The Associated Press compiled its all-time top 100 teams based on its weekly rankings. That you find Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Alabama occupying the first four spots shouldn’t surprise anyone considering their long and rich history. Florida State (#9) and Florida (#10) are both ranked in the top ten and Miami is #13, an amazing fact considering that Florida and Miami first appeared in the AP Poll in 1950 and Florida State, which made its debut in 1964, didn’t even start playing football until after World War II. By the time Florida and Miami first appeared in the poll, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Alabama had already won so much that they were considered among the elite in the game.
All things considered, it’s safe to say that the state’s big three didn’t really emerge from college football’s dark ages until the 1960s, an era when Florida produced Heisman Trophy QB Steve Spurrier, FSU produced legendary receiver Fred Biletnikoff and Miami unleashed The Mad Stork, defensive end Ted Hendricks.
But, take it a step further. Since 1983, Miami (5), Florida (3) and FSU have accounted for 11 of 33 national championships. No other state can make that claim. FSU has held the #1 ranking 72 weeks while Miami has held #1 for 67 weeks and Florida 41. Miami won three of its five national titles in the 1980s (1983, 1987, 1989). FSU won two of its three in the 1990s (1993, 1999) and Florida won two of its three in the 2000s (2006, 2008).
From 1990-2001, Florida schools won five national championships (Miami 1991, 2001; Florida State 1993, 1999) and Florida (1996) and played in the national championship game 10 times (Miami 1991-93; Florida State (1993, 1996, 1998-2000) and Florida (1995-96). Since 2000, Florida has won two national titles while Miami (2001) and FSU (2013) have each brought home one.
Miami’s five national championships were won with four coaches (Howard Schnellenberger 1983; Jimmy Johnson 1987; Dennis Erickson 1989, 1991; and Butch Davis (2001). Steve Spurrier won the 1996 title for the Gators while Urban Meyer won in 2006 and 2008. Bobby Bowden, who had a record top four finish for 14 consecutive years (1987-2000), won the national titles at FSU in 1993 and 1999 while Jimbo Fisher won in 2013.
One other interesting fact: Florida has appeared in the AP poll 562 weeks while Florida State has been there 540 times and Miami 458.
The All-Time AP Top 25
How points were scored: 1 point for each week in the top 25; 2 points for a #1 rank; 10 points for an AP national championship
(SEC teams in bold face)
1. Ohio State (1,112 points; ranked #1 105 weeks; 5 national titles)
2. Oklahoma (1,055 points; ranked #1 100.5 weeks, 7 national titles)
3. Notre Dame (1,042 points; ranked #1 98 weeks; 8 national titles)
4. Alabama (993 points; ranked #1 74 weeks; 10 national titles)
5. Southern Cal (974 points; ranked #1 90.5 weeks; 5 national titles)
6. Nebraska (901 points; ranked #1 72 weeks; 4 national titles)
7. Michigan (894 points; ranked #1 34 weeks; 2 national titles)
8. Texas (822 points; ranked #1 44.5 weeks; 3 national titles)
9. Florida State (714 points; ranked #1 72 weeks; 3 national titles)
10. FLORIDA (674 points; ranked #1 41 weeks; 3 national titles)
11. LSU (655 points; ranked #1 30 weeks; 2 national titles)
12. Penn State (647 points; ranked #1 19 weeks; 2 national titles)
13. Miami (642 points; ranked #1 67 weeks; 5 national titles)
14. Tennessee (624 points; ranked #1 18 weeks; 2 national titles)
15. Georgia (572 points; ranked #1 15 weeks; 1 national title)
16. Auburn (570 points; ranked #1 9 weeks; 2 national titles)
17. UCLA (535 points; ranked #1 7 weeks; 0 national titles)
18. Texas A&M (477 points; ranked #1 6.5 weeks; 1 national title)
19. Michigan State (443 points; ranked #1 29 weeks; 1 national title)
20. Washington (430 points; ranked #1 14.5 weeks; 0 national titles)
21. Arkansas (412 points; ranked #1 1 week; 0 national titles)
22. Clemson (411 points; ranked #1 7 weeks; 1 national title)
23. Pitt (356 points; ranked #1 21 weeks; 2 national titles)
