Topic: 2018 Clemson vs. 2001 Miami?
Replies: 25   Last Post: Apr 10, 2019 8:22 AM by: jtiger1®
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2018 Clemson vs. 2001 Miami?

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 11:51 AM

There's been a lot of talk since the Bama Beatdown about where the 2018 Tigers fall in the "Best of All Time" Debate. My biased opinion is they would be able to go toe-to-toe with any team in history--including what most people think is the best ever: the 2001 Miami Hurricanes.

A big part of that Miami team's legacy comes from how much pro talent ended up being on the roster--and admittedly they had 17 (!) 1st Round Picks and 38 overall players drafted. It's obviously way too premature to judge the Tigers against that, but I wanted to look at how the rosters stacked up position-by-position and, honestly, the Tigers are better in several key places.

Miami: 12-0
Clemson: 15-0

Both undefeated. Miami played during the 11-game regular season/BCS era so obviously fewer games. Advantage: Push

Average Score
Miami: 42.7-9.8
Clemson: 44.2-13.1

Tigers scored a tad bit more but gave up a few more points. Miami D pitched 3 shutouts that year. Difference negligible: Push.

Wins over Teams that Finished Ranked (AP Poll)
Miami: #15 FSU, #14 Syracuse, #19 Washington, #18 VT, #8 Nebraska
Clemson: #16 TAMU, #15 Syracuse, #5 ND, #2 Alabama

The ACC was admittedly not great last year, but the 2001 Big East was arguably worse. Interestingly, both teams beat ranked Syracuse teams. Pretty comparable in terms of number of ranked teams, Tigers beat more top 5 teams, both by at least 27 points. Advantage: Clemson, slightly.

Championship Game
Miami: Beat BCS #2 Nebraska 37-14
Clemson: Beat #1 Alabama 44-16

Similar title game domination. Difference is, no one was talking about that Nebraska team being one of the greatest of all time and unbeatable leading up to the game. Huge advantage: Tigers.


Miami: 'Canes had Consensus AA and Outland Trophy Winner LT Bryant McKinnie. He was 1st Round Draft Pick. Joaquin Gonzalez was an AA at RT. 4 O-Linemen were All-Big East and 3 were drafted that Spring.

Clemson: Mitch Hyatt was also Consensus AA. Tigers had 4 O-Linemen make All-ACC (only Hyatt was first team though). Hyatt will be drafted, likely not 1st Round.

IMO too early to make the call on this as we don't have as many O-Linemen leaving this year. I'll call it a push.


Miami: Had Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, and Frank Gore on the roster. McGahee was 1st Round pick, all three of those guys were All-Pros. Pretty loaded backfield.

Clemson: ETN was ACC POY. Feaster and Choice had solid seasons but nothing amazing. Dixon looks to have a bright future.

Again, too early to make the call on Tigers' pro careers. I feel like ETN can be as good or better than any of those Miami guys long term, but honestly the Tigers can't beat that depth. Advantage: Miami


Miami: Jeremy Shockey was AA and arguably one of the better TEs to play college ball. Kellen Winslow was also on the roster and ended up being a jack-### but a great college TE too. Both of those guys went pro.

Clemson: The TE position was all but non-existent. Milan Richard and Garrett Williams really struggled to make an impact in the passing game. Braden Galloway showed flashes but didn't make much of an impact.

This one is easy. Advantage: Miami


Miami: Had HOFer Andre Johnson but he did not have much of an impact in '01. Also had Roscoe Parish and Daryl Jones. No WRs made All-Big East.

Clemson: Tee Higgins, Hunter Renfrow, Justyn Ross, Amari Rodgers, etc...

We all know the shows Higgins and Ross put on in the Playoffs and Renfrow is Renfrow. Higgins and Ross will both be 1st Rounders. Honestly, I think this Clemson WR Roster will go down as one of the most stacked in CFB history when all is said and done. Advantage: Clemson


Miami: Ken Dorsey (LOL). He was a solid college QB but nothing to write home about, most QBs would've won a Natty on that team.

