Teams of The Decade

By Anthony Casson

The decade, spanning from 1999-2009, has seen a lot of drama. Universities that started the decade with championships haven’t come through. Instead of the dominant groups of the nineties continuing to win, teams like Oklahoma, Texas, and USC have made strong statements.

#1- USC:  While it took until 2002 for the Trojans to get the program in top shape, the team has been one of the most widely recognized and respected teams since then.

  • 2 National championships
  • 3 Heisman winners
  • 7 BCS bowls, including NC games
  • 7 Pac 10 conference championships
  • 7 10-plus game winning seasons
  • 2 coaches (Hackett, Carroll)

#2- Oklahoma: The Sooners are relegated to the second spot. One National Championship in four appearances showed they were a very strong team this decade and also that following through isn’t their thing.

  • 4 Heisman candidates (Heupel, White, Peterson, Bradford)
  • 2 Heisman winners
  • 1 national championship
  • 4 national championship appearances
  • 6 Big 12 championships
  • 7 Big 12 South championships
  • 1 coach (Stoops)
  • Bowl appearances every year this decade
  • 7 BCS bowl games, including 4 NC appearances

#3- Texas: The University of Texas is listed as having the most lucrative football program by Forbes. This isn’t surprising when you consider everything they have accomplished the last 10 years. A troubling stat, however, is that only two Big 12 Championships were won.

  • 1 national championship, 2 NC appearances
  • 2 Big 12 championships
  • 5 Big 12 South championships (2008 was shared between OU and TT)
  • 1 coach (Brown)
  • 4 BCS bowls, including 2 NC games
  • 9 10-plus game winning seasons (Longest streak in NCAA since 2001)
  • Every year with at least 9 wins since 1998 (best in NCAA)
  • Bowl appearance every year of this decade
  • 2 Heisman contenders (Young, McCoy)

#4- Florida: It may seem harsh to put such a dominant Gators team back at No. 4. Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer have brought total glory to Gainesville; the great talent elsewhere should also be mentioned. I’m not ranking teams of the last five years though.

  • 2 National Championships
  • 3 SEC championships
  • 5 SEC East championships
  • Bowl appearances every year this decade
  • 1 Heisman winner
  • 5 10-plus game winning seasons
  • 3 coaches (Spurrier, Zook, Meyer)
  • 6 BCS bowl appearances, including NC games

#5- LSU: Louisiana State has had success with two different coaches. The team has also competed well against the rest of a powerful SEC conference. Their National Championship victory against Ohio State gives them the No. 5 mention ahead of the Buckeyes.

  • 3 conference championships
  • 2 national championships
  • 5 SEC West championships
  • 10 bowl games
  • 5 10-plus game winning seasons, with a possible 6th at the Capital One Bowl
  • 2 coaches (Saban, Miles)
  • 1 Heisman contender (Glen Dorsey)

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