24. Wisconsin (336 points; ranked #1 1 week; 0 national titles)
25. Iowa (329 points; ranked #1 7 weeks; 0 national titles)
Other SEC teams in the top 100:
29. Ole Miss
46. Mississippi State
48. South Carolina
SEC COACHING RECORDS/SALARIES
Here are the career records of the 14 SEC football coaches, salary in parenthesis:
1. Nick Saban, Alabama ($8.9 million): 196-60-1
2. Les Miles, LSU ($4.7 million): 140-53
3. Bret Bielema, Arkansas ($4.06 million): 86-44
4. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M ($5 million): 71-33
5. Butch Jones, Tennessee ($4.9 million): 71-44
6. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss ($5.14 million): 64-25
7. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State ($4.8 million): 55-35
8. Gus Malzahn, Auburn ($5.4 million): 36-16
9. Jim McElwain, Florida ($4.25 million): 32-20
10. Will Muschamp, South Carolina ($4 million): 28-21
11. Mark Stoops, Kentucky ($3.4 million): 12-24
12. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt ($2.4 million): 7-17
No coaching record: Kirby Smart, Georgia ($3.75 million); Barry Odom, Missouri ($2.35 million)
The top 15 Division I coaches with at least 138 wins:
1. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame: 226-80-2
2. Nick Saban, Alabama: 196-60-1
3. Bill Snyder, Kansas State: 193-101-1
4. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma: 179-46
5. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech: 168-83
6. Terry Bowden, Akron: 159-92-2
7. Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati: 155-91
8. Willie Fritz, Tulane: 154-69
9. Urban Meyer, Ohio State: 154-27
10. Mark Richt, Miami: 145-51
11. Gary Patterson, TCU 143-47
12. Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan: 142-67
13. Les Miles, LSU: 140-53
14. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: 139-108
15. Frank Solich, Ohio: 138-80
SEC ON SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’S PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAMS
Sports Illustrated’s preseason All-America teams are top-heavy Alabama. The Crimson Tide has five first teamers and three on the second team, part of a contingent of 19 players from the SEC to make the preseason squad. LSU had three players named while Texas A&M and Auburn each had two. Florida’s only representative was second team cornerback Jalen Tabor.
First team offense: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU; Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama; Cam Robinson, T, Alabama
First team defense: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M; Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama; Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
First team special teams: JK Scott, P, Alabama; Evan Berry, KR, Tennessee
Second team offense: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M; O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama; Ethan Pocic, C, LSU; Braden Smith, G, Auburn
Second team defense: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri; Carl Lawson, DE Auburn; Tim Williams, LB, Alabama; JALEN TABOR, CB, FLORIDA; Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama; Jamal Adams, S, LSU
UNC RESPONDS TO THE NCAA
Okay, make sure you aren’t drinking coffee when you read this because it might burn your nostrils and screw up your computer keyboard when you spew it out after reading what North Carolina actually – I do not have to make this up – told the NCAA in its response to a slew of violations centering around academic fraud that ran rampant throughout the athletic department for 18 years.
In response to the charge of lack of institutional control, the university responded: “Issues related to UNC-Chapel Hill’s academic irregularities are the proper subject of review by SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Committee on Colleges), its accrediting agency – not the NCAA, its athletic association.”
In other words, “Up yours NCAA, we refuse to recognize your authority in this matter.” If you want to talk about arrogance, this is it.
