By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
BROOKLYN — If Texas wins the national championship, are the Longhorns the team of the decade?
My answer is no.
A win in Pasadena will give UT two national championships this decade, a Fiesta Bowl and a Rose Bowl win for a perfect 4-0 mark in BCS games. The Longhorns won two Big 12 championships and regardless of the outcome of the title game, they’ll finish the decade with eight Top 10 finishes.
With two great quarterbacks and loads of other NFL-caliber talent, Texas has won 110 games and is 7-2 in bowl games, including five straight wins. Certainly Texas has enjoyed a great run.
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As the Tim Tebow era comes to a close in Gainesville, the Gators can boast a pretty strong resume as well. If the category was “The Team Of The Second Half Of The Decade,” by all means, the Gators would get it.
Florida has won 99 games in the 2000s, two national championships and three SEC championships, all while playing in what has become in the last five years the sport’s toughest conference. Florida is 3-0 in BCS games this decade, but 4-5 overall in bowl games.
The Gators have two 13-win seasons under their belt, and are a very impressive 47-7 in the last four years under coach Urban Meyer. Unlike Texas, Florida does have a Heisman Trophy winner in Tebow.
My team of the decade is USC. The Trojans won a national championship, shared one with LSU and almost won a third. They are difficult to beat in January, as evidenced by their 6-1 record in BCS bowl games this decade. Those six wins have come by an average margin of 22 points.
USC has won 101 games and is 14-4 vs. Top 10 teams. The Trojans won at least a share of seven consecutive PAC 10 championships, a streak that ended this season in what is a considered a terrible year in which they only won eight games.
With three Heisman Trophy winners just this decade, USC finished in the Top 10 seven times, and with Pete Carroll at the helm and Matt Barkley returning for his sophomore season, look for the Trojans to be a national title contender again next year.