Miami football 2001 National Champions best ever via Bleacher Report

3 Jan 2002: DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr/Getty Images
3 Jan 2002: DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr/Getty Images /

Every offseason the debate emerges about who the best team in the history of college football is. The 2001 Miami football National Championship team had the most talent in the history of the sport. Seventeen Hurricanes from the 2001 Miami football team became first-round picks and 38 would go on to be drafted.

Miami averaged 42.7 points per game which was third out of 117 teams nationally. The Hurricanes led the nation allowing 9.8 PPG. Miami held eight of their 12 opponents to a touchdown or less. In the Rose Bowl, National Championship Game against Nebraska, one of their two TDs came on a punt return.

The 32.9 margin of victory for Miami in 2001 was slightly better than the 2020 National Champion Alabama who defeated teams by an average of 29.1 PPG. Miami was loaded on offense and defense. The Hurricanes improved from 42.2 PPG in 2000 despite losing stars Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne.

Wide receiver Andre Johnson succeeded Moss and Wayne and led Miami with 682 receiving yards and 10 TDs. Frank Gore, Willis McGahee and Clinton Portis combined for 2,076 yards and 18 rushing TDs. Miami was potent offensively passing and running. Ken Dorsey began his second full season as the starting quarterback.

"“1. 2001 Miami HurricanesNearly everywhere you looked, the 2001 Miami Hurricanes had a future NFL star. That talent showed itself in a legendary way. “I know this,” Art Kehoe said. “I will put that 2001 team up against anybody. No one can argue how good, how dominant, that team was.” Kehoe should know too; he served as an assistant coach for all five championship-winning Miami teams. The ‘Canes allowed just 9.8 points per game and defeated five Top 15 opponents by a combined score of 236-72.Quarterback Ken Dorsey won the Maxwell Award, running back Clinton Portis had 1,200 yards on the ground, and offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie earned the Outland Trophy. On the other side of the ball, defensive back Ed Reed grabbed nine interceptions and secured unanimous All-American honors, helping to round out the best team in college football history.”"

Reed led a Miami defense full of future NFL stars. Linebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams became future NFL first-round draft picks. Cornerbacks Mike Rumph and Philip Buccanon joined Reed in the secondary as three future first-round picks. Safety James Lewis was the lone Miami starting DB who was not a first-round pick.

Lewis returned an interception for a TD in the 37-14 blowout victory over Nebraska. Reed had the most signature play of the season for Miami. Leading 12-7 at Boston College, Reed stripped the ball from teammate Matt Walters after an interception and returned it nearly the length of the field for a TD in the final minute.

The play secured a 19-7 victory for the Miami football team and continued their drive to become one of the most legendary teams in college football history. Miami also survived late against Virginia Tech when Hokies WR Earnest Williford dropped a two-point conversion that would have tied the game at 26 late in the fourth quarter.

dark. Next. Miami 2001 defense made great by offensive mindset

The debate over the best team ever will continue to persist. The only debate should be from future teams that have great seasons as LSU did in 2019. No teams that came before Miami or any after with the exception of 2019 LSU and a few of the Alabama National Championship teams under Nick Saban measure up to 2001 Miami.