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Breaking down a match up between the 2008 Florida Gators vs. 2001 Miami Hurricanes; Plus a crazy pre-game party of historic consequence

GAINESVILLE -- And now ... for your weekend entertainment ...

Canes fans will tell you that the 2001 Hurricanes were the best team ever assembled in the history of college football. Maybe not. How would the 2008 Gators match up with the 2001 Canes? I ran the two teams through a computer simulation at WhatIfSports.com and here's what the program spit out: Canes 47, Florida 9 on a nuetral field. Here's a link to the simulate box score. LINK!

Seems bogus to me. I don't think the 2008 Gators would lose by 38 points to any team of any decade. Still, it makes for an interesting debate. Ed Reed vs. Percy Harvin! Carlos Dunlap vs. Bryant McKinnie! Brandon Spikes vs. Clinton Portis! Jonathan Vilma vs. Tim Tebow!

Let's us our imaginations...

So, I recently invented a time machine/teleportation device and sent the 2008 Florida Gators and the 2001 Miami Hurricanes to Saturday, Jan.23, 2010 in Miami, Fla. The two teams have had nearly a week of practice and preparation and the biggest college football game in the history of the world is nearly upon us. Everyone is healthy. The big game is only two days away and Dolphin Stadium has been sold out since the minute tickets went on sale for this mythical-no-more dream game.

Of course, there's controversy...

TIME MACHINE TO BE USED FOR SPORTS ONLY
Reporter Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald had a friend who invented the time machine. The friend died of scarlet fever (long story) and before he departed willed the machine to Goodman. Goodman is using the machine to set up mythical sporting events at Dolphin Stadium. Much to the consternation of ESPN/ABC, FOX, NBC and CBS, all mythical games will being broadcast exclusively on MiamiHerald.com and all proceeds are being donated to Goodman's favorite non-profit organizations, the Miami-Dade County Humane Society and the Broward County Humane Society.

World leaders have protested the use of Goodman's time machine for a sporting event, arguing that the time machine should be used for "rewriting history" and "saving lives." Goodman ignored the world leaders and said in a five-second press conference, "This world is populated by humans and humans cannot be trusted! If you want to save a life, adopt a dog. If you want to save lives, adopt two dogs and a cat. Next month we're teleporting the best 64 college football teams of the past 30 years to the present and organizing a playoff. Then we're going to start with every year since 1930 and run down the line. Take that, BCS!"

TOP MUSICIANS AND ATHLETES
PERFORMING FOR TIME-MACHINE GAME
The Miami Herald has used the time machine to organize a pregame party. It's going to be a good party. Movie stars and politicians were not invited.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Price of admission: $15 (includes free T-shirt, sunscreen and sunglasses)

PRE-GAME PARTY, 10:30 a.m.-noon
All you can eat food and drinks (all day and night)
(Sponsored by Pollo Tropical, Oceanaire Seafood Room, Beef Eater Steakhouse, Bacadri and El Presidente)

PRE-GAME CIRCUS
-Ringling Brothers Circus featuring Harry Houdini, Evel Knievel and Tony Hawk, 10:30 a.m.-noon

PRE-GAME CONCERT
-Elvis performing with Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Jack White and Phil Collins; noon to 1 p.m.
-Tupac performing with Biggie Smalls, Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg and the Red Hot Chili Peppers
-Mozart performing with Alicia Keys, Elton John, Chris Martin and the New York Philharmonic, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
-Michael Jackson performing with Prince, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake and Usher, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
-Eddie Veder performing with Kurt Cobain, Johnny Ramone, Dave Davies, Matt Cameron and John Bonham 3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m.
-The Beatles performing with Outkast, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

PRE-GAME UNDERCARD
-3 v 3 basketball featuring Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird (circa 1992) vs. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (present), 5:45-6:15 p.m.
-3 v 3 soccer featuring Pele (circa 1960), Maradona (circa 1986) and Cubillas (circa 1972) vs. Beckenbauer (circa 1970), Zidane (circa 2006) and Cruyff (circa 1973), 6:30-7 p.m.
-Muhammad Ali (circa 1965) vs. Mike Tyson (circa 1988), 7:15-7:45 p.m.

BENEDICTION
George Carlin, 8 p.m.

STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Bob Dylan featuring The Grateful Dead, 8:20 p.m. (10-minute jam session)

COIN TOSS
Don Shula, 8:30 p.m.

KICKOFF
2001 Miami Hurricanes vs. 2008 Florida Gators, 8:35 p.m.

