In 1986, the Miami Hurricanes were the number one team in college football. They had achieved this ranking by thoroughly dominating all opponents including Oklahoma in the season finale, 28-16
With a record of 11-0, they traveled to the Fiesta Bowl to play Penn St with a National Championship on the line. Miami was without argument the most talented group of players in the entire nation and they carried themselves as such, even showing up to the game in military fatigues. Everything they did, they did with a sense of entitlement, as if they could just show up and win because they were Miami and you had better just KNOW that they were gonna kick your ass.
In that Fiesta Bowl, they played sloppily and unprepared. Their All American QB Vinny Testaverde threw 4 INTs on the way to an embarrassing 14-10 loss. Penn St, NOT Miami ended that season as the National Champions
In 2010, The Alabama Crimson Tide entered the season as the preseason number one team in the nation, having just come off a National Championship and with a Heisman Trophy winning running back, Mark Ingram, coming back along with many other veteran players.
Most people accepted the fact that Alabama had the most talented team in the nation. After defeating Florida 31-6 in the second month of the season, it appeared that Alabama would be unstoppable on their run to a second straight National Championship.
Everyone knows that Alabama was quickly undone by the arrogance of entitlement and thinking, like Miami in '86, that they could just show up and kick your ass because they were Alabama and there was nothing you could do about it.
After the embarrassing Fiesta Bowl loss to Penn St, the Miami team entered the 1987 season with a simple mantra: Never Again.
Never again would they be embarrassed in such a way. They admitted publicly for the first time that even though they were more talented than everyone they played in 1986, they weren't a great team because they didn't win a Championship. And they set out to prove in '87 that they could be a great TEAM, even though they had lost their All American QB Testaverde to the NFL. They set out to prove that they could, with a new QB in Steve Walsh, do what the '86 team failed to do: Finish
At the conclusion of the 2010 season, the Alabama Crimson Tide humiliated itself in epic fashion by quickly jumping out to a 24-0 lead against the eventual National Champion Auburn Tigers, only to see Auburn come back and win that game 28-27.
Most reasonable people could see that Alabama was the more talented team, and that there was no excuse for them to lose that game. But, like Miami in '86, it was a culmination of a frustrating year in which many of the veteran players took it for granted that they didn't have to play their best to win. That, as I stated earlier, they could just show up and win.
Going into the 1987 season, Miami was ranked second in the AP poll to the Oklahoma Sooners, who had one of the best players in the country in linebacker Brian Bosworth, better known as The Boz. Miami had a new QB, and alot to prove
Going into the 2011 season, Alabama is ranked second to Oklahoma, who has a preseason Heisman candidate in QB Landry Jones. Alabama enters the season with a new QB, whether it be AJ McCarron or Phillip Sims, and alot to prove
In the months since that devastating Iron Bowl loss to Auburn, it has been widely publicized that Alabama players have taken the same mantra as Miami heading into 1987: Never Again
Trent Richardson says that he has a poster on his bedroom wall of the Iron Bowl score, 28-27, and under that the words "Never Again"
At SEC Media Days in July, Alabama's All American Safety Mark Barron was asked about the "Never Again" mantra. He replied, "It just means that never again will we go out and not play the way we know we can. Never again will we go out and not finish"
Miami entered the 1987 season with the motivation that never again would they be embarrassed the way they were against Penn St the year before.
In 1987, Miami went undefeated, completely destroying all opponents on the way to the National Championship that they knew they should've won the year before.
In 2011, Alabama enters the season with the motivation of last year's Iron Bowl embarrassment, and...well....
- Eric Blackerby
- My name is Eric. My love of and loyalty to the University of Alabama football team is unparalleled and completely inappropriate. I hate all other teams, and wish them peril. Also, you can hear my music at www.reverbnation.com/EricBlackerby or www.youtube.com/EricBlackerbyMusic