This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.
Each season, following the violent unwrapping of the polyethylene and delicate placement of the CD-rom into the gaming system, it’s customary to browse the attributes of all 120+ Division-I football teams included in the NCAA Football series.
Whose offense is top-notch? What defense has received an "A+" grade? Sometimes I even like to know who is repping an iron-leg kicker.
Each year’s game has their top teams, and you learn which ones have the most talented skill-position, but since 2001 I haven’t seen a team as stacked as the 2001 Miami Hurricanes. The 2004 USC Trojans, 2005 Texas Longhorns, and 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide are nice, but nobody had a scary amount of depth and NFL talent (23 players drafted; 16 in the first round) than Larry Coker’s boys.
- 10 defensive regulars were first round draft picks
- Of those 10, only Jerome McDougle and Mike Rumph played themselves out of the league
- A redshirt freshman, Willis McGahee was handed the ball just 67 times
- Kellen Winslow – he’s pretty good – caught only two passes backing up Jeremy Shockey
As high school sophomores, the Hurricanes renaissance put my friends in complete awe. A program that was mediocre by Jimmy Johnson’s standards through the 90s, we were picking noses and hurling plastic Ninja Turtles at one another the last time The U was so powerful. But as unruly teenagers without an ounce of maturity to our names, we sacrificed many a Friday and Saturday nights to socialize with coeds and stay out late just to "be" Ken Dorsey and drop back with umpteen talented players flanking him. Clearly, our priorities were in order.
The real life squad affirmed what many gamers already knew before the season kicked off. After throttling Nebraska in the Rose Bowl for the National Championship, the Hurricanes stood undefeated, with a record-breaking 33-point scoring margin, outscored ranked teams 124-7, and six first-team All-Americans. Absolute immortals to the 18-25 demographic, and best collection of college football players of my generation.