WHO HAS THE EDGE?
QUARTERBACKS
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, winner of the 2007 Heisman Trophy, has been heralded by many as the greatest college football player of all time. In 2007, he became the first player to pass for 20 touchdowns and run for 20 touchdowns. He finished third in the Heisman vote in Dec. 2008 but did receive the most first-place votes. Tebow's accuracy and arm strength as a passer have been underestimated by many and he'll be looking to prove on Saturday that he can play quarterback in the NFL. In 2008, Tebow had a sparkling 172.37 passing efficiency rating and threw for 2,746 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions. In addition to his skills as a passer, Tebow is human wrecking ball out of the Gators' shotgun, spread-option offense. He leads UF in rushing with 673 yards on the ground and 12 rushing touchdowns. Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey is a traditional pocket passer and a calm and steady force for the 2001 Hurricanes. Like Tebow in 2008, Dorsey finished third in the Heisman Trophy vote in 2001. He had an impressive 146.12 passing efficiency rating entering the 2002 Rose Bowl and in Miami's first 11 games Dorsey threw for 2,652 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Dorsey has been at his best in third-down situations. The clutch Californian has completed 66.7 percent of his passing attempts on third-down, resulting in 820 yards passing, 10 touchdowns and a 52 percent third-down conversion rate.
EDGE: Florida

RUNNING BACKS
The strength of the 2001 Miami Hurricanes' offense is its impressive stable of running backs. Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Willis McGahee and even little-used fourth-string back-up Najeh Davenport are each future NFL talents. The four Canes have combined for 2,130 yards on the ground. Through 11 games, Clinton leads all with 1,200 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Portis leads the four running backs with an amazing 9.1 yards-per-carry average. McGahee and Davenport have contributed three rushing touchdowns each. The 2001 Hurricanes averaged 204.6 rushing yards per game. Led by Tebow's blue-collar running style, Florida's spread-option offense averaged 231.1 rushing yards per game. In 14 games, all-purpose threat Percy Harvin averaged 9.4 yards per carry in 2008 (a national high) and Florida's top five rushers -- Tebow, Harvin, Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps and Emmanuel Moody -- combined for 3,007 rushing yards.
EDGE: Miami

TIGHT ENDS
The dream matchup between the 2008 Florida Gators and the 2001 Miami Hurricanes will feature a pair of talented tight ends. Miami tight end Jeremy Shockey is as tough as they come. Selected a second-team All-American by ABC Sports in 2001, Shockey led the Canes in receptions (40) and had 519 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in Miami's first 11 games. Freshman Kellen Winslow is a capable backup. Shockey's counterpart is Florida Gators sophomore Aaron Hernandez, a budding star who was pushed into the starting lineup in the 2008 preseason when original starter Cornelius Ingram injured his knee. Hernandez emerged as one of the best underclassmen tight ends in 2008. He finished the season with 34 receptions for 381 yards and five touchdowns.
EGDE: Miami

RECEIVERS
Miami Hurricanes sophomore Andre Johnson is the Hurricanes' big-play threat. He grabbed the national spotlight in the 2002 Rose Bowl when he earned co-MVP honors along with quarterback Ken Dorsey. Johnson had 199 receiving yards on seven receptions with two touchdowns against Nebraska. Fellow wide-out Kevin Beard had solid season in 2001 with 29 receptions for 405 yards and two touchdowns. Third option Ethenic Sands had 26 receptions for 286 yards and a touchdown. Flanker Daryl Jones started seven games in 2001 and had 20 receptions for 247 yards. Florida receiver Percy Harvin was a second-team All-American in 2008 and was at his best in the 2009 BCS national championship. He rushed for 122 yards on nine carries and had 49 yards receiving against Oklahoma at Dolphin Stadium. Florida wide-out Louis Murphy demands attention on the edge and is a valuable downfield blocker for the Gators' running attack, which specializes in big plays. Murphy finished 2008 with 38 receptions for 655 yards and seven touchdowns. Back-up receivers Riley Cooper and David Nelson are solid options for quarterback Tim Tebow.
EDGE: Florida

OFFENSIVE LINE
A staggering amount of talent will be featured along both offensive lines of the dream matchup between the 2001 Miami Hurricanes and the 2008 Florida Gators. Without question, the most talented player will be Miami offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, the 2001 winner of the Outland Trophy. McKinnie, who was named College Football Player of the Year by cnnsi.com in 2001, never allowed a sack while in a Hurricanes' uniform. He was complemented by another standout tackle, Joaquin Gonzalez, who was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award and earned several All-American honors. The 2001 Miami Hurricanes' offensive line allowed a national low four sacks in 2001 and its balanced offense compiled 475 points through 11 games, a school record. Miami senior guard Martin Bibla earned second-team All-America honors from ABC Sports and was a first-team All-Big East selection. Canes' center Brett Romberg was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy in 2001 and won Rimington in 2002. Left guard Ed Wilkins began the season as a backup but moved into the starting lineup when Sherko Haji-Rasouli was lost with a knee injury. Wilkins played arguably his best game of the 2001 season in the 2002 Rose Bowl, earning All-Bowl honors by Sports Illustrated.

