Down 29-24 to Eastern Kentucky in the I-AA championship game and facing a fourth down and less than 0:10 to play from the Colonel 14, quarterback Joe Aliotti rolled right and threw back across the field to a wide-open Duane Dlouhy in the end zone to give the Broncos a 31-29 win and the national championship.
Sophomore Jared Zabransky threw for three TDs and ran for another to lead Boise State to a 53-34 win over visiting Oregon State, giving the Broncos their first-ever win over a Pac-10 school. The triumph avenged a loss to the Beavers a year earlier and extended BSU’s winning streak to 13 games, a string they would eventually push to 22.
Eight months later, with the nation still not convinced of Boise State’s prowess, despite the Fiesta win, the Broncos traveled across the country to whip Virginia Tech in northern Virginia, 33-30. Kellen Moore’s third TD pass of the game, a 13-yarder to Austin Pettis with 1:09 left, secured the victory and further established BSU as a national power.
Tied 10-10 with Texas Christian in the fourth quarter of the Fiesta Bowl and facing a fourth-and-nine from its own 33, Boise State got tricky again. Punter Kyle Brotzman threw a 30-yard pass to tight end Kyle Efaw on a play called “The Riddler,” prolonging a drive that ultimately ended in Doug Martin’s two-yard TD run in a 17-10 victory.
After years of modest success, the Broncos earned a Fiesta Bowl berth and upset heavily favored Oklahoma. Trailing 35-28 with less than a minute left, the Broncos used a hook-and-lateral play to earn the tying touchdown. After spotting the Sooners a TD in overtime, BSU pulled within one and then shocked everyone by lining up for a two-point conversion. Quarterback Jared Zabransky faked a pass and hands the ball to Ian Johnson on the Statue of Liberty play. Johnson waltzed into the end zone to give Boise State a 43-42 win and then proposed to his girlfriend, a BSU cheerleader.
HEAD COACH: Les Miles, 85-21 (8 years) |
OFF. COORDINATOR: Cam Cameron |
DEF. COORDINATOR: John Chavis
Zach Mettenberger is back for his second year as a starter after a junior season that was ushered in with huge expectations — perhaps too big — and wavered between disappointing, mediocre and effective. He wound up with 2,609 passing yards, but only 12 touchdowns against seven interceptions. New offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has a reputation as a strong tutor of quarterbacks, and he could be a huge influence on Mettenberger in a season in which LSU needs its quarterback to be productive.
In the backfield, Jeremy Hill exploded as a go-to back midway through his freshman campaign and led the Tigers with 755 rushing yards. His status, however, is in doubt after he was arrested in late April after allegedly punching a man outside of a bar. If Hill is not available, LSU, as usual, has other quality options in the backfield. Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard both spent time as the lead back last season.
Receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry were special at times in 2012, but way too ordinary at others. They need to limit their drops and improve their route-running. Junior college transfer Quantavius Leslie could give LSU a home run threat.
The Tigers go into the season with four veterans up front, augmented by a host of promising newcomers. The one major hole is at center, where Elliott Porter takes over for three-year starter P.J. Lonergan. The right side seems fairly locked down, with Trai Turner and Vadal Alexander back at guard and tackle, respectively.
The rebuilding of the defense begins up front, although this isn’t exactly a starting-from-scratch project. In fact, the experienced players back — Jermauria Rasco, Anthony Johnson, Ego Ferguson and Danielle Hunter — may be more athletic and potentially more explosive in terms of generating a pass rush than the recently departed group.
No player was more valuable to the LSU defense in 2012 than departed linebacker Kevin Minter, who more or less took away the middle of the field. A talented six-man 2012 linebacker recruiting class helps fill the gaps along with one of the state’s best prep players, Kendell Beckwith. Senior Lamin Barrow should also be an anchor after he played a strong second fiddle to Minter with 104 tackles.
There will be some new faces in some prominent roles in the secondary. Cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Jalen Collins were forced into action as true freshmen last fall and showed flashes of a bright future. But both also have to get better across the board for the secondary to improve after a late-season fade cost the Tigers wins against Alabama and Clemson. The safety spots seem to be in good hands, with senior Craig Loston — if he can stay healthy — and junior Ronald Martin.