As if the NCAA essentially turning a blind eye to all the allegations against UNC men’s basketball – numerous among the 47% of the 3,100 students who were found to be involved in a scandal that involved the school’s Afro-American studies department – isn’t a fair enough reward, the school is telling the NCAA to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine and keep it there. There was ample evidence to punish Roy Williams and the men’s basketball program or Anson Dorrance and the Carolina, which is the gold standard of the NCAA, but instead the NCAA le them skate while focusing an inordinate amount of attention on the women’s basketball program and former UNC professor Jan Boxill, who allegedly helped the women’s team by doing homework and take home quizzes.
The NCAA has far too often exceeded its authority, but if anything, the organization has shirked its responsibility in the case of North Carolina where the fraud was so widespread throughout the entire athletic department. Coaches are doing the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil impersonations. There is easily enough evidence to shut down the entire UNC athletic program, particularly since all the academic fraud charges occurred within the five year window of Carolina coming off a major probation for football under the watchful (inject as much sarcasm as you want there) eye of Butch Davis. You would think Carolina is grateful that men’s basketball isn’t taking a direct hit or that the fraud case nails football for the second time since 2010.
Carolina’s response to the NCAA is defiant and a direct challenge. If the NCAA backs down, it’s forever finished as an organization.
My guess: The NCAA caves and that sets the stage for the power conferences to withdraw football from the NCAA where they will write their own rulebook and set their own standards. This could be the NCAA’s worst nightmare because it could also lead to the power group to add a sixth conference and cap its organization at 80 teams, producing an 8-team championship playoff that includes the six conference champs and two wildcards. It’s not as far fetched as it seems. It could actually happen.
It is being reported by seccountry.com that Florida and Alabama are the only two SEC teams that have never stormed the field after a football win. When it comes to Florida, it should be amended to say that fans have never stormed the field at The Swamp. The old Gator Bowl is somewhat of a different story in that Fightin' Gators regular HalleyGator was photographed in a sea of Gator fans while sitting on the crossbar of the goal post on November 10, 1984, after the Gators had disposed of Georgia, 27-0.
Now that the NCAA has closed the book on Missouri basketball violations by accepting the self-imposed penalties and adding just one more year to the probation, it’s time for the organization to break out its version of Lysol and aim it straight at Tulsa where slimy Frank Haith is now the coach. Good old Frank left Missouri for the Tulsa job four days after the NCAA sent a letter of inquiry to Mizzou. He put Miami on probation prior to taking the Missouri job and it’s only a matter of time before he does the same thing to Tulsa. If the NCAA can give a 10-year show cause to former Southern Miss and Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall, then the least it can do for the good of college basketball is give slimy Frank Haith 10 or 15 years show cause.
British cyclist Lizzie Armitstead missed three drug tests during a 12-month period which could have gotten her a 2-year ban from the sport. Faced with possible suspension she went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and won an appeal that clears her to race at the Olympics in Rio. Really? Armitstead said she has “always been and always will be a clean athlete.” Really? So why did she avoid drug testing for an entire year?
As if Baylor University hasn’t had enough trouble with its players and violence against women, OL Rami Hammad is facing felony stalking charges for allegedly tracking down his girlfriend, harassing and twice physically assaulting her.
It is being reported that Alabama is blocking the transfer of defensive back Maurice Smith, who will graduate shortly and wishes to play his senior year at Georgia for his former Bama DC (now Georgia HBC) Kirby Smart and former Bama secondary coach (now Georgia DC) Mel Tucker. Smith can play immediately wherever he goes but he has to have a release from Alabama.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
How do you think the NCAA respond to essentially what is an up yours from UNC? Will it lower the boom or will it meekly let Carolina get away with what might be the worst academic fraud for an athletic department that we’ve ever seen?
MUSIC FOR TODAY
When I listen to Alison Krauss I forget that she’s considered a bluegrass-country singer. Her voice is that pure and it just makes me close my eyes and listen to each word and the extraordinary harmony and instrumental background from her band Union Station. There is a reason why she’s won 27 Grammies, most of any female in history and tied for second place with Quincy Jones in all Grammy categories.