Florida's offensive line in 2008 was led by a pair of experienced fifth-year seniors at the tackle positions. Jason Watkins and Phil Trautwein anchored an offense that dominated the Southeastern Conference and averaged 43.6 points per game. The Gators allowed just 16 sacks in 2008. Trautwein was a second-team All-American for Sports Illustrated and a first-team All-SEC selection by The Associated Press. Watkins was a team captain in 2008 and earned All-SEC honorable mention honors from The Associated Press. Sophomore center Maurkice Pouncey was arguably the Gators' best offensive lineman in 2008. He would later win the Rimington Trophy in 2009. His twin brother, Mike Pouncey, was dominant force at the guard position and newcomer Carl Johnson had a breakthrough season in 2008 after fifth-year senior Jim Tartt was limited due to a shoulder injury.
EDGE: Miami

DEFENSIVE LINE
Florida's imposing 2008 defensive line was led by ends Jermaine Cunningham and Carlos Dunlap, who combined for 15.5 sacks 23.5 tackles for loss. How Cunningham and Dunlap perform against the 2008 Canes' talented offensive tackles could determine the outcome of the game on Saturday. Florida totaled 36 sacks in the 2008 season. Dunlap was named a defensive MVP of the 2009 BCS national championship game. Florida tackles Lawrence Marsh, Terron Sanders, Jaye Howard and Torrey Davis will play key roles against the 2001 Miami Hurricanes running game. Combined, Miami's top seven defensive linemen had 73 tackles for loss and 36 sacks in 2001. As a unit, Miami's defense totaled 42 sacks in 2001 but limiting Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will be a difficult challenge. Left tackle William Joseph led the Canes with 22 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. Joseph earned third-team All-America honors from The Associated Press in 2008. Left end Jerome McDougle had seven sacks in 2008 and was another third-team All-America selection by The Associated Press. The 2001 Miami Hurricanes defensive line also featured standouts such as Vince Wilfork, Jamaal Green, Andrew Williams and Matt Walters, who turned in one of the 2001 season's most memorable plays against Boston College. Walters' deflection, interception and hand off to Ed Reed led to an 80-yard touchdown in the game's final seconds, sending Miami to the Rose Bowl.
EDGE: Miami

LINEBACKERS
Miami sophomore middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma had some big shoes to fill in 2001 but did a solid job replacing all-everything linebacker Dan Morgan. Vilma led the Canes in tackles in 2001 with 87, including 23 tackles for loss, and developed into a playmaker throughout the season. An All-Big East first-team selection by the league's coaches in 2008, Vilma finished the season with three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one sack and one interception. Flanking Vilma against the 2008 Gators will be outside linebacker Chris Campbell and D.J. Williams. Florida middle linebacker Brandon Spikes was an All-American in 2008 and led the Gators with  93 tackles. He also had four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. Outside linebackers Ryan Stamper and Brandon Hicks provide the Gators with a combination of experience and speed.
EDGE: Florida

CORNERBACKS
Florida sophomore cornerback Joe Haden blossomed into a talented coverman in 2008 and freshman Janoris Jenkins forced his way into the starting lineup with his aggressive play. Haden finished 2008 with 87 tackles and three interception and will likely defend Miami receiver Andre Johnson, another talented sophomore. Miami junior cornerback Phillip Buchanon was a first-team All-American in 2008, his final season with the Hurricanes. He had five interceptions and two forced fumbles that season. In Saturday's dream matchup against the Gators, Buchanon will attempt to limit Florida receiver Percy Harvin. Miami's other talented cornerback, Mike Rumph, will have his hands full against UF receiver Louis Murphy. Canes newcomer Antrell Rolle will be used as a nickelback.
EDGE: Miami

SAFETY
Miami safety Ed Reed might be the best player on the field of this dream matchup between the 2001 Canes and the 2008 Gators. Miami's secondary had 28 interceptions in 12 games, while Florida's secondary totaled 26 picks in 14 games. A major reason for the Canes superior passing defense was Reed, who intimidated opposing quarterbacks and finished the season with nine interceptions. Lining up with Reed in the Miami secondary will be senior James Lewis, a first-year starter who started the season at free safety before switching to strong safety. Florida features a pair of talented sophomore safeties. Major Wright is an aggressive tackler and opportunistic Ahmad Black is a solid tackler who had seven interceptions in 2001.
EDGE: Miami

