The first college football game I ever watched was Miami vs Nebraska in the 2002 Rose Bowl national championship game. Miami won that game 37-14. That Miami team was so great, then it crashed. They would go back to the title game the next year when a questionable pass interference call seemingly ended the Hurricanes.
When the Cincinnati Bengals were the worst team in 2002, some people thought that Miami could beat them. Now, I don’t know about that, but the roster the Hurricanes had would make any NFL team envious. Loaded at every position, Miami got players to the league at a rate I have never seen. Even more than ten years later, many of those players are still in the NFL.
Andre Johnson, Willis McGahee and Ken Dorsey are the guys I remember the most. Besides the brutal Marcus Lattimore injury, I have never seen a play that was as big of a career changer as that McGahee injury. McGahee was such a good college player that he was still drafted 23rd overall even though he would have to miss his rookie season.
Before McGahee was Clinton Portis and after McGahee was Frank Gore. It wasn’t just running backs where they were stacked. On defense they had Jonathan Vilma, Ed Reed, Phillip Buchanon, the late Sean Taylor, D.J. Williams, Antrel Rolle and Vince Wilfork. I wonder if there will ever be a defense that good again.
The offensive line was incredible. Bryant McKinnie, Jerome McDougle, Vernon Carey, Chris Myers and Eric Winston. This team also featured not one, but two future first round draft picks in Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow II. Before them was Bubba Franks, and after them was Greg Olsen. Pair all of them up with the speed that Roscoe Parrish and Devin Hester had and it’s hard to believe that they even lost once.
They were the best college football team I have seen and I’m not sure if I’ll ever see a better one.
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