Clemson: Trevor Lawrence, enough said.

Advantage: Clemson, by a mile


Miami: Ed Reed was Consensus AA and HOFer. Sean Taylor was on roster and ended up being a Unanimous AA. Antrel Rolle was 1st Rounder.

Clemson: Muse, Johnson, Wallace, Turner.

This one is easy. I like our guys but that Miami Safety roster is all-time great. Advantage: Miami


Miami: Phillip Buchanon and Mike Rumph were 1st Rounders. Also had Kelly Jennings on roster who would end up a 1st Round pick.

Clemson: Mullen, AJ Terrell, Mark Fields. Mullen was an AA and I think Terrell may end up being the best CB we've ever had, he's very underrated. Mark Fields looks like he'll be drafted despite an underwhelming college career.

Hear me out on this, I think Mullen, Terrell were just as good college CBs as the Miami guys and I genuinely think they'll have better NFL careers. I also think the guys on the Roster who didn't contribute as much are going to end up being great. Advantage: Push


Miami: Jonathan Vilma and DJ Williams were both 1st Rounders in '04.

Clemson: Tre Lamar was 2nd Team AA and will end up getting drafted (although I think he should've stayed a year) and Kendall Joseph is one of the more underrated LBs to play at Clemson IMO. Isaiah Simmons quietly turned in a good year as well.

Advantage: Miami, but not by much


Miami: Jerome McDougle, William Douglas, Andrew Williams, and Jamaal Green were all drafted in the first 4 rounds in '03--frequently cited this past off season as Clemson's D-Line's only competition to "Best Ever." Vince Wilfork was 1st Rounder in '04. None were AAs in '01.

Clemson: Ferrell won the Hendricks Award and was Consensus AA. Wilkins was Unanimous AA. Lawrence was AA. All 3 of those guys should go in the 1st Round. Bryant will go high too. Albert Huggins will be drafted despite being a backup basically his entire career.

IMO this one is clear too. Despite the astronomical hype, Clemson's D-Line turned in an historical season, capped by an all-time performance in the Natty. Miami's Roster ended up with 7 D-Linemen drafted. Clemson will have 5 this year. XT and Nyles Pinckney are almost certainly draftees (Thomas will be a 1st Rounder). That matches Miami without mentioning KJ Henry, Xavier Kelly, Justin Foster, Jordan Williams, and Logan Rudolph. This line will be remembered as maybe the best (and deepest) in the history of CFB. Advantage: Clemson

Coaching Staff


HC Larry Coker: Overall Record 86-47 (.647)
OC Rob Chudzinski: went on to a long NFL Asst Coaching career peaking as the HC for Browns (LOL) for 1 yr (2013, 4-12 record). Current OC for the Colts.
DC Randy Shannon: Miami HC from '07-'10, current UCF DC.


HC Dabo Swinney: Overall Record 116-30 (.795)
OCs Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott
DC Brent Venables

Interesting, both Coker and Swinney had never been HCs before. Coker won the Natty his first season and played for another in his second. He won one more Big East Title (3 total) before the 'Canes joined the ACC in '04 and really went down hill after that: 9-3, 9-3, 7-6. He was fired after the '06 season and went to UTSA where he retired in 2015 with a 26-32 record.

Dabo now has 2 National Titles, 4 Playoff Appearances, and 5 ACC Titles. Both Elliott and Venables have won Broyles Awards as the top Asst Coaches in CFB. All 3 Clemson Assts will likely be HCs in the next 5 years.

Advantage: Clemson


Yes, parts of that Miami team are as loaded and deep as any team in history, particularly RB and DB. However, the Tigers are equal at a lot of positions and clearly better at several key spots (WR, D-Line, and QB). Was that Miami team the best ever? Maybe. But the 2018 Tigers aren't far off and with 18 years of hindsight, it might not even be a question.

2019 white level member

Re: 2018 Clemson vs. 2001 Miami?

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 12:11 PM

Clemson wins easily. Those Miami players are old and fat...

