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Jonathan’s Journal
January 7, 2002

The 2001 college football season ended on Thursday night with the Miami Hurricanes leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind who the best team in America was. Although they were nearly upset a time or two, the Hurricanes won the games they were supposed to, which happened to be every single on of them. This was a college football season like no other in the history of this great nation. Never before had there been a Saturday between September and November when there was not one major college football game played. But the weekend following September 11, we had just that. There were also great finishes and unbelievable plays and performances. And when you take a look ahead to what the 2002 college football season has to offer, we can expect next year to be just as great as this one.


RB Clinton Portis says that the 2001 Miami Hurricane football team was the best ever in the wonderful history of the University of Miami. I don’t know if they are or not; I haven’t been around long enough to know about that. But they were pretty darn good. Whenever they faced a challenge, they stood up and were winners in the end. And when the end was near, they showed the entire country who was number one; and they left no doubts. Some people were hoping Nebraska would pull the upset and create a little controversy. So much for that. The game was close for one quarter (Miami led 7-0 after one quarter), but it was all Hurricanes from then on. The option did not work consistently from the very first series right until the final whistle. The Huskers would break one for 15 or 20 yards every now and then, but for the most part, the Miami defense was just too fast. That forced QB Eric Crouch to throw the ball more, but that didn’t work. And all the while, Miami was forcing turnovers and getting points off of those turnovers. And one thing that may be overlooked is the fact that the ‘Canes very rarely miss a tackle. When they get to you, they tackle you. This forces the opponents to consistently go down the field to score, not letting the other team cash in on a big play. Are they the best team in Miami history? Who knows! Were they the best team in 2001? No doubt!


Now that the 2001 college football season is in the books, we can take a look ahead to 2002 to see what it will have to offer. Things like great comebacks, the heart-warming stories, and surprise teams are often hard to see in the preseason. Luckily, though, there are some things we can see coming are way in 2002.

Several teams will be looking for new coaches. Here is a list of who is out and who is going to be taking their spot:

Arkansas State
Joe Hollis
Steve Roberts
Tom Holmoe
Jeff Tedford
Steve Spurrier
Georgia Tech
George O’Leary
Chan Gailey
Cam Cameron
Terry Allen
Mark Mangino
Jerry Baldwin
Rickey Bustle
Charlie Weatherbie
Paul Johnson
Notre Dame
Bob Davie
Tyrone Willingham
San Diego State
Ted Tollner
Tom Craft
Mike Cavan
Phil Bennett
Tyrone Willingham
Woody Widenhofer
Bobby Johnson

One of the big issues that has been discussed in the college football world over the past few years is each team’s strength of schedule. And with the BCS taking charge a few years back, teams are now forced to schedule at least one or two tough non-conference games to have a shot at a BCS bowl. In 2002, there will be many of those type of games to look forward to. Here are 26 out-of-conference games to look forward to in 2002:

Washington at Michigan
August 31
Auburn at Southern Cal
August 31
Clemson at Georgia
August 31
LSU at Virginia Tech
August 31
Mississippi State at Oregon
August 31
Alabama at Oklahoma
September 7
Miami at Florida
September 7
Fresno State at Oregon
September 7
Illinois at Southern Miss
September 7
Texas A&M at Pittsburgh
September 7
Southern Cal at Colorado
September 14
Nebraska at Penn State
September 14
Texas at North Carolina
September 14
Washington State at Ohio State
September 14
Arizona at Wisconsin
September 21
Colorado at UCLA
September 21
Southern Cal at Kansas State
September 21
NC State at Texas Tech
September 21
Syracuse at Auburn
September 28
Florida State at Louisville
September 28
North Carolina at Arizona State
October 5
Notre Dame at Florida State
October 26
South Carolina at Virginia
October 26
Miami at Tennessee
November 9
BYU at Georgia Tech
Florida State at Miami

NOTE: This list does not include the annual out-of-conference games, such as Florida/Florida State, South Carolina/Clemson, etc.

Finally, everyone always wants to know who’s going to be good in ‘02 and who’s not. Although this is crazy, here’s a look at my pre-pre-pre-pre-season Top 15 College Football Poll. This will likely change drastically between now and August:

Florida State
Washington State
Ohio State
Penn State

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