike Alabama, the Huskies were a pass first explosive offense, but they could also run when needed.



Miami's 1991 team WAS a decent team - don't get me wrong. But they were not the best team of the year, they ducked Florida, and they got the hype Washington didn't get.
 

B1GTide

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The 5th down play equals a loss, IMO. Colorado does not even make my list for that reason. Great team but they lost that game.
 
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BamaJama17

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My biggest issue with the 97 Nebraska team is that they literally won a championship because the refs just hate Missouri. The 97 Nebraska team wasn’t near as good as the 94 and 95 teams. The truth is that both Michigan and Nebraska should probably thank Dinardo and Donnan in eliminating Florida from the mix otherwise Nebraska wouldn’t have gotten choking Manning and Michigan might not have an easy claim.
Well I don’t exactly recall the refs “hating Missouri”. I also believe the ‘97 Huskers were overall better than the ‘94 Huskers though not the ‘95 team. Then again with a healthy Tommie Frazier, I’m sure the ‘94 Huskers would have looked much better then what they already did. Anyways had this happened in ‘07 then obviously NU and UM would play each other due to BCS rules. If the “Flea Kicker” is deemed illegal and Nebraska losses, they still have the tie breaker over Kansas State and still win the Big 12 and probably still go to the the BSCNCG over Tennessee and FSU to play UM. If this happened in ‘17 under the same circumstances against Missouri as mentioned in ‘07 then they still have the tie breaker over Kansas State, win the Big 12, and certainly finish Top 4 thus securing a playoff spot. Now back to 1997...a loss to Missouri simply makes Michigan the only undefeated team and thus the undisputed national champion of 1997 and Nebraska simply the Orange Bowl champions. I still have to give the benefit of the doubt to the “Flea Kicker” the game moves a lot faster on the field than it does from television. There is almost no way that Shevin Wiggins could have seen Matt Davison behind him. Based on the replay I’ve seen it doesn’t even look like it was intentional. Just a very lucky play.
 

81usaf92

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Well I don’t exactly recall the refs “hating Missouri”. I also believe the ‘97 Huskers were overall better than the ‘94 Huskers though not the ‘95 team. Then again with a healthy Tommie Frazier, I’m sure the ‘94 Huskers would have looked much better then what they already did. Anyways had this happened in ‘07 then obviously NU and UM would play each other due to BCS rules. If the “Flea Kicker” is deemed illegal and Nebraska losses, they still have the tie breaker over Kansas State and still win the Big 12 and probably still go to the the BSCNCG over Tennessee and FSU to play UM. If this happened in ‘17 under the same circumstances against Missouri as mentioned in ‘07 then they still have the tie breaker over Kansas State, win the Big 12, and certainly finish Top 4 thus securing a playoff spot. Now back to 1997...a loss to Missouri simply makes Michigan the only undefeated team and thus the undisputed national champion of 1997 and Nebraska simply the Orange Bowl champions. I still have to give the benefit of the doubt to the “Flea Kicker” the game moves a lot faster on the field than it does from television. There is almost no way that Shevin Wiggins could have seen Matt Davison behind him. Based on the replay I’ve seen it doesn’t even look like it was intentional. Just a very lucky play.
1) it was an obvious illegal play

2) What we have is a false claim of a dynasty because everyone wanted Osborne to have a last hurrah after what happened to him in the 80’s. Nebraska lost and Michigan was NCs imo.

3) at least 3 titles in the 90’s were awarded by crappy calls (93,94,and 97). It was basically relief and compensation for the victims of the 80’s string of hurricanes.

4)Davidson has admitted it as intentional kick. So there is no benefit of the doubt of it being a lucky play anymore.
 
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BamaJama17

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1) it was an obvious illegal play

2) What we have is a false claim of a dynasty because everyone wanted Osborne to have a last hurrah after what happened to him in the 80’s. Nebraska lost and Michigan was NCs imo.

3) Davidson has admitted it as intentional kick. So there is no benefit of the doubt of it being a lucky play anymore.
It doesn’t matter what Davidson thinks about it. He isn’t the one who made the kick and he’s not a mind reader. The refs made what they felt is the right call. We see blown calls every year. Wasn’t the pick play Clemson used against Alabama illegal also?

It’s still a dynasty even without 1997. Nebraska won 5 straight Big 8’s from ‘91 to ‘95 and the ‘97 Big 12 championship and still won back to back NC’s undefeated and untied in ‘94 & ‘95.
 

81usaf92

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It’s still a dynasty even without 1997. Nebraska won 5 straight Big 8’s from ‘91 to ‘95 and the ‘97 Big 12 championship and still won back to back NC’s undefeated and untied in ‘94 & ‘95.
*Wiggins admitted to intentionally kicking the ball


It’s not a dynasty if 97 isn’t a national championship season. Close but no cigar. Alabama never started using that term until 12, and Dabo has shot down the D word to describe his team.

The simple truth of the matter is that Osborne was gifted the 3rd title because everyone thought he was a stand up guy that just got unlucky against Miami in the 80’s.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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The 5th down play equals a loss, IMO. Colorado does not even make my list for that reason. Great team but they lost that game.
I thought that at one time, but my bigger beef was with McCartney (Mr Evangelical Christian) sounding like an ungracious jerk. He has since expressed regret, and his explanation for his mindset in the moments right after the game make complete sense.

