Michael Elkon’s got an intriguing post up in response to a poll question at ESPN.com about which college team has been the most dominant in its sport this decade. The choices are fairly shallow, in my opinion – UConn women’s basketball, USC football, Florida football, or UNC basketball – and I agree with Michael’s reasoning in whittling down the list to Southern Cal. (Besides, if we’re going to argue about dominance in women’s athletics this decade, I don’t know about you, but I’m starting in Athens with the gymnastics program.)
But of course it’s the Florida reference that gets me. Michael’s got a chart of the winningest programs of this decade. And it’s worth a peek here:
- Boise State – 0.85217
- Texas – 0.84348
- Oklahoma – 0.84298
- Southern Cal – 0.80870
- Ohio State – 0.79825
- Georgia – 0.77586
- Louisiana State – 0.76923
- Virginia Tech – 0.75424
- Florida – 0.75000
- Texas Christian – 0.74775
Our (potential) team of the decade only sports the third best winning percentage in the SEC over that time? That’s one weird-assed definition of dominance.
Speaking of teams with better winning percentages, there sits Georgia at number six, ahead of two of its conference peers which both sport dual MNCs this decade. There’s something to be said about bad timing and Elkon says this:
… How different would our discussion be if Georgia had found its way into the national title game in 2002 and then won it? Moreover, if we accept the maxim that winning a national title requires a significant amount of luck, isn’t Georgia just unlucky? After all, Georgia went 12-1 in 2002 and didn’t get to play for the national title because two major conference teams went unbeaten, but LSU and Florida got to play for the title in 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2008 with one loss (and in one case, two losses). And that’s before we get to the point that Georgia could have been a one-loss team in 2005 absent the D.J. Shockley injury, but they still would have been frozen out of the title game because they would have again had the misfortune of being a one-loss SEC champion in a year in which two major programs went unbeaten.
Yeah, sad but true (and remember that Georgia lost to Auburn on a flukey, last-minute play in a game when DJ was still shaking out the rust from missing the previous game and a half, so the results arguably might have been even closer than Michael posits). On such turns are Stewart Mandel’s Montana friends’ minds made up.
I will say this, though. While I don’t see Florida as the dominant team of the decade, if the Gators win the BCS title game again this season, there won’t be any doubt in my mind about who the dominant coach of this decade is. As much as I’ll hate to admit it.