Miami Hurricanes

Revamping NIL In Florida

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Less than three years after Florida enacted a law to help athletes and universities get a head start in the profitable NIL space, now the legislature is ramping up efforts to make sure those groups don’t get left behind.

When the State House and Senate convene next week for a two-week session, one of the main topics tackled will be revamping Florida’s existing NIL law.

“In 2020, Florida was proactive in creating legislation which governs how college athletes can be compensated for use of their names, images and likenesses,” House Speaker Paul Renner wrote in a Friday memo to House members and staff.

“However, the recent enactment of NCAA regulations regarding athlete compensation has put many states with such laws at a disadvantage, causing a need for Florida to revisit our current law. We recognize the need to address this issue in a timely manner so our collegiate teams can remain competitive.”

The 2020 Florida law made it permissible for college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness, but it prohibited coaches, staff and other representatives of universities from being part of the process.

That became an issue when the NCAA subsequently ruled that all athletes could earn money from NIL deals as long as they followed their state laws, which meant those in Florida and a handful of other states would actually be at a disadvantage.

Several states promptly repealed their state laws once that happened, but two bills in Florida stalled during the 2022 session.

The new House legislation will be referred to the Education and Employment Committee, according to Renner’s memo. The Senate version will go to the Post-Secondary Education Committee.

Virtually, all college coaches claim it has led to widespread tampering and even more illegal recruiting than usual, and many programs worry about the effect it is having on locker room chemistry.

At the same time, people also believe it is long overdue that college athletes have the right to earn money through marketing agreements and other above-board business opportunities.

The proposal by Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Lighthouse Point, would align Florida law with those in other states with schools that compete with Florida universities, which generated $1.1 billion dollars in revenue last year, according to a House analysis.

This Bill would allow schools to set up space on campus for NIL entities to meet athletes and for university employees to introduce athletes to companies willing to pay them to use their name and likeness.

When the NCAA issued new NIL guidelines last October to allow schools to have a more active role in connecting athletes with NIL entities, Florida schools — such as the University of Florida, University of Central Florida and Florida State University — suddenly found themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

The Bill specifically states that a school is not required to identify or facilitate NIL opportunities for students, or that an NIL deal qualifies a student as a university employee.

Also, they amended the proposal shielding schools and coaches from liability related to damages resulting from routine decisions — like benching a player — because schools have sovereign immunity.

The proposal has two more committee stops before it is introduced to the House floor.

As always, the unintended consequences could be problematic. On its face, it’s much better they are in charge of managing the brand and not relying on outside or non-auditable parties.

You have to assume that this will lead to some sort of mutually agreed salary cap by conferences at some point down the road.

I believe this will have universities explaining why they are not using new TV revenues and other income sources to pony up for 5 stars, rather than asking their alumni/booster base to take on the additional burden of NIL.

Shuffling The Deck

By: Garrison Ryfun

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

With the ACC going division-less in 2023, the championship will now be played by the top two teams in the conference, instead of the winners of each division.

Since the conference is going division-less, teams will now play what is described as a 3-5-5 schedule.

This means that from at least 2023 to 2026, ACC teams will have three primary opponents and a rotation of the other ten teams in the conference.

The ACC guarantees that through this new scheduling format, each team will have a home and away game against all 13 other teams in this four-year window.

Though not all that common, this will prevent a championship game played by a 7-5 or 6-6 winner of either the Coastal or Atlantic division.

Once again, the divisions will not exist anymore but every team will be locked into three specific opponents.

Here are the primary opponents for each team in the ACC:

Boston College: Miami (FL), Pittsburgh, and Syracuse

Clemson: Florida State, Georgia Tech, and NC State

Duke: North Carolina, NC State, and Wake Forest

Florida State: Clemson, Miami, and Syracuse

Georgia Tech: Clemson, Louisville, and Wake Forest

Louisville: Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), and Virginia

Miami (FL): Boston College, Florida State, and Louisville

North Carolina: Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia

NC State: Clemson, Duke, and North Carolina

Pittsburgh: Boston College, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech

Syracuse: Boston College, Florida State, and Pittsburgh

Virginia: Louisville, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech: Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Wake Forest

Wake Forest: Duke, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech

Notre Dame, though not an official member of the conference for football, will still play their contractually obligated five ACC opponents under this new system.

This move just makes sense for the health of the conference.

