As we reach the second round of our bracket, the matchups get even tougher for the eight teams remaining. In this matchup, we get a battle of Sunshine State powerhouses as the 2001 Miami Hurricanes (13-0, National Champions) square off with the 2008 Florida Gators (13-1, National Champions). Here’s the tale of the tape:
2001 Miami Hurricanes: Arguably the greatest collection of talent ever assembled on one college football team. The 2001 Miami Hurricanes had 39 (!!!) future NFL Draft picks on the roster. The offense was led by running backs Clinton Portis and Willis McGahee, wide receiver Andre Johnson, and tight end Jeremy Shockey, with the ever accurate Ken Dorsey at quarterback. The defense was just as loaded, with linebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams, corner Phillip Buchanon, and safety Ed Reed, and the Hurricanes’ average margin of victory in the 2001 season was 32.9 — third best among the teams in the bracket. The Canes dismantled Nebraska in the National Championship game, and for those reasons are the No. 1 overall seed in this bracket.
2008 Florida Gators: The second of Urban Meyer’s two national championship winning teams at Florida, where the Gators were led by Heisman Trophy winning QB Tim Tebow as well as a terrific cast of skill position players like WR Percy Harvin, WR Louis Murphy, and TE Aaron Hernandez. The offense averaged 43.6 points per game, good for 4th in the nation that year, and torched nearly every opponent in their path. The defense was led by future NFL stars LB Brandon Spikes and CB Joe Haden and held teams to just 12.9 points per game in 2008, also goo for 4th in the nation that year. The Gators’ 30.7 point margin of victory would put them 4th among the 18 teams that made this bracket.