Athlon Sports ranks the best dynasties in college football since the AP Poll debuted.
Dynasty is a word that gets tossed around all too liberally by fans and media members alike. However, there are periods of time in sports where the term is not only applicable but completely accurate. The NFL had the Packers of the '60s, the Steelers of the '70s, the 49ers of the '80s, the Cowboys of the '90s and the Patriots of the '00s. The NBA has the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls and soon-to-be Heat dynasties.
Is Clint Chelf the No. 1 quarterback in the Big 12?
The Big 12 should have one of the most wide-open battles at quarterback for first-team all-conference honors in 2013.
TCU’s Casey Pachall is back after a suspension, but he isn’t guaranteed the starting job. Oklahoma’s Blake Bell has a lot of talent and should thrive in his first year as the No. 1 quarterback. However, he has yet to prove he can consistently beat defenses with his arm.
Brown came to Norman as a defensive tackle but after switching to the O-Line as a sophomore, he quickly emerged as — arguably — the best blocker in Sooner history. The two-time All-American paved the way for a record-breaking offense in 2004, winning the Outland Trophy as the nation's best lineman. He did not allow a sack or a QB hurry during that season and led the team with 130 knockdown blocks. He won multiple Big 12 Championships and helped push the Sooners to the BCS National Championship game. Brown was the 13th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints.
There is little doubt that Bradford is the best quarterback to ever suit up for the Sooners. He owns all three yardage records: single game (468), single-season (4,720) and career (8,403). He owns the single-season (50) and career passing touchdown records (88). He posted the two most effecient seasons in OU passing history in both completion percentage (69.5 percent in 2007, 67.9 percent in 2008) and quarterback rating (180.84 in 2008, 176.53 in 2007). He became only the second underclassman (albeit a redshirt) to even win the Heisman Trophy and led his team to the national championship game against Florida. He also set a NCAA freshman record for touchdown passes with 36. Oh yeah, and he did all this in only two seasons — both of which ended in a Big 12 Championship. Bradford threw only 69 passes his junior season after sustaining an injury that ended his college career. He declared for the NFL Draft and was taken with the No. 1 overall pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2010.
One of the most dominant linemen in OU history helped lead the Sooners back to the promised land when he guided the Sooners win the 1985 National Championship. In 1984, Casillas was a first-team All-American. In 1985, he became the only the second Sooner to win the Lombardi Award given to the nation's best lineman. He also earned his second All-America honor as well as the UPI National Lineman of the Year Award and Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year. Casillas finsihed his career with 213 tackles and 18 sacks and became only the second Hispanic member of the NCAA Football Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 2004.
Owens rumbled his way into the Sooner history books as one of the most prolific rushers in school history. He became the second Sooner to win the Heisman Trophy award in 1969 when he rushed for 1,523 yards and 23 touchdowns (still a school record). The previous season, Owens had set the single-season OU rushing mark with 1,649 yards (since broken). His 958 carries are still a school record, and he owns the top seven spots on the single-game carries list, including a record 55 against Oklahoma State in 1969. Owens also set the career rushing touchdown record with 57. Those 57 TDs were a total touchdowns record until 2010 when DeMarco Murray broke it. He topped the 100-yard mark 23 times in his career, won two conference championships and is a member of the NCAA Football Hall of Fame. He was the 19th overall pick in the first round of the 1970 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
One the hardest hitting safeties to ever play the game at any school, Williams helped lead OU back to prominence as a key member of the 2000 National Championship team. As only a sophomore, he started every game and set a Sooner record for tackles for a loss by a defensive back (12). As a junior, "Superman" was immortalized by his flying game-changing tackle of Chris Simms in the Red River Shootout. Williams won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back and the Nagurski Trophy as the country's top overall defensive player. His 22 pass deflections in 2001 are a Sooner record and his 44 career deflections rank second all-time. Williams was the eighth overall pick 2002 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.