Where I part with you on this, however, is that Colorado's play sequence is different if they know the downs. They call different plays as early as third down......which makes "Missouri stopped them" a moot point.

The other problem is that:
a) even Missouri got confused on the end of the game
b) some of their coaches knew fourth down was over, but they chose to NOT call timeout and make this point.

In the aftermath, they said that they feared that if they called TO and were wrong, it would give Colorado time to call a better play.


I still think the most amusing truth about it all is that during the work week the head referee had a job as a math teacher.
 

selmaborntidefan

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For those who don't understand how confusing Fifth Down was at the time........I have TWO DIFFERENT COPIES of the game on DVD (transferred from the old VHS tapes).

The FIRST version is "Big 8 Game of the Week", I believe it was on Prime Ticket or some relatively small network like that (I'd have to take a look to verify).

The SECOND version is the telecast on KCNC TV out of Denver.


In the first version, there is a long and drawn out discussion among the two broadcasters. In fact, as it unfolds the lead announcer basically says, "Wait a minute.....that's fourth down," and the color commentator WHO HAD PLAYED FOOTBALL said that it wasn't. After the whole thing finishes, they go to a break. They come back and an interminably long time passes as the announcers try to piece everything together. They finally get word that Colorado HAD, in fact, scored on Fifth Down. They went through the sequence and figured it all out. They decided the delay was because the refs had determined that they'd given five downs to CU.

Eventually, they come out and say to run the PAT (this is because if Missouri blocks it and runs it back, the game will end in a tie). Utter shock follows.


On KCNC, however, they never even noticed the down issue.

It was wrong, and it was confusing.


But it wasn't Colorado's fault.
 

B1GTide

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Not a question of fault. I don't blame them, but I don't credit them with the win either. They lost the game until they were granted an extra play. They lost the game. We can play woulda, coulda, shoulda all day long. They lost the game on 4th down and the officials gave them another chance on 5th down. They did not win their championship. It was handed to them.
 

selmaborntidefan

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1993 Florida State

THE CASE FOR

The "national champions in waiting" finally crossed the threshold into validation, earning a national championship ring about five years after most folks thought they should have. This was a juggernaut. One may well argue that the 93 Noles were not only the best team of the 90s, there is a persuasive argument that they might be the greatest college team of all-time. Washington (1991) had the nation's #2 offense and defense. FSU did that one better, with BOTH the top offense (548 ypg) AND the top defense (9.4 ppg). Bobby Bowden's charges beat FIVE teams with nine wins or more: Clemson, North Carolina, Miami, Florida, and Nebraska. They lost to a sixth - Notre Dame - on the road in South Bend by a narrow touchdown margin. And that loss may well be written off as a fluke: the Irish scheduled their off week right before the showdown with Florida State while the Noles went on the road to Maryland. The Noles ended the Miami dynasty and smashed both the SEC and Big 8 champions. Their win over 9-win Clemson was a 57-0 demolition. The Noles played five ranked teams, beating four of them, facing the nation's toughest schedule.

Only two teams were closer than 12 points at the end of the game......and those two teams had one loss apiece.


THE CASE AGAINST

FSU's 93 title is tainted. Tainted in memory, tainted in vote, hell, tainted by the fact they went on their infamous Free Shoes University spree that fall. It's impossible to be the best team of the 90s when you weren't even the best team of 1993. It's almost like some invisible power WANTED to give Bobby Bowden his trophy. Okay, so Florida State thumped 10-win North Carolina by 26 points. So what? 10-3 Alabama beat the Tar Heels by 14 in the Gator Bowl WITH A BACKUP QUARTERBACK!!!! Sure they thumped 9-win Clemson by 57.....this same overrated North Carolina team we're talking about beat Clemson by 24. They beat 9-win Miami.......so did undefeated West Virginia....and yet the press insisted WVA didn't at least deserve a chance to play the Noles head-to-head.

Oh and don't mislead yourselves on that Notre Dame game. Yeah, Charlie Ward threw a pick at the end of the game. None of the Noles fans ever want to talk about how Ward dug them into a 31-10 hole. And what happened right after they lost? Matt Frier - now known as Matt Cryer - went on TV bawling his eyes out like a little twit and begged the voters "for another chance" despite the fact Nebraska and West Virginia had not even gotten a "first chance." A week later, Boston College lucks into a win over Notre Dame......and somehow (for reasons that mystify intelligent people) this loss to BC meant that the FSU loss never actually happened. What made this worse was that WVA then did what Notre Dame couldn't do - went undefeated AND BEAT Boston College.

Did the media reward WVA for beating the Eagles head to head? No, they relegated them to the Sugar Bowl.

And finally we have the most tainted bowl game in history. Nebraska pwned FSU that entire night. They got a TD called back on a phantom call, FSU got a TD when they didn't even cross the goal line, and despite Nebraska being a huge underdog and the game in the state of Florida, the Noles STILL needed every last second of hope and ref calls to win their tainted title.

The problem with Florida State isn't that they got hyped over Nebraska or West Virginia, it's the fact that their head-to-head loss didn't count but in the past we were repeatedly told this mattered (1978 USC/Alabama, 1989 Miami/Notre Dame) until it didn't.
 

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