In the upcoming age of super conferences, with Texas and Oklahoma moving to the SEC and USC and UCLA making their move to the Big Ten, having the two best teams in your conference title game will only help with national perception for the top of your conference.

It will already be hard enough to convince teams like Florida State and Clemson to not look elsewhere during this era. Super conferences will only create more revenue, especially in the television space for their member teams.

This is a step forward, albeit small, for the conference, and could give fans some fun in-season rematches in the championship game for years to come.

The biggest problem the ACC has left is figuring out how to navigate college football in this upcoming era.

Convincing Notre Dame, whose contract with NBC expires in 2025, and another high-profile team to join the conference is the next big step the ACC has to take to remain relevant in the football space.

The Coastal Life

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

We are getting closer to the start of the 2022 football season.

Let’s take a look at the ACC Coastal Division and predict the final standings.

#7 Duke 3-9 (0-8 ACC): The Blue Devils struggled in 2021. Head coach David Cutcliffe is now gone and former Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko has taken over.

The offense averaged 14.9 points per game in conference play last season. They lost quarterback Gunnar Holmberg and leading receiver Jake Bobo to the transfer portal and running back Mataeo Durant (1,241 yards) departed for the NFL.

The defense allowed 46.6 ppg and 7.1 yards per play in ACC games.

#6 Georgia Tech 3-9 (2-6 ACC): Head coach Geoff Collins is 9 – 25 over the last three years. The roster only returns four starters and the non-conference opponents are Ole Miss, UCF and Georgia.

Tech lost two offensive pieces in quarterback Jordan Yates, who transferred out, and running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who left for Alabama.

Jeff Sims returns at quarterback after passing for 12 TDs and 7 picks, but there isn’t a ton to work with around him moving the ball.

Drastic improvement is needed for the defense that has ranked 13th or worse in the ACC in points allowed in each of Collins’ three years at the helm. The offense averaged 24 ppg last season, which was third worst in the ACC.

#5 Virginia 6-6 (4-4 ACC): The Cavaliers will be led by first-year head coach Tony Elliott.

He previously served as a coach at Clemson from 2011 – 2021, most recently as associate head coach, offensive coordinator, tight ends coach and running backs coach. He has learned a lot from Dabo Swinney, which should mean good things for UVA.

Elliott inherits one of the ACC’s top quarterbacks (Brennan Armstrong) and receiving corps (Billy Kemp IV, Dontayvion Wicks, Keytaon Thompson and Lavel Davis). Armstrong led all Power 5 quarterbacks by averaging 427.3 total yards a game last fall.

They need to establish balance in the running game and take some of the pressure off of him. They lost all five offensive line starters.

#4 Virginia Tech 6-7 (4-4 ACC): Brent Pry takes over as the head coach in Blacksburg. Pry was the defensive coordinator at Penn State from 2016 – 2021. His experience should help make an impact immediately for the Hokies defense that’s returning seven starters. They held opponents to 25.3 ppg but only had 16 sacks in ACC play.

Transfer quarterbacks Grant Wells (Marshall) and Jason Brown (South Carolina) are battling for the starting job.

#3 North Carolina 6-7 (3-5 ACC): The Tar Heels lost QB Sam Howell, four offensive line starters and the bulk of the rushing attack.

Coach Mack Brown recruits well and a couple of good recruiting classes should make the difference.

Talented redshirt freshman Drake Maye will battle Jacolby Criswell for the starting quarterback job.

#2 Pitt 11-3 (7-1 ACC): The Panthers shocked everyone by winning the ACC last year. QB Kenny Pickett and receiver Jordan Addison are major losses.

USC transfer Kedon Slovis should win the quarterback job. They have a solid stable of running backs and the defense returns seven starters.

#1 Miami 7-5 (5-3 ACC): Mario Cristobal left Oregon to take the head coach job at his alma mater.

He hired Josh Gattis as offensive coordinator. Gattis led Michigan to the College Football Playoffs last season.

QB Tyler Van Dyke returns after throwing for almost 3,000 yards, 25 TD’s and 6 interceptions. He had seven games without a turnover and the U went 5-2.

The O line returns three starters, including All-America candidate Zion Nelson.

Florida Grades

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The college football season is over and Alabama has regained the throne.

For the Big Four in the State of Florida, its year-end report card time.

The biggest question when I go to grade these teams is expectations versus on field performance.

