#TheTop25 #’s 1 overall is the Miami Hurricanes’ mystique and swagger. Why would they be my number one overall? First- I’m from Miami. Second- they were fun, they won, they had the cool smoke, the fatigues, the bad ass mascot and the best players in NCAA and the NFL. Most of all, Miami won my list because it’s part of who I am.
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It Was FUN!
Who wants to watch a football game that’s dry and stoic? The point of football is the impact, the excitement, the energy. You’re doing it for your town, your school, your family. You want to win, and in Miami, you wanted to let everyone know you won because of YOU.
Thrill Hill doing the George Jefferson
#Canes players like to dance, celebrate, and antagonize the status quo. This was more than just for fun- it was also to flip off the milquetoast upper-crust like Notre Dame, BYU, and Stanford. America didn’t like seeing black men do what they want. It was an intense era in Miami and the country regarding race relations.
Put it on my shoulders. That’s what Thrill Hill wanted on 3rd and 43. Throw it to me, I’ll out run them.
Letting your opponent know you’re going to win, and doing it in a very Miami way. “They really did shock America.”
Go back and look at Miami’s schedules from the 80’s and 90’s. It’s a relative WHO is WHO of college football. Boston College, Notre Dame, LSU, UCLA, Auburn, Michigan, FSU, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, BYU, Washington, Colorado, Houston, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Syracuse, Penn State. I’ve written about this being why Jimmy Johnson could draft so well back with the Cowboys– Miami played such a national schedule as an independent that Johnson saw the best of the entire country. He wasn’t limited to 9 of 11 games being in just the southeast or pacific coast. He coached against everyone from 1984-1988 and it paid off.
Sebastian The Ibis
Aside from the players, even the mascot got in on the fun. What other mascot gets arrested by a fleet of Keystone Cops mid-game? Sebastian put out the FSU spear with the fire extinguisher.
Even Sebastian jumped in on the fatigues fun back in the ’87 Fiesta Bowl. Had Miami won, this would be an iconic scene for college football. It’s still mentioned quite often but losing with a top 3 talented team of all time made it an embarrassment.
The Sooner Schooner? Why not set it on fire. Only you can prevent forest fires, well only you can start wagon fires as well.
Us Against The World
When you’re “that school” it creates a bond from within to defeat everyone else. When players like Tamarick Vanover snubbed Miami for FSU, he got lit up by Mike Barrow. Texas is ranked #4 and Miami is passed up for a national title after playing BYU, FSU and ND in the same season? That’s ok- they’ll just put 40+ on you in your local Cotton Bowl.
It was the brawls, the star players like Marshall Faulk saying no thanks and sitting out against Miami, the scene waiting for Texas to come out the tunnel, the undying desire to win over the course of a decade. And to do it for the locker room and the city- not for the school president who was against you or the media that hated you.
Miami is synonymous with the white helmet with the split U and for running out of the smoke. Forget the 4 fingers for the 4th quarter thing everyone else stole. The smoke and the U can’t be stolen. It’s the feeling of “In the Air Tonight” starting up and (I’m getting chills writing this) the student section going off. The players piled into the Orange Bowl crammed in the small tunnels. The smoke hits and the baddest team in the country running out through the smoke winning 58 straight at home from 1985-1994.
The NFL Success
There’s no way to throw it in your rivals face than making it in the NFL too. Win 4 national titles from ’83-’91, play for titles in ’85, ’86, ’92, and ’94. Then have a dynasty part 2 from 1998-2003, and send the NFL some of its greatest players.
Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Andre Johnson, Leon Searcy, Bryant McKinnie, Jerome Brown, Warren Sapp, Winston Moss, Bennie Blades, Michael Irvin, the list goes on and on. Miami back-ups have had Super Bowl winning NFL careers like Jimmie Jones. Don’t forget 3 LB’ers from one class all playing in a Super Bowl in the NFL (Smith, Barrow, Armstead) and having 2 rings on top of it.
Ed Reed for NFL Films