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Zach Mettenberger, QB – Showed signs of being an All-SEC-caliber quarterback at times and now has a new offensive coordinator to help him find consistency.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR – The Tigers need Beckham to limit his drops and use his athleticism (16.6 ypc) to produce big plays.
La’el Collins, OL – Gives the Tigers a veteran to plug in at left tackle or one to keep at left guard if a younger lineman emerges. Either way, he is the anchor up front.
Lamin Barrow, LB – Overshadowed by Kevin Minter, but he was one of the stalwarts in a linebacker corps that helped camouflage some inexperience and youth in the secondary.
Anthony Johnson, DT – Blossomed as a sophomore as a run-stuffer and pass-rusher and comes back as LSU’s best and most experienced man on the front four.
Yes, LSU even got stung by early departures in the kicking department when wacky but talented punter Brad Wing left for the NFL. But another strong-legged Australian, Jamie Keehn, showed his value in the bowl game when he averaged 44.6 yards per kick. The placekicking spot is up for grabs between junior James Hairston, who has kicked off the last few seasons, and walk-on Colby Delahoussaye.
The Tigers were hit hard by early departures to the NFL, leaving only 10 starters returning in 2013. The cupboard isn’t bare for Les Miles, but the Tigers are behind Alabama and Texas A&M in the SEC West pecking order. LSU won’t abandon its run-first approach on offense, but Cameron, the new coordinator, is tasked with getting more production from Mettenberger. The defense has plenty of young talent and will get better as the season progresses. However, there will be an adjustment period with the departure of six key linemen, an All-SEC linebacker and two starters in the secondary.
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Zach Mettenberger needs a big season for LSU to contend in the SEC West.
LSU had national title aspirations in 2012 but losses to Florida and Alabama pushed the Tigers to a 10-2 mark at the end of the regular season.
Getting LSU to a spot in the national championship will be even more challenging for Les Miles in 2013, as the Tigers lost a handful of key contributors on defense, and the offense is still a question mark.
Mississippi fans are still angry about this one. With 0:04 to play, LSU quarterback Bert Jones faded back, pump faked and threw an interception – in only three seconds. Or so said the Tiger clock operator. The one second remaining on the clock gave Jones the chance to hit Brad Davis in the corner of the end zone to give the Tigers a 17-16 win over the Rebels and extend the LSU winning streak to 12 games.
Trailing underdog Kentucky on the road, 30-27, with just 0:11 left and the ball on their own nine, the Tigers made history. After a 17-yard toss from Marcus Randall to Michael Clayton, Randall heaved the ball downfield, where it was tipped and wound up in the hands of Devery Henderson, who finished the 74-yard TD hookup. Kentucky players had already doused coach Guy Morriss with Gatorade, and some fans were tearing down the goalposts to celebrate the upset, but LSU’s “Bluegrass Miracle” spoiled the fun.
LSU spotted Ohio State a 10-0 lead and then roared back to score 31 consecutive points en route to a 38-24 win over the Buckeyes and a second BCS championship. QB Matt Flynn, who missed the SEC title game win over Tennessee with an injury, threw four touchdown passes to help the Tigers become the first two-loss champ of the BCS era.
The Tigers’ stifling defense controlled Oklahoma’s Heisman-winning QB, Jason White, holding him to 13-of-37 passing, and LSU used TD runs from Skyler Green and Justin Vincent and an interception return by Marcus Spears to overcome the Sooners, 21-14, and win their first BCS title.
The top-ranked and defending national champion Tigers were down, 3-0, in the fourth quarter of their Halloween night game with Mississippi, when all-America and eventual Heisman winner Billy Cannon took a punt at his own 11-yard line. Heading up the right sideline, Cannon shrugged off seven would-be Rebel tacklers and went 89-yards to give LSU the lead. Later in the game, he secured LSU’s 7-3 win by teaming with Warren Rabb to stop an Ole Miss runner at the Tiger one on fourth down.
Capone is one of only eight LSU players in history to be named a two-time All-American, as he earned such recognition in 1972 and 1973. He led the Tigers to three straight bowl appearances. Inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame in 1988, Capone is considered one of, if not the, best linebacker in LSU history. After one year in the World Football League, Capone played a few years in the NFL with Dallas and New Orleans. (Editor’s Note: This one was a brutal decision as Charles Alexander, Al Richardson and Ben Wilkerson all got serious consideration for this slot).
