The Hurricanes were a respectable 17-6 in Davis’ first two seasons, but it was a far cry from the Miami that the nation came to love or hate. Despite finishing 8-3 in 1995, Miami was barred from postseason play as the result of sanctions from a Pell Grant scandal under Erickson. They also lost 31 scholarships over the next few seasons.
Miami beat Virginia in the Carquest Bowl at now Hard Rock Stadium following the 1996 season. Miami’s 5-6 record in 1997 was their worst in 18 years. The Hurricanes would improve over the next two seasons, combining to go 18-7 in 1998 and ’99. They ended the 1999 campaign They took a huge leap in 2000.
Six years after the loss to Washington ended Miami’s home winning streak and would could have been an undefeated regular season, the Hurricanes traveled to Seattle. Ken Dorsey had one of the uglier games of his career and Miami lost three fumbles in a 34-29 Miami loss. It would once again be Miami’s only loss of the season.
It proved to be costly. Despite finishing the season with one loss and giving Florida State its only loss of the season, the Seminoles would play in the BCS Championship game in the Orange Bowl against undefeated Oklahoma. A game the Sooners would win 13-2. Miami was able to match up with Florida at the Sugar Bowl.
It was a game that created a lot of excitement in spite of the disappointment of not playing for the National Championship. There was still hope the Hurricanes could win the National Championship with a win in the Sugar Bowl and a Florida State win in the Orange. Miami was ranked second in the final regular-season poll and FSU third. It was the BCS Computer that had the Seminoles second. The Hurricanes actually finished the season ranked number one in the computer after the bowl games.
This was the first season that a BCS affected Miami. What if there had been a playoff system in 2000? The BCS Rankings going into the Bowl games were interesting. Oklahoma was number one and undefeated. Number two FSU had one loss to number three Miami who had one loss to number four Washington. The Huskies loss came to Oregon.
Oregon State was 10-1 and number five with their one loss coming to Washington and Virginia Tech was sixth with their one loss to Miami. The Huskies were Pac Ten Champions by virtue of their win over OSU and Miami won the Big East with their win over VA Tech.
Texas Christian also finished 10-1 with a loss to San Jose State.
The Playoff was pretty straightforward. Miami and Florida State would have had a rematch and Washington and Oklahoma would have played the other Semifinal.