#TheTop25 keeps on rolling now into #’s 11-15. We’re talking about Mike Leach and his mouth, Wuerffel vs. Manning, Troy and Darren Davis from Iowa State, and the Notre Dame vs Oregon State Fiesta Bowl in 2001. Oh oh oh, and Tim Tebow’s legacy in college football. That too.
Mike Leach is one of my favorite characters in football. He’s weird enough but just a reglar type dude as well.
“A pirate can beat a solider”
“Atmosphere of A JV Softball Team”
(NSFW, potty mouth Leach)
“Fat Little Girlfriends”
Walking to Work with Mike Leach
“You’ve lost your inner pirate”
ND vs OSU Fiesta Bowl
In 1999 Dennis Erickson, a journeyman type that has won 2 national titles with the Miami Hurricanes, took over the OSU Beavers squad. Erickson had just been fired by the Seattle Seahawks and returned to college football. Erickson’s Beavs started 7-5 in ’99 before their 11-1 2000 season that wrapped up with a blowout of Notre Dame in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. The Beavs squad featured Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh- both JUCO players Erickson brought in. Erickson’s JUCO based recruiting then slipped to 5-6 before going 8-5 in 2002. Coach E did what he does after 2002, he went to the 49ers and flopped, a year at Idaho, then a few years at Arizona State before sliding back into an assistant role at Utah. Erickson ended every college coaching stint at .500 or better.
This Fiesta Bowl stuck out with me because as Miami was returning to respectability and only lost to Washington, OSU’s only loss was a 3 pointer to The Huskies as well. Watching Dennis Erickson and a Miami Swagger type OSU squad pound Notre Dame just felt right. Chad Johnson would go on to be Ochocinco and arrested etc. But in 2000 he had a hell of a year and TJ and Chad blew it up in the Fiesta along with a Miami type sleek and fast defense.
Wuerffel vs Manning
Steve Spurrier did his thing in Danny’s first two seasons in ’93-’94, having his future Heisman winner and national champion split time with the other guy for two years. Danny threw for about 4,000 yards and 40 TD’s in his first two seasons. Once he became the clearcut starter, it was ON. Wuerffel loses 2 games as a starter from 1995-1996. In ’95 he loses to Nebraska in the Touchdown Tommie game and to FSU in the regular season in ’96 before winning the rematch in the Sugar Bowl. Danny was the World Bowl champ in Europe in 2000 and played professionally for years including reuniting with Steve Spurrier in Washington before retiring.
Danny just had a starting QB’s swagger to him. He’s known for being a solid guy, a student of the game, and a great teammate. Guys rallied around Danny’s toughness and leadership. He was the Gators’ Gino Torretta.
Peyton didn’t begin as a starter in his college career either. Peyton was a freshman in ’94 and took over starting duties after the 4th game of the season. He went on to finish 0-4 against Florida and 0-3 against Mr. Wuerffel. In ’94 the Gators won 31-0, in ’95 62-37, in ’96 35-39 and in ’97 post-Danny 33-20. However, Mr. Manning would have the last laugh with the 2 Super Bowl rings and millions of dollars in endorsements. And in 1997, Manning loses to a UF team with QB’s like Doug Johnson, Noah Brindise, and Jessie Palmer… wow.
Peyton did “ol rocky top” or whatever for the band and was an ESPN icon even before his Colts days. Peyton is a legendary QB but it’s mind boggling he couldn’t beat UF, win the Heisman, or a national title.
Troy and Darren Davis at Iowa State
Troy, Darren, and Jason Davis made up the Davis Brothers at Miami-Southridge. Nestled down in the South Miami Heights / Goulds area, the high school has produced endless amounts of D1 and an abundance of NFL talent. Troy was Miami-Dade County’s first 2,000 yard back, Darren its second. They won a state title game combining for 7 rushing TD’s. Darren Davis (CFL) once shared a backfield with Troy (Saints, CFL) and with Sedrick Irvin (Lions, Dolphins) and the QB was Gana Joseph who played safety in college(Oklahoma, Packers).
When Troy Davis signed with the Iowa State Cyclones we had to break out an atlas (no Google yet). Troy came to ISU as a backup running back and returned a kick for a TD. At only 5’8 he was a stocky runner that refused to fumble. As a sophomore, TD turned it on and ran for 2,000+ yards two seasons in a row- an NCAA record. Troy also ran for 36 TDs on horrible ISU teams. Even thought the defense knew TD was getting the ball, he still ran for 5.8 and 5.3 yards / carry. When Darren followed Troy there the Cyclones had a Miami pipeline.
Darren returned kicks and punts during his brother’s All-American junior year, and then took the rock himself. For three straight years Darren rushed for 1,000+ yards totaling 3,736 for his career and 26 TD’s.
While neither had a huge impact in the NFL, Troy lasting 3 years and Darren none, they both hit it big in the CFL of all places. After bottling snow in college because he had never seen it before, Troy and Darren both made Canada home.
Tim Tebow’s Legacy
What can I say about minor league baseball’s Tim Tebow? Timmy was the Nease High QB down in Florida that was involved in some recruiting stuff regarding rides from coaches. Eventually, he appears on 2-a-Days losing to Hoover High School. Tebow can’t seem to beat St. Augustine HS but eventually wins a state title, sets a few FHSAA records and signs with Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators.
Timmy sets the college world on fire with his bruising running style and jump pass theatrics to help UF win its second national title, first under Meyer, and he shared the QB role in a Spurrier fashion with Chris Leak. As a freshman, Tim ran for a hundred more yards than he threw for as a singlewing QB. As a sophomore, Florida had to replace a lot of studs and fell to 9-4. He wins the Heisman in 2007 after throwing for 3K and 32 TD’s and rushing for 800 yards and 23 TD’s. That’s a hell of a lot of yards and touchdowns for a QB.
Tebow’s junior year cut down on his yardage and scores. The Gators throttle the Buckeyes for the national title and Tebow has two rings. He was unable to QB the team to an undefeated season and lost the ’08 game vs. Ole Miss 30-31. He gave his famous speech following the game and backed it up.
In 2009, Tebow makes news again for being knocked out against the Wildcats.
The 2009 season didn’t end how Tebow would’ve wanted and was one of the first major internet memes out there. Before crying Jordan there was crying Tebow and it was great.
Say what you want about Timmy, he made the spread offense and zone read household names. He was our first glimpse at the future of college football offense. Tebow threw for 9K yards and 88 TD’s plus almost 3K rushing yards and 57 more rushing TD’s to go with the 2 rings and the Heisman Trophy. He did it all while staying out of trouble and being a vocal Christian. I like the guy and think he’s a great role model for kids, hell, and most adults.