Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"U" Stands For Unranked

Until their blowout loss to Louisville, the Miami Hurricanes had been ranked in the AP Top 25 for 107 consecutive weeks. The streak, which had been the longest in the country, began on November 28, 1999. Instead of examining what's wrong in South Florida, or bashing the 'Canes, we're going to hop into our time machine(thanks Doc!) and head back to the '99 season. Just to get a feel for exactly how long ago that was.

Leader, Rushing: LaDainian Tomlinson. That's right, back in '99 LT2 was shredding college run defenses to the tune of 168yds per game. To really get a feel for how long ago '99 was, he edged out Ron Dayne for first place by 16 yards. Shaun Alexander finished 10th, 451yds behind Dayne.

Leader, Passing Efficiency: Michael Vick. Wow, I remember Vick being a good college QB, but not that good. Though, his 180.4 rating is a bit skewed because he only attempted 152 passes. Things never change do they? Second place went to Joe Hamilton, and rounding out the top 5 were Chad Pennington, Billy Volek and Tim Rattay. Tom Brady really was the most talented passer of that draft after all(sorry Marc Bulger fans).

Leader, Receiving Yards Per Game: Trevor Insley. Trevor who? Exactly. Though Insley does hold the record for Division-1 receiving yards(5,005), most 200-yard receiving games(6), and most 100-yard receiving games(26). In '99, Insley averaged 187.27 receiving yards per game. Also appearing on the list were, Dennis Northcutt(118.5/gm), Peter Warrick(103.78/gm), Darrell Jackson(96.33/gm), Todd Pinkston(88.82/gm), Plaxico Burress(87.00/gm) and Steve Smith(78.18/gm).

Leader, Scoring: Shaun Alexander. In '99, Alexander scored 24TD's, and averaged 13pts per game by himself. Travis Prentice averaged 11.45pts/gm, Sebastian Janikowski averaged 10.55pts/gm, Ron Dayne 10.36pts/gm and Frank Moreau 10.20pts/gm.

Team Leader, Rushing Offense: Navy. Yep, in 1999 the Midshipmen lead Division-1 teams with an average of 292.2 yards per game. Air Force, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Army rounded out the top 5. That's right, three Military Academies in the top 5.

Team Leader, Passing Offense: Louisiana Tech. LaTech's passing offense rode Tim Rattay's arm to the #1 spot by averaging 403.1 yards passing per game. Louisville was second(it seems like they've always had a high power offense), Hawaii third, Purdue fourth and Tulane was fifth.

Team Leader, Total Offense: Georgia Tech. GaTech averaged 509.36 yards per game in '99. Others in the top 5 were Nevada(472yds/gm), Arizona(471.92yds/gm), LaTech(471.00yds/gm) and Stanford(467.09yds/gm). Damn, I guess Willingham did have some success at Stanford.

Team Leader, Scoring Offense: Virginia Tech. Mike Vick and the Hokies averaged 41 points per game in 1999. GaTech was second with 40.7pts/gm, Kansas State third with 39.4pts/gm, and Louisville and Florid State tied for fourth with 37.5pts/gm.

Team Leader, Rushing Defense: Mississippi State. Miss. State led the country in rush defense, allowing an average of 66.9yds/gm(they were pretty good for a few years there, 10-2 in '99). Alabama was second with an average of 75.3yds/gm, VaTech third at 75.9yds/gm, Mississippi fourth with 76.9yds/gm and Michigan State fifth with 77.0yds/gm. Even seven years ago SEC teams had tough run defenses.

Team Leader, Passing Efficiency Defense: Kansas State. K-State lead the nation in pass eficiency defense, holding opposing QB's to an average rating of 65.7. Nebraska was second with a rating of 87.9. Marshall third with 92.2. Mississippi State and Fred Smoot(insert joke here___) were fourth with 93.3, and Wisconsin fifth with 96.3.

National Champions, Florida State. It's been seven years since Chris Weinke, Peter Warrick and Bobby Bowden brought FSU's second National Championship to Tallahassee. Warrick was a Heisman hopeful, but saw his chances evaporate after being suspended two games for a shopping mall scam(nowadays people probably wouldn't care half as much). However, Warrick redeemed himself in the championship win against VaTech with 3 TD's(2 receiving/1 punt return) and a 2-pt conversion catch. FSU won 46-29.

Heisman Trophy Winner, Ron Dayne. Dayne, the "Thunder" of so many failed "Thunder and Lightning" combos, beat out runner-up Joe Hamilton by 1,048 points. Hamilton has had more success than Dayne football-wise, as he's played quite well in the AFL(led Orlando to the Arena Bowl in '06). Michael Vick finished third, Drew Brees finished fourth and Chad Pennington was fifth.

So there you have it, a recap of the year that was 1999. Bill Clinton was President, it was the year of the Crab, and the Miami Hurricanes were unranked.

1 comment:

Sparky Duck said...

Maybe the U should consider switching to the Triple Option/Wishbone afterall