After his redshirt seasons, Faneca was voted SEC Freshman of the Year by the Knoxville News Sentinel in 1995. He was a second-team All-American the following year and became an Outland Trophy finalist by the 1997 season – the first in school history. He started 36 games in his LSU career and allowed only one sack, finishing with 210 pancake blocks. He was selected by the Steelers with the 26th overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. He went to nine Pro Bowls and won Super Bowl XL.
As a true freshman, Landry started 10 games on what turned out to be the first LSU National Championship team since 1958. The elite safety is credited with 48 straight starts for the Tigers, finishing with 315 tackles and 12 interceptions – good for seventh and third highest in school history. A three-time All-SEC performer, Landry earned All-American honors as a senior before being drafted with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.
This talented cornerback is probably the best coverman in school history. A two-time All-American – the school’s first in nearly two decades – Webster anchored the outside of the 2003 National Championship team. Webster tied an LSU single-game record with three interceptions against Florida in 2002 and finished second all-time in school history with 16 interceptions. He also owns the school record for passes broken up with 49. He totaled 115 tackles and was selected in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He was a key member of the Super Bowl XLII team that stopped the most prolific offense in NFL history, the New England Patriots.
Originally a tight end, Spears switched to defensive end after his freshman season and became one of the most dominant D-lineman to ever play at LSU. Spears started 38 of his 50 total games at end and finished with 152 tackles, 19 sacks and 34.5 tackles for a loss. He won two SEC Championships and helped lead the Tigers to the 2003 BCS National Championship. A game in which his most memorable play took place. Early in the third quarter, Spears intercepted an Oklahoma pass and rumbled 20 yards for a touchdown that turned out to be the game-winning points of the 21-14 title victory. Spears was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.
Reed re-wrote the LSU and SEC record books in 2001 when he caught a school record 94 passes for an SEC record 1,740 yards on his way to becoming a consensus All-American selection. As the Biletnikoff Award winner – given to the nation’s best receiver – Reed led the country in yards and yards per game (145.0). He finished his career as the SEC’s all-time leading receiver with 3,001 yards on 167 receptions. In his final game as a Bayou Bengal, Reed set Sugar Bowl records with 14 catches for 239 yards and two scores. Reed owns 17 school or SEC records and was drafted in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
The best player to take snaps for LSU has to be Jones. The Tigers went 26-6-1, went to three bowl games and won an SEC Championship in Jones’ three years at LSU. His senior season, Jones became the first LSU quarterback to be named a consensus All-American. The strong-armed passer finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1972 and his 3,225 yards and 28 touchdowns were a school record at the time. Jones went on to be the second overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts.
Faulk will go down in history as not only one of the most productive LSU Tigers in history but one of the most prolific SEC runners in history. The three-time All-SEC choice was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 1995 before leading the league in rushing as a junior and senior. He is LSU’s all-time leading rusher (4,557) and is the SEC’s career leader in all-purpose yards with 6,833. His 53 total TDs scored also set and SEC record that stood until Tim Tebow broke it. Faulk was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft and has been a key contributor on four Super Bowl teams – three of which won the Lombardi Trophy.
There have not been too many players in any school’s history to put together a year like Mr. Dorsey did in 2007. Dorsey led his team to an SEC Championship, a BCS National Championship, he claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors to go with his Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy, Nagurski Trophy and Lott Trophy. As a two-time All-American, there really wasn’t anything Dorsey had left to accomplish when he was drafted with the fifth pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He started 26 of his last 27 games and finished his career with 170 total tackles, 27 tackles for a loss and 15 sacks.
This guy did it all. He played running back, return man and defensive back. He is also the only three-time All-American in LSU history and only the second LSU Tiger to be named to three All-SEC teams. Each year he played, the versatile competitor won at least nine games with the Tigers’ overall record finishing at 27-7 during his three year run in Baton Rouge. Casanova was so versatile, in fact, that only six years after being drafted in the second round by the Bengals in the 1972 NFL Draft, went into medicine AND politics. He has his medical degree in Ophthalmology and was elected to the state Senate in Louisiana’s 26th district.