SPECIAL TEAMS
Both teams will feature All-American kick returners. Phillip Buchanon has a long career ahead of him of returning kicks in the NFL and Florida's Brandon James was an All-American in 2008. Both players have the ability to return a kick for a touchdown. The 2008 Florida Gators blocked nine kicks, tying a school record. Miami (Ed Reed) blocked one kick.
EDGE: Florida

COACHING
First-year Miami coach Larry Coker inherited a wealth of talent and has done well to keep the team focused in the wake of Butch Davis' exit for the NFL. Florida coach Urban Meyer has made a career out beating his teams' rivals and is considered one of the best college coaches of the past few years. He won two national titles in three years.
EDGE: Florida

OVERALL EDGE: Miami 6-5

-jo-

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jo,
Billy Joel said; He Didn't Start the Fire. You can't say the same.

by far the best post ive read on here! a very fun read. the pre-game entertainment had me LOL

I'm sure canes fans think otherwise but I really feel if this ever were to happen that it would be closer than most think... but I do give the edge to '01 miami as well.

Jo
I ran the game with the set up given ( arunning offense with Percy as no 3 back) and it came out a 31-24 double OT win for canes.
I reset the offense to have Percy as no 1 running back and the offense as balanced and it came out 24-13 gator win.
And a fun read...

Jo, good post but what a waste of time. U must be getting bored.... Gators would beat the canes.... Nebraska sucked and got lucky, while ou was the best offense in history supposely.... Go gators

The computer is close to being correct and most of your "edges" go to miami. Two things:
1. Quatrerback: Dorsey would have eaten the Gator secondary alive and Tebow would have been stopped averywhere (Edge Miami) and 2.Receivers: Andrew Johnson was unstoppable and
you forgot a few other receivers (kevin williams, brett perriman, jeremy shocky, santanna moss,etc. (Edge Miami). So a;most all the edges go to Miami and therefore the score.
That is why Florida won't play any more.

Jo.... da best blog youve ever written.... i didnt know you liked that west coast music, that made me laugh.

I forgot a receiver, returnman named Devin Hester.
Also, Miami's linebackers included Ray Lewis.

One more tight end - Kellen Winslow

National Championships

Miami - 5 (should be 7)

Florida - 2 (could that be right - LOL)

Quit living in fantasy land.... JO, were in the heck are the pics from the SUGAR bowl

cybercane.......Florida has 3 National Championships.

Breaking News!:.....THE JOHN IN PINECREST REPORT.....

Urban Meyer announced he will be back full time for Spring Practice. He annouced this at the halftime of the basketball game. Great News!

ON Another note, insiders have shared how Florida can sing 29 or 30 players this NSD. So if all the possible cast of Herderson, Hicks, Coxson, Green, Green, Kitchens....etc. etc. want to come, most can get on the train !

and you why cane fans chew up ur blog and spit it out on the gaytors...this is why. how approporiate urban leyer getting more attention to announce his life...what a joke.
was AD Cath there too?

@ cyber cane: what are you talking about? santana moss, ray lewis, devin hester, brett perriman, kevin williams...?? none of those guys were on the '01 team you moron

True story: Najeh Davenport emailed me about this blog post. He called me an idiot for reasons unknown.

Drapp88,

No need to call anyone a moron. He might have just been looking at an incorrect roster. It happens.

Jpuck04,

Please, never again, remind me about my picks. People have emailed me plenty and dressed me down ad nauseam about my picks column. You would not believe the emails I get about that picks column.

-jo-

Whatever. The 2008 gators would have been no match for the 2001 Canes, the game would be a massacre and a joke. The gators constantly look for validation.

Jo that was awesome! You are funny as hell!

Gator John, learn to spell! (And why are you still posting here, you promised us all you were leaving?)

Did the computer factor in Najeh "dropping a deuce" in his girlfriends hamper? One of the strangest stories I ever read!

Go 'canes!

P.S. Najeh was probably just insulted that you would even consider comparing these two teams! I mean after all, the '08 Gator team did lose to Ole Miss., one of the worst teams to ever play the game!

P.S.S. Look what happened to Tebow this year against Miss St. I shudder to think what Ed Reed would do if he were in the backfield when one of Tebow's "ducks" came "clucking" in!

Die hard Gator here ... 2001 Miami team was the best to ever grace the field of college football. Hate to say it, but no doubt. I truly hoped we might prove to be better this year, but no way is it even close (except for the two intangibles that Florida was WAY better at QB and coach).