2019 white level member

Interestingly, Frank Gore looks to be the only '01 Miami

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 12:16 PM

player still in the league and last month signed a 1-year $2million deal with the Bills...

2019 white level member

For sake of debate... Gimme '01 Miami

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 12:14 PM

That defense was loaded and nasty. They would have created much more pressure on TL than Alabama or Notre Dame did. It's hard to pick against a team with so much talent that has proven itself in the League.

Maybe in a decade my pick changes.

2019 student level member

Snowflake Basher........Out

Yeah, the real interesting debate is not position-vs

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 12:18 PM

-position but position-vs-opposition-position.

The teams kind of matchup strength against strength: Our QB and WRs vs. their DBs. Their RBs vs. our D-Line.

I think it'd be a #### of a game.

2019 white level member

I just don't see how we stop their RBs

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 12:26 PM

They were a better running team than Alabama. Bama ran all over the field in the title game, even if we did keep them out of the end-zone. But that Miami team had an anger and swag to them that is unmatched. Their DBs and Safeties were much better than Alabama's.

I'd pick Miami. Especially with a freshman QB against Ed Reed. And that team was arguably better-coached than Alabama (other than the HC). They knocked out almost everybody they faced in the first half.

2019 student level member

Snowflake Basher........Out

It's an unwinnable argument either way. But, our claim is

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 12:40 PM

bolstered by the fact that all these supposed know-it-all sports personalities had already made those comparisons and annointed Alerbammy as the best ever, before we smoked them.

The only thing I would point out about your comments is that Bammy also dispatched nearly all the teams they played well before halftime, just as the '01 Canes did. But, against us, it turned out slightly different for them.

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Re: I just don't see how we stop their RBs

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 6:04 PM

Alabama had Tua, who we rightly focused on. Against Ken Dorsey, I don't care who is in the backfield, they wouldn't run it on Clemson.

Pretty sure Alabama has a bevy of top RBs.***

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 7:10 PM

1995 Huskers. 01 Canes. Not as good as

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 8:18 PM

. . . by so many so called experts the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide. Who they crowned the best ever prior to getting smashed by 4 TD's and could have easily been 5 but for Dabo's mercy for his Alma Matter!

So, to me, that seals it! If you believe the folks who have been covering this game all these years; the "real best" got beat by the before mentioned team in the OP subject! 2018 Clemson Tigers!

And again, b/c of tempo, new/better training techniques, RPO offense and us having Brent Venables - we would smash the Canes in my opinion. Same with the Huskers and Tom Osborne from 95.

BTW, it's still yet to be seen, but this team may have some long time NFL talent by the time it's said and done too! Don't sleep on that.

Dude, are you serious? Clemson by a country mile

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 12:38 PM

And it ain't even close.

We'll never know

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 1:32 PM

but I'll take Clemson all day long.

Kind of like the old Marciano vs Ali argument. I personally

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 1:40 PM

think Ali would have smoked Marciano like we did Bammy, but others have different opinions, none of which can ever be proven one way or the other. We'll have to wait until they invents the Time Travels.

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Yep. Just makes for good and worthless conversation.***

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 8:16 PM

Re: 2018 Clemson vs. 2001 Miami?

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 1:40 PM

Here is the one issue with the Miami comparison...

The old BCS rewarded teams for large blow-outs and making the game as noncompetitive as possible. The top 2-4 spots could come down to how much you blew out your opponents.

The CFP does not reward that as much. Thus Dabo can put more depth/learning opportunities. I don't think that Miami played as many 2/3 folks. If Clemson first-team D played more snaps, we would have a lot less points given up and definitely a lot more shutouts. If we had to ensure that our blow out were better than Notre Dame, then Dabo would have limited scrub time. Thank goodness that era is over.

We were really not a 13ppg defense. We were a 9.5ppg D

But aw snap those RBs were great.

Now, if '01 Miami played '18 Clemson (with both teams in their college prime), Clemson would beat Miami by 40. Simple scheme. RPO vs a Pro Offense. Football has advanced and the college tactics makes better use of the kids available.

