Imagine it's December 4th, 1990. The regular season has just ended and these are the 4 teams in the college football playoff. Who ya got????
#1 Colorado, 10-1-1, Big 8 Champions
20th in scoring offense
22nd in scoring defense
2nd in strength of schedule
Preseason #5, fell to as low as 20th, beginning the year 1-1-1 before reeling off 9 straight wins. The Buffs played six ranked teams, going 4-1-1. Only loss was by 1 point to #22 Illinois. Biggest win was @ #3 Nebraska by 15 points. Option offense led by QB Hagan. RB Bieniemy rushed for 1600 yards. WR Mike Pritchard rushed for over 500 and caught 700+. Defense picked off 18 passes. Nation's best punt returner, but FG kicker only connected on 64% of his kicks.
#2 Georgia Tech, 10-0-1, ACC Champions
17th in scoring offense
10th in scoring defense
28th in strength of schedule
Began the year unranked, but didn't lose a game all year. Only blemish was to an average UNC team. Beat all 3 ranked opponents on the year, including @ #1 Virginia, by 3. Held five opponents to under ten points. Offense scored 40+ in four of their last five games. QB Jones wasn't a great passer, but an effective scrambler and RB Bell had 900 yards. Defense picked off 24 passes. Good kick returner, but poor kicking game (K & P).
#3 Texas, 10-1, SWC Champions
24th in scoring offense
31st in scoring defense
11th in strength of schedule
Began season unranked, splitting games @ #21 Penn State (win) and vs #20 Colorado (loss) before winning last 9 games of season. Loss to CU was by 9 points in the second game of the season. Big wins over #4 OU (by 1) and #3 Houston (by 21) helped the Horns jump up in the polls. Offense was varied, some passing some option. QB Gardere was a scrambling, game-manager type. UT averaged 200 yards rushing per game, split among 3 main RBs. Nearly all their passing TDs went to the Cash brothers. Good kicking game (80% FGs, 43 punting avg).
#4 Miami, 9-2, Independent
6th in scoring offense
9th in scoring defense
6th in strength of schedule
Preseason #1 began year with surprising loss @ #16 BYU and also lost midseason @ #6 ND. Only played one other ranked team, but beat #2 FSU by 9. As usual, the Canes combined a big passing offense and a tough run defense. QB Erickson averaged 300+ yards passing per game, with the running game chipping in 150+, with RBs McGuire and Conley sharing duties. WR trio of Hill, Carroll, and Thomas all had impressive yards per catch averages. Defense wasn't especially ball-hawking, but did limit teams to under 80 yards rushing per game. Good returner in Kevin Williams and reliable kicker Huerta.
Award-Winning Players Involved:
LB Alfred Williams, Colorado (Butkus Award, All-American)
DT Russell Maryland, Miami (Outland Trophy, AA)
QB Craig Erickson, Miami (Unitas Award)
HC Bobby Ross, GA Tech (Coach of the Year)
RB Eric Bieniemy, Colorado (AA)
OL Joe Garten, Colorado (AA)
LB Maurice Crum, Miami (AA)
S Ken Swilling, GA Tech (AA)
1 Colorado vs 4 Miami
2 Georgia Tech vs 3 Texas
What say you?