SAN FRANCISCO–Throughout sports history, there have been many fantastic dynasties in which a team dominated over a long period of time. Ones that come to mind for most people are the 1980’s San Francisco 49ers, the UCLA men’s basketball program, and many others. While we’re on the subject of everything BCS, I thought I’d go ahead and list my view of the best dynasties during the 16-year run of the BCS. This list is based on how much a team was winning, and the duration of that highly successful period.
1. USC Trojans (2002-2008) 82-9
Winning. Domination. Style. Just a few of the words that describe this amazing run from the USC Trojans, spanning a total of seven years, winning at least 11 games in each. The number of accomplishments and accolades are endless, the highlight being three Heisman trophies won (Carson Palmer 2002, Matt Leinart ’04, Reggie Bush (later vacated) ’05), two national titles won (’03 and ’04), and a Pac-10 record seven straight conference titles. The 2004 Trojans team is regarded as one of the best in college football history, going 13-0, capping the season off with a 55-19 domination of Oklahoma in the national title game. From 2003-2005 USC had a win streak of 34 games, tying a record for the longest winning streak in modern years. Lately USC’s success has been restricted by sanctions, but now with the penalties off, the Trojans should return to dominance under Steve Sarkisian.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (2008-2013) 72-9
This one is the most recent dynasty and is continuing today. Nick Saban has these guys ready to play every game, in the toughest conference in the nation. The Tide haven’t won 11 games plus every year like USC has, but they have won 10+, and have a whopping three national titles. What’s crazy to think is that if Alabama beat Florida in 2008 SEC championship and Auburn not beaten them in the most amazing fashion in 2013 this team could very have won FIVE national titles in a span of six years. During this time they have also sent countless players to the NFL, and even had their first Heisman winner in school history in 2009 (Mark Ingram). A look into how dominant this team has been? In their three national title games (2009, ’12, ’13) they have outscored their opponent by an average of 22 points a game. They are currently gunning for their 4th national title in six years in 2014.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (2002-2013) 129-26
Consistency is what describes the Buckeyes. To the envy of Michigan, Ohio State has owned the Big Ten and won six conference titles during this span (it really should be seven if you count Ohio State’s 12-0 season that was barred from going to the conference championship game because of sanctions), appearing in a whopping NINE BCS bowls. However, despite Ohio State winning the 2002 National Title and Troy Smith bringing home the Heisman Trophy in ’06, this marvelous run was marked with futility in BCS bowls starting in 2006, going just 2-4 in the big games afterwards. If Ohio State had won some of those games, no doubt this would’ve been looked upon as one of the greatest dynasties in recent memory.
4. Oklahoma Sooners (2000-2008) 102-19
The Oklahoma Sooners. Where to start? Known as the biggest, baddest, team in football for most of their time, they made it to the biggest stage in football countless times, winning the national title in 2000, and then… From 2000-2002, the Sooners went 3-0 in bowl games, but 2003-2008 they were 0-5 in BCS bowl games. Still, not to take away from the Sooners, as no team looked forward to playing them. Jason White won a Heisman in ’03 and Sam Bradford followed that up, taking home the trophy in 2008. They took home a Big-12-high five conference titles, and sent many great players to the NFL. One worth noting is Adrian Peterson, a household name who took home the 2012 NFL MVP.
5. Boise State Broncos (2006-2011) 73-6
The Miami Hurricanes…Florida Gators…Texas Longhorns…Boise State Broncos!? Yup, the Broncos definitely deserve some love as a top 5 dynasty during the BCS era. Looking at their resume you’d think they were in a BCS conference: 6-3 vs Top 25 opponents, 2-0 in BCS bowls, 3 perfect regular seasons. When Boise State beat Oklahoma in 2006, it signaled a change in college football, the era of the “BCS Buster”, a team from a non-AQ conference going to a BCS bowl and knocking off a high-powered AQ team. Home to the blue turf and trick plays, the Broncos went 37-1 at home during this span, their only loss coming by one point to TCU in 2011. Quarterback Kellen Moore also set an NCAA record for wins in a career, going 50-3 as a starter from 2008-11, finishing 4th in the 2010 Heisman trophy balloting and making the All-American team twice. Boise State didn’t churn out NFL players like the four schools above, but a dynasty is about winning, and boy, did the Broncos win.
Miami Hurricanes (2000-2003) 46-4
An amazing run, they would’ve ranked on this list if the dynasty went a bit longer. Still, the numbers are staggering. 17 first round NFL picks on the 2001 team, 34 straight wins from 2000-02, four straight Big East titles, one unbeaten title in 2000, and a whole lot of swagger.
Florida Gators (2006-2009) 48-7
The Gators went 13-1 three times, winning two national titles. The only season they didn’t go 13-1, 2007, Tim Tebow won a Heisman trophy. Go figure.