UW 1991 Football: Best Team in Pac-10 History?

The Arizona Daily Star is writing about the end of the Pac-10. The conference stayed unchanged for over 30 years (1978-2010) and during that time produced roughly 7,000 sports teams across all ten schools.  Which team was voted best overall?  The 1991 Washington Football team:

The league’s standard for championship football had been John McKay’s unbeaten USC teams of 1962, 1969 and 1972. But when the ’91 Huskies stomped Michigan 34-14 in the 1992 Rose Bowl, commissioner Tom Hansen said, "This is as good a team as I’ve ever seen, and that goes back to all of those USC teams."
Don James’ team, 12-0, was so dominant that it averaged 41.9 points, the most in the league since 1973, and allowed a bare 9.2 points per game, the league’s lowest figure since 1967.
The Huskies beat Arizona 54-0, the UA’s worst loss in more than 30 years, its first shutout in 210 regular-season games.
"This Washington defense is more suffocating than those USC defenses of Junior Seau," said UA coach Dick Tomey. "It doesn’t give you a chance to breathe."
The ’91 Huskies shared the national championship with Miami; eight Huskies were first-team All-Pac-10, including nose guard Steve Emtman, who finished fourth in the Heisman Award balloting, the highest finish ever for a Pac-10 defensive player.

Read more: http://azstarnet.com/sports/article_535f2f48-b238-5026-b1d0-c8a7e618bd26.html#ixzz1Qe0HooAX

Ted Miller of ESPN also realizes the Huskies as the best team since 1978:

1. 1991 Washington: The Huskies finished 12-0 and split the national title with Miami.
Best player: Defensive tackle Steve Emtman won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award.
Point differential: Washington outscored its foes 495-115.
Best win: Whipped Michigan 34-14 in Rose Bowl. Wolverines finished ranked sixth.
Comment: Four wins over teams that finished ranked in the final top-25, including road victories at No. 15 Nebraska and at No. 8 California. Featured one of the great defenses in college football history, yielding just 9.2 points and 67.1 rushing yards per game. Eight Huskies earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors.

ESPN also calls the ‘91 team one of the most underrated teams in history:

The Huskies shared the national title with Miami, clouding their legacy as one of the best teams in college football history. Nothing against the ’91 ‘Canes, who were a great team, but this Washington team — led by future No. 1 overall pick Steve Emtman, WR Mario Bailey (17 TD catches and future NFL QBs Billy Joe Hobert and Mark Brunell — outscored its opponents 495-115 (Miami outscored a much easier slate of opponents 386-100, and beat Florida State only due to FSU’s infamous "Wide Right"). The Huskies also won their toughest games on the road (at No. 9 Nebraska, at No. 7 California) and then dominated No. 4 Michigan, 34-14, in the Rose Bowl.

Don’t forget that Greg Hansen calls Don James the best football coach of the Pac-10 era:

Don James, Washington, football. James has coached Pac-10 teams in more Rose Bowl games, six, than any other man. His 97 conference victories (including three years in the old Pac-8) trail only UCLA’s Terry Donahue, 98, who coached three more seasons. James had two superb bursts at the UW: His teams went 58-14 over six years from 1979 to 1984, and he finished on top, retiring in 1993 after going 31-5 in his final three UW seasons.

To add to that, here is a clip from the last time UW and Oregon met:

1991 Huskies. Best sports team in Pac-10 History?

1 Comment »

  1. Dawgfan204 said

    I think that the 91′ Huskies were the best as well, and they probably could’ve beat Miami that year too. Don’t get me wrong, Miami was a good team. But so was Michigan. and look how that turned out.

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