Associated Press ranks best national champions of the BCS era
The Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush-led Southern Cal Trojans of 2004 had the ‘ultimate No. 1 team of the BCS era’ according to a recent ranking released by The Associated Press.
The AP asked every one of its Top 25 poll voters to rank the top champions of the BCS era. Ken Dorsey and the NFL-loaded Miami Hurricanes of 2001 came in at No. 2, just ahead of Mark Ingram and the unbeaten Crimson Tide of 2009.
Two of Tim Tebow’s Florida teams finished just ahead of Cam Newton and unbeaten Auburn of 2010.
RELATED: SEC’s best teams of the BCS era
Here’s the final tally:
- USC, 2004
- Miami, 2001
- Alabama, 2009
- Texas, 2005
- Oklahoma, 2000
- Florida State, 2013
- Florida, 2008
- Florida, 2006
- Auburn, 2010
The AP’s thoughts on each of the SEC’s best during the BCS era:
Alabama, 2009: The Crimson Tide went 14-0 with a team that featured a record six Associated Press first-team All-Americans. The list of All-Americans included Heisman Trophy-winning running back Mark Ingram. The Tide closed the season by whipping defending national champion Florida 32-13 for the SEC title and defeating Texas 37-21 in the BCS championship game.
Florida, 2008: Urban Meyer captured his second title in three years with Tim Tebow at the controls. The Gators sidestepped a Game 4 loss to Mississippi — at home, no less — and averaged almost 50 points a game over the next nine starts before dispatching top-ranked Oklahoma 24-14 at the Orange Bowl.
Florida, 2006: Setting a template they would follow two years later, the Gators came into the title game an underdog and ranked No. 2 to a powerhouse. After Ohio State’s Ted Ginn Jr. returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, Meyer and his swarming defense, and an offense led by H-back Percy Harvin and the two-headed QB tandem of Chris Leak and Tebow rolled to a 41-14 laugher.
Auburn, 2010: Perhaps the Tigers’ biggest victory was just keeping Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton eligible amid allegations that he had accepted improper inducements to come to Auburn. Newton guided the Tigers on a game-winning that ended with Wes Byrum’s title-clinching FG with no time left for a 22-19 win over Oregon.