HEAD COACH: Will Muschamp, 18-8 (2 years) |
OFF. COORDINATOR: Brent Pease |
DEF. COORDINATOR: D.J. Durkin
Will Muschamp’s second team in Gainesville won games through physical play and a grinding style, but its passing game did not put up a vintage Florida performance. The Gators’ 146.3 passing yards per game were their second-lowest for a season since 1979.
Unquestioned as the primary quarterback, Jeff Driskel will need to improve his field vision and ability to read defenses. The junior is mobile, but he needs to do his part to decrease Florida’s sack totals. Driskel could be an improved quarterback, but he may not have the receivers and tight ends to showcase his ability. The Gators are looking at cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and incoming freshmen, led by Demarcus Robinson, to boost the receiving corps.
At running back, Matt Jones established himself as the top option in the spring, distancing himself from junior Mack Brown and freshman Kelvin Taylor. A physical back at 6'2", 226 pounds, Jones can run through contact and could be an anchor for Florida’s ball control offense. Taylor, the son of Florida legend and NFL running back Fred Taylor, broke Emmitt Smith’s state career rushing record as a junior.
One of the most optimistic developments during the offseason for the Gators’ offense could be the improvement of the line. With Maryland transfer Max Garcia at guard and tackle D.J. Humphries adding weight, the left side of the line could be especially improved. At 280, Humphries is the only projected starter weighing less than 300 pounds.
Is Jeff Driskel one of the SEC's top-five quarterbacks?
Muschamp would prefer to have all his best players on the field at the same time, which presents an interesting dilemma with both Dante Fowler Jr. and Ronald Powell best suited for the “Buck” position, an end/linebacker hybrid. One could end up playing outside linebacker. Dominique Easley, who led the Gators with four sacks last season, can play both defensive end and tackle. If the Gators are thin anywhere up front, it’s at tackle where Sharrif Floyd and Omar Hunter departed.
Linebacker will be the most untested part of the defense, but there’s room for optimism. Sophomore Antonio Morrison moves from outside linebacker to the middle. He’ll be the Gators’ best hitter. Freshman linebacker Daniel McMillian was one of the breakout players of the spring. He has a nose for the ball and could become a starter as a rookie.
Depth is strong at cornerback, enabling Jaylen Watkins and Cody Riggs to play safety. They have a combined 33 career starts, mainly at cornerback. Marcus Roberson is a solid cover corner while Purifoy, who had three forced fumbles and two blocked kicks last season, is the top playmaker. Brian Poole, a special teams contributor as a true freshman, and incoming freshman Vernon Hargreaves III will be tough to ignore even in a crowded backfield.
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Jeff Driskel, QB – The junior became the first quarterback in FBS history to throw four TD passes while passing for fewer than 100 yards when he did so against South Carolina last season.
Loucheiz Purifoy, CB – He’s a returning starter at cornerback, where his nose for the ball prompted Florida coaches to test him at receiver during the spring.
Dominique Easley, DL – His ability to play end or tackle will be an asset for Gators’ line. He led the team with four sacks in 2012.
Antonio Morrison, LB – Big hitter came off the bench to help seal a Florida win over Florida State in Tallahassee last year.
Jaylen Watkins, S – Senior who started 19 games the last two seasons can play corner, safety and nickel.
A ball control offense needs a good punter, and the Gators have that in Kyle Christy. The junior averaged 45.8 yards per kick for a team that finished ninth nationally in net punting. The major question will be at kicker where the Gators will need to find a replacement for Caleb Sturgis, who made 24-of-28 field goals last year. Brad Phillips is the frontrunner for the job.
Florida’s final record looked like a typical season in Gainesville at 11–2 and a Sugar Bowl appearance, but the Gators were a high-wire act for most of the year. What’s most encouraging is that Florida improved in key areas such as physical play and turnover margin (from minus-12 to plus-15).
Expect another tough running game and salty defense, but without an above-average passing attack, the Gators are built for another season of grind-it-out games.
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Recruited as a quarterback, Collinsworth began his Gator career with a bang when he threw a 99-yard touchdown pass in his first career game – which remains tied for the longest touchdown pass in NCAA history. He then switched to wide receiver and posted three consecutive All-SEC seasons – including an All-America campaign in 1980. That year the Gators posted the biggest turnaround in NCAA history, going from 0-10-1 to an 8-4 bowl team. Collinsworth finished with 120 receptions for 1,977 yards and 17 total touchdowns. He was inducted into the Gator Hall of Fame in 1991.