Sean Taylor ...

One of only 4 True Freshman to see the field for Miami in 2001 ...

nickle ... Dime ... Special Teams


Canes 32 Gators 26


.

.

Gloria, Tom Petty, Slick Rick, 2 Live & Duran Duran Post-Game Concert .

ray lewis????? embarrassing cane fan.

if players from those two teams started an nfl team it could possible make the playoffs. miami had 24 FIRST ROUND PICKS on that team. not including Clinton Portis who went in second round. and god knows how many florida players will be first round picks and stars.

akoscane

Slick Rick? Haha! Didn't he go to jail for Steve Babik offenses? Maybe deported or something?

-jo-

Not even close!

Miami 43 Florida 3

Canes 34, Gators 13

By the way, who is this Chris Hanson dude from MSNBC?
Apparently wants to set up an interview with me.

Quite honestly I think this would have been close. 2008 Gators team was talented and motivated and Tebow just wins games. They didn't have the NFL numbers that that Miami team had, but they were a very good college team with a number of NFL guys. Plus Urban is a good coach. And it's a big rivalry. Rivalry bring out the best in players. Would be a hell of a game to see if you could somehow make it happen.

UM 27 UF 24

After reading this post, all I could think about was who would win that 3 on 3 basketball matchup... wow, that would be something. I think Larry Bird's slowness could be the difference maker. Kobe would have to stop Jordan, Lebron stop Magic - wow that is easier said than done...

Amazing post! Outcast and the Beatles was the most notable standout time machine event to me. That UM team was incredible. Kinda reminds me of UF basketball. Most incredible lineup for a couple years and then...MEDIOCRE!

Damn, what a useless post. The Gator CRICKETS say it all.....

UM 31 UF 17

Let's replay this game instead, and to make it interesting let's do it at the swampe:

2008 Florida vs....

dromroll.....

2008 Ole Miss

go undefeated then talk about your place in history. that miami team played 5 teams ranked in the top 15 that year, 3 away from home. the average margin of victory was 33 points.

GOODMAN THESE PRECIDTIONS ARE JUST PLAIN STUPID. WHAT IS IT NOW THAT TEBOW ISN'T THERE ANYMORE ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS IMAGINE GAMES HE IS IN. THIS ISN'T REAL AND WILL NEVER BE. THE 2001 CANES WOULD KILL THE 2008 GATORS JUST LIKE THE COMPUTER ESTIMATED (COMPUTERS USE NUMBERS AND GUESS WHAT NUMBERS DON'T LIE BIASED SPORTS JOURNALIST DO) 2008 GATORS RECIEVING CORPS BETTER THAN 2001 CANES RECIEVERS GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE. COMPARING BRANDON SPIKES TO JOHNATHAN VILMA YOUR LIVING IN A DREAM WORLD. BRANDON SPIKES WILL NEVER HAVE A NFL CAREER LIKE VILMA WATCH YOU SEE HE'LL JUST BE A BACKUP LIKE YALL BOY SILER WITH THE CHARGERS. I WILL GIVE YOU THE COACHING EDGE THOUGH HELL YOU COULD HAVE COACHED THE 2001 CANES AND GOT A NC AND COACH OF THE YEAR. POINT IS THATS HOW GOOD THEY WERE. NEED MORE EXAMPLES LOOK AT THE PRO BOWL AND SUPER BOWL THIS WEEKEND AND TELL ME HOW MANY OF THOSE 2001 CANES YOU SEE. THAN COUNT THE GATORS YOU SEE HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Edge Florida at LB with Vilma and DJ williams as UM starters? I need some of what you been smoking. A. Johnson is maybe the top wideout in the NFL and you give Floria the edge at WR as well..OK....Do you write for the Gainesville Sun? If not, you should consider it, they would love you up there. Florida wanted none of Miami then and wants none of Miami now. That's why they won't schedule us annually as it should be. Your take is the only thing bogus. 38 point spread may be a bit much but they would win by 21 easy. The Gators are overrated and have been for the past few years.

Andre Johnson trumps any WR on UF, should be a Miami edge.

Miami's offensive line wasn't that good, McKinnie notwithstanding.

Our 2001 was pretty good, but that was a long time ago.

I agree with all Jo except miami linebakers vilma and Williams. Spikes will be great but the other two are over hyped linebacker edge Miami and the wr edge is close to being even A Johnson is almost worth both harvin and Murphy( who the U didn't want). Plus the U took their foot off the gas in the second half and should have played the sooners the year before when they beat FSU the eventual NCAA champ that would made three title games in a row

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