Florida State: The buzz surrounding Florida State Football has been steadily building with the arrival of Mike Norvell. The Seminoles kicked off the season against ACC rival Georgia Tech and ended with Duke.

FSU finished with three wins and six losses. The Noles had three games canceled due to COVID. The signature win was against number 5 North Carolina 31-28. Many fans were excited that the program had finally turned the corner and FSU football was back.

But a week later Louisville routed the Seminoles 48-16.

Florida State has long been considered one of the Elite programs in the country, but if last season is a gauge of the program’s direction, it is in big trouble.

Team stats: Passing 159 for 292 for 1,771 yards, ten touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Rushing 352 attempts for 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns. Receiving 159 catches for 1,771 yards.  Defensively the Seminoles allowed 257 yards passing per game and 199 yards rushing per game.  FSU scored 232 points this season and allowed 324.

The few bright spots from this season were Jordan Travis, Lawrence Toafili, Amari Gainer and Emmett Rice.

Mike Norvell’s first season grade: F

UCF: The Knights entered 2020 with the goal of winning the AAC. That goal was not accomplished.

The Knights blew two big halftime leads to Tulsa and Memphis. That set the tone for the remainder of the season.

Central Florida finished with a 6-4 record but that did not meet the expectations of the program.

Offensively the Knights did put up record breaking numbers led by Sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel and wide receiver Marion Williams.

Gabriel was 248 for 413 for 3570 yards, 32 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.  Williams recorded 71 catches for 1039 yards and ten touchdowns.

UCF was very defensive in 2020. The Knights gave up 299 passing and 192 yards rushing (average per game).

In UCF’s four losses, the Knights allowed Memphis 41 first downs and over 700 yards of total offense, they also allowed Tulsa 23 first downs and over 450 yards of total offense. Cincinnati had 28 first downs and over 500 yards of total offense and BYU had 34 first downs and over 650 yards of total offense.

UCF fans have great expectations but realize that 2017 & 2018 are long in the past.

Josh Heupel’s grade: C+

Miami: The Canes finally had a standout starting quarterback in D’Eriq King and he helped bring some of the swag back to South Florida.

The Hurricanes took strides forward from Manny Diaz changing the culture in Miami.

Miami finished 2020 with eight wins and three losses.

King was a difference maker for the Canes. He was 211 of 329 for 2,686 yards passing, 23 touchdowns, only 5 interceptions, 538 yards rushing, and 4 touchdowns.

The Hurricanes struggled against top tier ACC teams with blow out losses to Clemson (42-17) and North Carolina (62-26).

In these games, Miami was plagued with errors whether it be penalties, missed assignments, drops, or lack of effort.

The offense took a step forward, but Miami’s defense looked unmotivated, porous and undisciplined.

Despite great performances against Duke and Florida State, the defense surrendered too many yards on the ground to North Carolina (554).

They also allowed Oklahoma State’s quarterback to throw for 300 plus yards and four scores.

Manny Diaz grade: B

Recruiting Wars

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

I am handing out grades to the following teams’ recruiting classes following the early Signing Period for the class of 2021.

Considering the challenges all coaches have to deal with while recruiting during the pandemic, there is plenty of praise and blame to go around for Miami, UCF and Florida State.

Recruiting has three periods: Early Signing, National Signing Day, and Transfer Portal. I’ll be looking at the Early Signing Period and Transfer Portal.

Grading any recruiting class is a subjective venture. I determine grades based on the balance of talent level that is brought in, alongside with how the class addresses needs on the roster.

Miami: The Hurricanes earned the signatures of 21 players during the first day of the Early Signing Period. When the dust settled, the Hurricanes had the 11th class in the nation and 2nd class in the ACC.

Miami put a big emphasis on locking down the best players from South Florida (15 of the 21 signees are from Miami-Dade and Broward County).

The keystones of this Hurricane class are five-star defensive tackle Leonard Taylor and safety James Williams.

Miami also flipped four-star quarterback Jake Garcia from USC. The Hurricanes still need to add a couple more offensive linemen and cornerbacks. I’m giving Miami an A-.

UCF: The Knights had 19 players sign and one transfer. The Knights rank 61st Nationally and 4th in the AAC.

UCF focused on the defensive side of the ball with 11 defensive players signing.

Anthony Hundley signed with the Knights after decommitting from LSU.  The Miami native had offers from Florida State, Michigan and Ole’ Miss.