After a stellar freshman season – 873 yards and eight touchdowns – Taylor battled injuries and loaded depth charts for the next two seasons. He played in six games as a sophomore and only seven as a junior, helping the Gators play in back-to-back National Championship games (winning the 1996 title over Florida State). As a senior, and Captain, Taylor rushed for 1,292 yards and 13 touchdowns, earning the team’s MVP award, first-team All-SEC and first-team All-America honors. The school’s fourth-leading rusher of all-time put a stamp on his career in his final game against arch-rival Florida State. In 1997, the Noles were unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the nation when they faced Gators, who were a 31-point underdogs. The back and forth classic was one of Taylor’s finest moments as he carried the Gators to an upset victory with 162 yards and four touchdowns. Many believe it was the greatest game ever played in the Swamp.
This four-year starter helped lead the Gators to three SEC championships in 1991, 1993 and 1994. After two straight All-SEC seasons, Carter was a consensus All-American as a senior after 11.5 sacks in 1994. He was a Lombardi Award semifinalist and one of five Defensive Player of the Year finalists. His 42.5 career tackles for a loss rank seventh in school history, and his 21.5 career sacks rank him fifth all-time. He started 38 of his last 39 games in college. The Gator Hall of Famer was selected with the sixth overall pick of the 1995 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.
Marshall was a three-time All-SEC selection (1981-83) and a two-time consensus All-American (1982, 1983). He was a two-time finalist for the Lombardi Trophy and was named National Defensive Player of the Year by ABC Sports in 1983. In 2008, Marshall was inducted into the NCAA Football Hall of Fame. He finished his Gator career with 343 tackles, a school-record 58 tackles for a loss and 23 sacks. He is also one of only 10 players in NFL history to register at least 20 sacks and 20 interceptions.
Remarkably, Kearse began his Florida career as a safety – a testament to his raw athletic ability. He redshirted during Florida’s run to the national title game (a loss to Nebraska). But in 1996, Kearse earned his nickname “The Freak” as he helped the Gators return to the National Championship game – this time getting the win over Florida State. After 38 tackles and 6.5 sacks, Kearse earned All-SEC honors in 1997 before entering his senior season. The Freak’s final season in Gainesville saw Kearse lead the team in sacks (7.5) for the second time. He posted 54 tackles, was named All-SEC, the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Butkus, Bednarik and Lombardi Trophies. Despite leaving early for the NFL, Kearse finished his UF career with 145 tackles, 16.5 sacks and 34.5 tackles for a loss. The Freak was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans.
After redshirting, Brown began his UF career as an outside linebacker backing up Jevon Kearse. As a sophomore, Brown earned the starting spot, registering 56 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 12 tackles for a loss en route to All-SEC, Walter Camp All-America and Lombari Award recognition. Brown was a team Captain for the 2000 SEC championship team, recording 50 tackles, 10.5 sacks and 14 tackles for a loss playing at defensive end. As a senior, Brown earned consensus All-America honors after a 45-tackle, 13-sack season. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy (for the third year in a row) and Nagurski Trophy. He finished his career with 161 tackles, 47 tackles for a loss and a Gator-record 33 sacks.
In his first varsity action as a sophomore, Youngblood made an instant impact along the defensive line at end and tackle as well as handling the kicking duties (including a game-winning 42-yard field goal in his first-ever game). As a junior in 1969, Youngblood led the Gators to a 9-1-1 mark by setting a single-season school record with 14 sacks. As a senior, Youngblood once again led the team in sacks with 10 and was named an All-American. The Outland Trophy finalist claimed SEC Lineman of the Year honors that season as well. Youngblood is regarded by many as one of the most complete defensive ends in NCAA football history. He was inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame in 1992 and drafted by the Los Angeles Rams with the 20th overall pick in the 1971 NFL Draft.
