Miami football 1986 most hated college football team of all-time

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 1: (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 1: (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

The 1986 Miami football team was the epitome of the Jimmy Johnson era. The Hurricanes were brash, bold and would tell you so. As named by 247Sports, the 1986 Miami football team is the most hated in college football history.

The 1986 Miami football team was named the most hated team in the history of college football in an article published by 247Sports on Thursday. Led by head coach Jimmy Johnson, the 1986 Hurricanes were bold, brash and arrogant. Just the way South Florida loved them. It was the beginning of an era.

Jimmy Johnson succeeded Howard Schnellenberger as the head coach of the Miami football program following the Hurricanes 1983 National Championship season. Miami finished 8-5 in Johnson’s first season in 1984. The Hurricanes went 10-2 in 1985 with a loss in the Sugar Bowl preventing a National Championship.

The 1986 Miami football team is one of the best in college football history to not win a National Championship. One of the best teams to not win the National Championship, the Hurricanes bad boy image landed in National consciousness when they showed up in Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl wearing fatigues off the airplane.

In reality, the bad boy image began earlier in the 1986 season during the coin toss when Miami defeated Oklahoma for the second straight season. The Hurricanes refused to shake hands with Oklahoma and curse language was exchanged from both teams. Miami was threatened with a penalty flag for refusing to shake hands.

"1. MIAMI (1986)The birth of swag, so they say. When the inmates run the asylum, you get instant chaos and that’s exactly what the Hurricanes hoped to create on the field in the 1980s when ‘The U’ became college football’s bad boys.Then-Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly said it best, “Miami may be the only squad in America that has its team picture taken from the front and from the side.” On a team loaded with future NFL talent, Johnson basically didn’t believe in suspensions and handled all disciplinary action in-house.That included several slap-on-the-wrist penalties for alleged shoplifting and fraud infractions. Miami’s swag wasn’t enough in the national championship game against Penn State after the Hurricanes infamously stepped off the plane in military fatigues.Heisman-winning Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde threw five interception(s) and the Hurricanes fell, 14-10, for their only loss of the season. The widespread hate started the previous season when Johnson and the Hurricanes blasted Notre Dame by 51 points in a Catholics vs. Criminals showdown.Over five seasons with the Hurricanes, Johnson went 52-9 with a national title in 1987 and three Top 3 finishes, putting together one of the greatest runs of all-time."

The above summary came from Brad Crawford from 247Sports.Com. The observation that the inmates ran the asylum isn’t entirely true. Crawford is correct that the Hurricanes wanted chaos on the field. In the video, legendary wide receiver Randall Hill correctly stated that Miami wanted to get in the head of their opponents.

The mind games from Johnson and the Miami football team worked far more often than not. Against Florida State, Miami always seemed to make the big plays when needed and the Seminoles often found a way to lose. The comments from Reilly are troublesome. Thirty-five years later comments like that would be called out.

The reference to Miami-Notre Dame is also off. The reference from Crawford should read Catholics versus Convicts and that game was in 1988. Miami getting criticized for running up the score on Notre Dame in the 1980s was pure hypocrisy. Prior to Miami’s victory over Notre Dame in 1981, the Fighting Irish had an 11 game winning streak.

Notre Dame won those 11 games against Miami by an average margin of 21.2 points per game. It seemed as if it was ok for Notre Dame to beat up on Miami and all their opponents by the switch being flipped on the Fighting Irish was not ok. Miami revolutionized college football and the way it was played.

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The Hurricanes speed, swagger and bragadocious style intimidated opponents. Johnson helped Miami rattle the old guard of college football and opponent led by iconic coaches like Joe Paterno of Penn State. Miami lost the 1987 Fiesta Bowl to the Nittany Lions. Johnson won a title the next season and a dynasty was born.