Mikey Keene became the third quarterback to sign with the Knights since Josh Heupel took over. The Arizona native passed for 5,089 yards and 47 touchdowns during his time at Chandler High School.

Former Virginia quarterback RJ Harvey transferred to the Knights; however, he will play at running back.

UCF is a program unlike the others in this article, their recruiting budget is 1/10th that of the other schools. The Knights will add a few more pieces in February and use the Transfer Portal to fill out their class, but the grade for the Knights is C+.

Florida State: The Seminole fans hoping that the football program was going to take a dramatic, positive turn in the first year under new head coach Mike Norvell were in for a rude reality check.

The prized newcomer for the Seminoles won’t be a freshman, but rather, former UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton. If Milton is healthy, this is a talented game changer for Florida State.

This is the first class in modern day FSU history that has not included a five-star player.

In addition, the Seminoles only have one player ranked inside the top 250.

Norvell is very clearly trying to revamp the FSU defense with 10 of their 16 commits on that side of the ball.

Hunter Washington is the Seminole’s highest ranked recruit, and he is a bit undersized at 5 foot 11 and 175 pounds. Hunter Washington, Malik McClain, Shambre Jackson, Omarion Cooper, Rod Orr and Patrick Payton anchor Novell’s second class.

Florida State ranks 22nd Nationally and 4th in the ACC.

The Seminoles have a lot of work ahead of them to raise the talent level of their roster. Norvell must utilize the Transfer Portal. My grade for Florida State would be a D- but the arrival of McKenzie Milton alone raises it to a B-.

Florida Recruiting Wars

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

With the Early Signing Period less than a month away, I want to look at the Big Three in Florida’s potential recruiting classes for 2021.

The Current ranking for the Miami Hurricanes is 13th in the nation and fourth in the ACC with 21 commits.

The Canes currently have 1 running back, 5 receivers, 3 offensive linemen, 4 defensive linemen, 3 linebackers, 2 defensive backs, 2 athletes and 1 kicker.

Coach Diaz has done an excellent job of keeping the top talent in South Florida to commit to Miami.

Leonard Taylor, the number two player in the state and ninth nationally, is the anchor to an outstanding class. The Canes have commitments for three of the five heralded players from Miami Palmetto (Taylor, Bashard Smith WR, and Savion Collins DE).

Miami has 19 current commits from the State of Florida and 16 of the 19 are from South Florida.

Key players in this class: James Williams 5-star safety, Romello Brinson high 4-star wide receiver and Laurence Seymore 4-star offensive guard.

Miami needs to find a quarterback, two or three more offensive linemen and 3 or 4 more defensive backs.

When the dust settles after the early signing period, I predict the Canes will be in position for a top 10 class.

The Florida State Seminoles are currently ranked 28th and in the ACC with 15 commits.

The Seminoles currently have 1 quarterback, 4 receivers, 3 offensive linemen, 3 defensive linemen, 1 linebacker and 3 defensive backs.

Coach Norvell must think he is still at Memphis with the star power of the current class. FSU (Five Star U) has ZERO five stars in this class, four 4-stars and eleven 3-stars.

The Seminoles only have six recruits from the State of Florida.

The disaster on the field has affected recruiting. If Norvell wants to be competitive on the field it starts with recruiting top players in the States of Florida and Georgia.

Norvell may want to utilize the transfer portal this season to acquire some talented players who are dissatisfied with their current situation. The current roster has six five-stars and a top 10 composite ranking but only two wins on the field.

The Seminoles need to add 4 to 5 offensive linemen, 2 receivers, 3 defensive linemen and 2 defensive backs. Norvell sure looks to have his work cut out for him.

FSU will finish the 2021 with a class ranked around 25th. Maybe FSU fans are wishing they didn’t fire Willie so quickly!

The University of Florida Gators are currently ranked seventh in the nation and fourth in the SEC with 26 commits.

The Gators have 2 quarterbacks, 6 receivers, 5 offensive lineman, 5 defensive linemen, 2 linebackers, 5 defensive backs, and 1 athlete.

When Dan Mullen arrived in Gainesville, he was not known as a top recruiter but he had made smart hires. The Gators will carry over the success on the field into recruiting.

The Gators snagged the two remaining players for Miami Palmetto in Jason Marshall and Corey Collier. The Gators currently have 18 commits from Florida and 3 from Georgia.