Arguably the most complete tight end in NCAA history, Jackson played primarily in a wishbone offense yet still averaged over 23 yards per catch for his career and was named an All-American in each of his final two seasons. He helped lead the Sooners to the 1985 National Championship. Oklahoma was 42-5-1 during Jackson's time in Norman, and he finished with 62 catches for 1,407 yards. Jackson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and was later named the OU Offensive Player of the Century. He was the 13th overall pick in the 1988 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
The "Boz" has to be the best linebacker to ever suit up for Oklahoma — despite all of the off-the-field drama. Bosworth, the only two-time winner of the Butkus Award, was at his best in big games. His 413 career tackles rank seventh all-time in school history in only three years of action. The two-time All-American and three-time all-league selection was linked to anabolic steriods but was also an Academic All-American. Bosworth was selected in the first round of the 1987 Supplemental Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
With 4,118 yards, Sims is the Sooners' all-time leading rusher. He also owns the most coveted trophy in all of sports — the Heisman Trophy (1978). Sims set a conference rushing mark with 1,896 yards and led the nation by averaging over 7.0 yards per carry. That year, Sims almost set the single-season OU rushing touchdowns record, but missed by one score with 22 trips to paydirt. However, he tied fellow OU Heisman winner Steve Owens for that very record the next year when he capped his stellar career with a 23-TD season —giving him 45 rushing scores in two seasons. Sims topped the 100-yard mark 20 times and scored 53 total touchdowns in illustrious career. He played very little — 15 carries for 95 yards and two touchdowns — during his freshman season due to injuries, but Sims was still a part of the 1975 National Championship team. He was taken with the No. 1 overall pick of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
It didn't take long for Peterson to establish himself as a star. He set an NCAA freshman rushing record with 1,925 yards and led the nation with 339 carries in 2004. Peterson helped lead the Sooners to the National title game and finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Despite missing four games as a sophomore, A.D. still managed to top the 1,200-yard mark. As a junior, Peterson injured his collarbone in a flukey dive into the end zone after a 53-yard touchdown run. Even though he missed big chunks of time over his final two seasons, Peterson still managed to rush for the third highest total in school history with 4,045 yards. He "fell" to the Minnesota Vikings at the seventh overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
They don't come much better than Selmon. Playing alongside two of his brothers, Loucious and Dewey, for his first two seasons, Selmon blossomed into a star on the defensive line. By 1974, he was the key cog in one of the most dominant Sooner defenses in history and helped OU to two straight National Championships, in '74 and '75. He claimed the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman. He finished his career with over 330 tackles and what would have been a school record 40 sacks (the stat technically did not exist until 1982 and was loosely kept since 1963). The all-time great was drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1976 NFL Draft.
Top-ranked Oklahoma used its “fast-break” offense to score three second-half touchdowns and overcome number-three Maryland, 20-6, in the Orange Bowl to claim the national championship. It was the 30th straight win for the Sooners and the second number-one finish in three seasons.
After spotting top-ranked Nebraska a 14-0 lead, number-two Oklahoma stormed back to earn a 31-14 win, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Huskers and ending NU’s 13-game winning string. QB Josh Heupel threw for 300 yards and a touchdown, and linebacker Rocky Calmus registered 17 tackles.
This one was all about the defense. Oklahoma held Penn State to 103 yards rushing and picked off four Nittany Lion passes in a 25-10 Orange Bowl win that secured OU’s sixth national crown. Linebacker Brian Bosworth had 13 tackles, and QB Jamelle Holieway and tight end Keith Jackson connected on a 71-yard TD.
The Ohio State crowd was chanting, “Block that kick!” so Sooners kicker Uwe von Schamann decided to play along. After “directing” the cheers, he drilled a 41-yard field goal that gave Oklahoma a dramatic 29-28 win over the Buckeyes.
Earlier in the day, top-ranked Ohio State had lost to UCLA in the Rose Bowl, so if the Sooners could knock off Michigan, they would be national champs. Thanks to touchdown runs by Billy Brooks – on an end around – and QB Steve Davis, OU earned a 14-6 victory and its first national crown under Barry Switzer.
Spring practice has ended, here are all the key injuries, personnel decisions and storylines
Depending on your point of view, spring practice is either a respite from the football-free months of winter and a taste of things to come in August. On the other hand, it’s only appealing to the hardcore football fan.
Sure, there’s the same questions every year -- is my team’s defense really good or is the offense really bad, or vice versa. But there’s also plenty of news and notes.
Who are the greatest college running backs of the BCS era?
Greatness is defined in so many different ways. Statistical production, individual awards, team success, longevity, supporting cast, level of competition, raw talent and athletic ability all factor heavily in determining overall greatness. Sometimes, you simply know greatness when you see it.
So all factors were considered when trying to determine who the greatest running backs of the BCS era have been. Here are the Top 50 ball carriers since the BCS was implemented in 1998:
Baylor's Lache Seastrunk ranks as the top Big 12 running back for 2013.
With Lache Seastrunk’s emergence late in the 2012 season, and another solid year from Kansas’ James Sims, the Big 12 has two top-tier options for 2013. Seastrunk was on a tear at the end of the year and should post even bigger numbers with a full season as Baylor’s No. 1 back. Sims missed three games last year, yet finished with more than 1,000 yards.