Few college players have even been as productive or decorated as Wuerffel, who left Florida with the record for career passing yards with 10,875, which was good for fifth all-time (since broken). He set the Florida and SEC single-season passing yards mark with 3,625 (since broken). He also set an SEC record with 114 career touchdown passes – good for second-best in NCAA history. His finished his career with an NCAA-record 163.56 QB-rating and won the most coveted trophy in all of sports in 1996 when he claimed the Heisman Trophy. That year, he also led the Gators to the National Championship. Wuerffel was a two-time All-America selection and won back-to-back Davey O’Brien national QB of the Year Awards. As a two-time first-team Academic All-American, Wuerffel is the only Heisman winner to also claim the Draddy Trophy, which is presented by the NCAA Hall of Fame to the nation’s top scholar-athlete.
The NFL’s all-time leading rusher left Gainesville — after only three seasons — with 58 Florida Gator school records. His 3,928 yards were tops in school history and fifth in SEC history (at the time). In his first career game at Florida, Smith promptly broke the Florida school record for rushing yards in a game with 224 yards on 39 carries against Alabama. A three-time All-America selection, Smith started with National Freshman of the Year honors after 1,341 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first year. After battling a knee injury as a sophomore, he earned consensus All-America honors as a junior after a 1,599-yard, 14-TD campaign in 1989. He broke/set records for single-season rushing, single-game rushing (316 yards against New Mexico), longest rushing play (96 yards against Mississippi State) and career rushing touchdowns (39) among many others. He was named SEC Player of the Year and finished seventh in the Heisman voting. Despite the injury, he led the Gators in rushing three straight seasons. The NCAA Hall of Famer was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft by the Cowboys.
Few players have ever impacted the college football gridiron more than Tim Tebow. His cult following began with his recruitment process and grew during his freshman season, when he played his jump-passing back-up role perfectly and enjoyed being a part of an SEC and National Championship in 2006. In his first season as the starter, Tebow shattered all expectations with 3,286 yards passing, 895 yards rushing and 55 total touchdowns (32 pass, 23 rush). Tebow was a consensus All-American, Davey O’Brien winner and became the first underclassmen to ever win the Heisman Trophy. As a junior, Tebow led the Gators back to the SEC and National Championship, breaking Emmitt Smith’s rushing touchdown record along the way. He finished with 2,747 yards passing, 30 TDs and only four INTs to go with his 673 rushing yards and 12 more rushing trips to paydirt. He was third in the Heisman balloting despite landing more first-place votes than any other finalist. As a senior, the legend led the Gators to an unbeaten regular season before falling just short of a third SEC and BCS national title berth at the hands of the Crimson Tide. Tebow rushed for an SEC record 57 TDs over his career. In 985 passing attempts, he threw only 15 career interceptions. Tebow ended his career with a 176.0 QB rating, 9,286 yards and 88 passing TDs to go with 692 carries for 2,947 yards and 57 TDs on the ground.
The Gators rallied in the final minutes to stun No. 2 Florida State 32-29 and prevent the unbeaten Seminoles from playing for the national title. Doug Johnson hit Jacquez Green for a 63-yard gain that set up Fred Taylor's fourth touchdown with less than two minutes left in front of one of the wildest crowds in the history of The Swamp.
Following a 31-30 home loss to Ole Miss, Tim Tebow gave a speech at his press conference where he promised, among other things, that fans 'will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.' Properly inspired, the Gators did not lose for the remainder of the year and defeated Oklahoma in January to win their third national title.
Steve Spurrier kicked a 40-yard field goal with 2:12 remaining to give Florida a 30-27 win over Auburn and raise the Gators' record to 7-0. Spurrier completed 27 of 40 passes for 259 yards that day -- which was one week before the Heisman votes were due. The performance clinched the school's first Heisman Trophy.
The Gators smoked undefeated and top-ranked Ohio State 41-14 in the BCS national championship game, giving Urban Meyer a national title in just his second year in Gainesville. Florida led 34-14 at halftime and held the Buckeyes, led by Heisman winner Troy Smith, to just 82 yards of total offense.
Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel threw for three TDs to Ike Hilliard and ran for another as the Gators whipped rival Florida State 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl. The win avenged a 24-21 loss to FSU in late November and gave the Gators the first national title in school history.
Brady Hoke should have Michigan in the mix for a BCS bowl.
After recording an 11-2 record in Brady Hoke’s first season, Michigan slid to an 8-5 mark in 2012. A challenging schedule certainly hurt the Wolverines’ win total, as they lost to Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State and South Carolina.
With a lighter slate coming for 2013, Michigan should have a chance to get back into the mix for 10 victories.