Florida may have lost a commitment from 4-star linebacker Chief Borders out of Franklin, GA to Sanford.

Players to watch for commitment are 4-star linebacker Xavian Sorey and 4-star safety Terrion Arnold out of Tallahassee, it’s a Florida – Alabama battle for both players.

The Gators are in good shape to finish with a top 10 class. My prediction is they will have the sixth ranked class in the nation.

Florida is one of the richest recruiting states in the country, and if the Big Three want to stay in the Big Three, they must recruit the State of Florida first.

Sunshine Saturday

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Here’s a Florida College football fan’s guide to this week’s games as the 2020 college football season is on its way into Week 12.

Last Saturday, Florida showed no signs of hangover from the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, by trouncing Arkansas 63-35.

Senior Quarterback Kyle Trask keeps breaking SEC records with his sixth game with four or more touchdowns.

The Gators travel to Nashville to take on the Commodores of Vanderbilt. Florida opens as a 31.5 point favorite.

Can Kyle Trask continue to play at an All-American level? Can the Gators put the game away early and rest some starters? My predictions: Trask throws for 5 touchdowns and they roll Vandy 45-13.

Last Saturday, FSU fans got a glimpse of their future. Chubba Purdy started the contest versus the North Carolina Wolfpack. Purdy played well, going 15 for 23 for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns, but it still wasn’t enough as the Wolfpack dominated the Noles 38-22.

FSU hosts number four Clemson at noon in Doak Campbell Stadium and the Noles are a historic underdog in the contest.

The Tigers open as a 32.5-point favorite over the 2-6 Seminoles. FSU was a 26-point underdog to Clemson last season, which was believed to be the largest point spread in school history.

Clemson suffered their lone loss two weeks ago to Notre Dame without star quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Their signal caller is expected back and that means bad news for the Noles. Clemson is a national powerhouse and Florida State is a national landfill.

In my opinion, this is the worst Florida State team in program history! Clemson 52 FSU 20.

Last Saturday night in Orlando, UCF manhandled Temple 38-13.

The Knights opened the game with a strip sack and never looked back. The Knights offense did not look like it was clicking until the start of the 3rd quarter, when Dillon Gabriel found Marlon Williams for an air mail touchdown.

For UCF, standards this season have been disappointing. The Knights are 5-2 after being picked by many to win the AAC conference.

The Knights and Bearcats renew their revere on Saturday in the Bounce House. With very limited capacity, the Bounce House during the 2020 season has not provided their normal home field advantage.

The Bearcats come into this game looking to remain unbeaten and take another step towards a potential playoff spot.  Cincy opens as a 4-point favorite.

This is a battle between UCF’s offense and Cincinnati’s nationally ranked defense. The Bearcats are outscoring their opponents 212-57, with an average margin of victory of 31 points per game.

Those numbers are against quality offenses like Memphis, Houston and SMU.

UCF will score points, but Cincinnati is too legit this year. Give me the Bearcats 48 Knight 38.

The Miami Hurricanes game against Georgia Tech has been postponed due to COVID.

The Canes are coming off an impressive come from behind victory over Virginia Tech last Saturday.

D’Eriq King led a second half comeback to keep the Canes in the mix for the ACC title game. King makes Miami the U again.

So, sit back, buckle up and enjoy some college football this weekend.

If you are a Knight expecting a battle in the Bounce House, a Seminole praying for a miracle, a Gator witnessing a massacre or a Hurricane just waiting to troll the other fan bases, live college football offers us an escape during these stressful times.

What Might Have Been

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

For the past 15 years or so the SEC has been the best college football conference in the country.

As much as it pains me to say it, they’ve had the best coaches, players, and overall teams from top to bottom during that span.

To be honest, they’ve been at the top so long it was easy to forget that in the early 2000’s the ACC actually made a play for that honorable distinction when they added Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami to their lineup.

I actually remember a few columnists, as well as many ACC fans, were upset by the move because it was so obviously football centric many people thought it was going to water down the conference from a basketball viewpoint.

That was as acceptable in ACC country as it would be telling Alabama children they don’t need to be a quarterback, but should play tennis instead. (For the record, there’s nothing wrong with choosing tennis over football, but I don’t live in Alabama, either.)

I realize trying to explain to someone under the age of 20 that the Miami Hurricanes were actually a powerhouse program is as difficult as trying to convince my 15-year-old daughter that the Dave Matthews Band was once cool, but they were (in both cases).

The Hurricanes were so dominant back then it would be like taking this past season’s LSU team and extrapolating their success over the next 3 to 4 years.

Not only did it feel like the apocalypse was upon us anytime Miami lost, it also seemed like, for a while, the first round of the NFL draft was a who’s who of Hurricane players.

Virginia Tech wasn’t on the same level as Miami, but they had just gone through the Michael Vick years, which helped propel them into the national spotlight.

The Hokies had also signed Marcus Vick, Michael’s younger brother, so expectations were extremely high.

Boston College, even though they were kind of an afterthought among the three schools, were considered better than most other ACC programs.

When you combined the addition of those three schools, along with Florida State, which was a premier program, and Clemson, which always seemed to be bubbling right below the surface, the conference was poised to really become an athletic juggernaut.

Of course, like most plans, we all make it looks great on paper, but once you get 10 minutes into it the whole thing just falls apart.

Boston College is well, Boston College. Virginia Tech did fairly well, but has never been able to recreate the success they had in the few years prior.

As for Miami, the crown jewel of this expansion, you could argue they have been the worst of the three.

I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to say that overall the three programs have brought more success to the basketball court than the football field, which is saying something.

I have to admit, as a fan of the ACC, it gets a little rough thinking about what may have been had everything turned out the way most people expected.

Instead, the SEC has enjoyed being at the pinnacle of college football for the past 15 years and for right now are in a strong position to keep that spot for the next 15.

Then again, a lot of can change over a 15 year period; just ask the Dave Matthews Band.

The Best All-Time

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

LSU just finished one of the most dominant football seasons in recent memory with a 42-25 win over Clemson for the National Championship.

It was LSU’s third national championship this century to go along with titles in 2003, and 2007. I have been watching college football since the 1970’s and here are my top five college football teams in the window:

Honorable Mention: 1976 Pittsburgh 12-0: The Panthers with Heisman winner Tony Dorsett drilled SEC Champion and 4th ranked UGA in the Sugar Bowl 27-3 as Dorsett rushed for over 200 yards.

1999 Florida State 12-0: The Seminoles beat a Michael Vick led Virginia Tech team in the Sugar Bowl to win Bobby Bowden’s second National Title in Tallahassee. Where have those days gone FSU fans?

2005 USC: 12-1: The Trojans were a great team that lost to Texas for the National Title. Reggie Bush and company were defending champions but this team was better than their 2004 title team.

1979 Alabama 12-0: This was Bear Bryant’s last National Title team at Alabama.

They won seven games by 20 or more points. The Tide led the nation in scoring defense and beat a very good Arkansas team 24-9 in the Sugar Bowl.

2018 Clemson 15-0: This team beat Alabama 44-16 to capture the National Title, and blew out Notre Dame in the semifinals 30-3. Dominant defense with four NFL players on the defensive line.

My Top Five College Football Teams of All-Time:

  1. 1996 Florida 12-1: This was great football team and Steve Spurrier’s only National Champion that blew out unbeaten FSU 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl to avenge a 24-21 regular season loss to the Seminoles.

Bob Stoops was the defensive coordinator and the team was led by Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel at QB and All-American receivers Ike Hilliard and Reidel Anthony.

The Gators outscored their opponents 612-228 during the season. The Ole Ball Coach put Florida football on the map when he took the job in 1990 and won 127 games in 12 years in Gainesville.

  1. 2005 Texas 13-0: Vince Young led the Longhorns to a classic 41-38 win over USC in the Rose Bowl.

Texas scored 652 points during the 2005 season while giving up only 213. The Rose Bowl that year may be the greatest college football game I have ever watched on television.

  1. 2001 Miami 12-0: The 2001 Canes only allowed 117 points all season, and hammered Nebraska 37-14 in the Rose Bowl for the title.

Many say this was the most talented team in the history of college football with players like Ed Reed, Jeremy Shockey, Clinton Portis, Andre Johnson, this roster was littered with future Pro-Bowlers.

  1. 2019 LSU 15-0: The first team in the history of the SEC to go 15-0. Led by Heisman winner Joe Burrow, who tossed for 60 TD’s to only 6 Int’s on the season.

This LSU team will go down as the best team in the history of the SEC. The Tigers beat Clemson for a National Title, while Clemson was riding a 29-game winning streak.

This team beat five teams ranked in the top 10 of the final rankings, and six of the top 15. This team will stand the test of time for greatness.

1.1995 Nebraska 13-0: The most dominant team in college football history. The 1995 Cornhuskers averaged 53 plus points a game and defeated four teams ranked in the Top 10.

No team all year came closer than 23 points to the Huskers, and this team beat a great undefeated Florida team 62-24 in the Fiesta Bowl and it looked like men playing middle schoolers.

27 players from this team played in the NFL. QB Tommie Frazier is one of my favorite college football players of all-time. He Led the Huskers to back to back National Championships in 1994 and 1995.

There you have it folks. College Football is our greatest game. Nothing really comes close.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Recapping last weekend college football action around the sunshine state, we have the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, to steal a line from the classic 1966 spaghetti western.

The Good:

UCF traveled to Boca Raton on Saturday and true freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel led the Knights to a 48-14 victory over FAU.

UCF’s rushing attack of McCrae (93 yards), Thompson (91 yards and a touchdown), Anderson (75 yards) and Killins (37) amassed more than 300 yards rushing for the second week in a row.

Gabriel finished the night 7 of 19 passing for 245 yard and 2 touchdowns. UCF’s defense put pressure on Florida Atlantic quarterback Chris Robinson all night long. UCF tallied 5 sacks with 16 tackles for loss.

Up next for the Knights is Stanford.

Stanford quarterback K.J. Castello is expected to start after missing last week’s loss to USC due to a concussion.

UCF opens as a seven-point favorite over the Cardinals. This is a classic battle of two contrasting styles. UCF wants to play fast, whereas Stanford prefers to play in a phone booth.

UCF’s defense will be challenged against Stanford’s huge offensive line.

Game time is 3:30 at The Bounce House.  Stanford melts in the fourth quarter. My take: UCF 34 Stanford 21

Florida Gators took care of business against one of their cupcakes on Saturday by shutting out UT Martin 45-0. Feleipe Franks completed 25-27 for 270 yards, 0 interceptions and 2 touchdowns. The Gators took care of business on both sides of the ball against a less talented UT Martin.

Up next for the Gators is a trip to Lexington, Kentucky to open SEC play against the Wildcats.

Both teams are 2-0 but Kentucky is forced to play without starting quarterback Terry Wilson due to injury. Wilson torched the Gators last season as Kentucky ended a 31-game losing streak vs. Florida.

Sawyer Smith will get the nod for the Wildcats on Saturday night. Kavosiey Smoke leads the Wildcat’s rushing attack 18 carries for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Florida will enter this contest with two major players out due to injury Kadarius Toney (shoulder) and C.J. Henderson (ankle).

The Gators look for revenge in the commonwealth after Kentucky broke the streak.  Gators defense too much for Smith and company. My take: Florida 31 Kentucky 16

The Bad:

The Miami Hurricanes have lost their first two games since 1978.

North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Hurricanes 28-25. The Tar Heels were led for the second week in a row by Freshman quarterback Sam Howell. Howell’s touchdown pass to Dazz Newsome with 1:01 left in the game put the Tar Heels up 28-25.

Miami had one last chance but Bubba Baxa shanked the field goal attempt wide left to seal the North Carolina victory.

Jarren Williams 30 for 39 for 309 yards and 2 touchdowns and Deejay Dallas 14 carries for 107 yards paced the Hurricanes.

Miami will rebound this week with a blowout win against an overmatched Bethune Cookman Wildcats. My take: Miami 54 Bethune Cookman 13

The Ugly:

Florida State won the game against UL Monroe but collapsed in the 2nd half again.

Leading 24-7 at half, Florida State forgot for the second week that there are four quarters to play.

UL Monroe scored on their first four drive of the second half. UL Monroe outscored the Seminoles 31-14 in the second half, and forced overtime.

Cam Akers carried the Seminoles the entire game with 36 carries for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns while also catching 5 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown.

Akers scored on a third and goal to give the Seminoles lead 45-38.

UL Monroe QB Caleb Evans walked in moments later to bring UL Monroe an extra point from a second overtime.

The Seminoles got lucky when the extra point sailed wide right.

Florida State travels Virginia to open ACC conference play against the Cavaliers. Coach Taggart and company avoid a second straight disaster.

FSU right now is a dumpster fire and the Cavaliers take advantage of the chaos.  My take: Virginia 31 FSU 23.