1995 Nebraska vs 2018 Clemson would be a better game. 54ppg and only giving up 14 points

Re: 2018 Clemson vs. 2001 Miami?

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 5:21 PM

Margin of victory got taken out of the bcs formula after the 2000 season due to Miami getting screwed. FSU buried clemson 54-7 running up the score which moved FSU slightly ahead of Miami. Oklahoma wins the title. Miami would have dusted that Oklahoma team. And 2001 Miami would do the same to anyone. Ever. Even 2018 clemson.

Re: 2018 Clemson vs. 2001 Miami?

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 1:12 AM

2018 class may not be better than 2001 Miami but they’re not “getting smoked” nice try at trolling, your bitterness is palpable, Cane fan

RPO Offense vs. Miami Pro Style - Clemson Wins

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 6:45 PM

Remember a few things here. Miami and Florida with Spurrier had changed the game with their schemes. Many college teams were still trying to bash you to death by running it every down. Those programs were ahead of the curve and changed the game.
Miami players are being judged by what they did in the pros by some posters I think. Some of those same greats were still college kids who ( in theory ) would be the same physically as 2018 Clemson. Who would have better preparation(virtual QB, off season 7 on 7 stuff kids now do in H.S., etc.).
Biggest thing: Run Pass Option offense and tempo had not even been attempted on the college level at that time. Again, we are talking hypothetical! Miami wouldn't know how to deal with that. Remember how it took college football by storm. Throw in RPO's and bam.
Strength and conditioning at all levels of football has only improved since then; so sorry; it would be a Clemson win.

**I agree ** 1995 Nebraska would be a better game for 1 half. Then Brent Venables would make them pass it. Remember how Miami started changing H.S. QB's to DB's or LB's to get more speed on the field? Well, 2018 Clemson has guys who have that type speed that you could build a scheme around to contend with the power I option! A sweet offense that doesn't get talked about enough in how dominant it was.
The passing teams in 95 were not TL to Higgins, Renfrow, Ross, Rodgers, Overton, Thompson good! No where close!

Clemson win! Not just through orange colored glasses. I gave my reasons!

Maybe you missed it, but recently on the Clemson

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 3:55 PM

National Championship rings, it says "Best Ever." It did not say "Best ever except for 2001 Miami."

I think that settles it.

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"IDIOT POSTER OF THE MONTH SO FAR...GWP-- You have won IPM Award for your failure to completely comprehend a clear post & then choose to attack someone who points out your ignorance. While you are not yet in the same No Class Catagory as deRoberts, ClemTiger117 & Tigerdug23, you are getting closer to the Sewer Dwellers." - coachmac

Don't need no dang ring to settle that :)***

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 7:09 PM

Re: 2018 Clemson vs. 2001 Miami?

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 3:21 AM

Don’t get me wrong. I am a die hard Clemson fan and a bigger college football fan. To sit here and say that the Clemson 2018 team would beat one of the greatest if not the greatest college football teams that ever suited up is absolutely crazy. That defense alone had guys drafted at every level. I think they broke the record for most players drafted. I get the RPo vs pro style argument but come on fellas. Tho was the last of the great beat you down teams in college football. Between them the 2013 FSU squad and the 2009 Alabama team. And it’s not even close. This 2018 team was great but to say they beat that team is reaching. And I’m talking stretch arm strong reaching.


The Past vs Present debate is

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 5:38 AM

Intriguing, but aside from comparisons to recent years, it's generally tough for me to pick a past program over the top programs of today. The athletes enter college bigger, stronger, faster...and much more knowledgeable of the game. Look at Clemson...they can field almost an entire starting line-up of high school seniors in the Spring Game. That's invaluable experience against some of the top older players in the country.

As impressive as this year's Spring Game was, consider who the mid-year enrollees could likely be next spring. Pair them with this year's early entrants, only, and that's quite a team in the making for the next 2-3 years. That knowledge didn't exist 15-20, or more years ago. It pays HUGE dividends.

That '01 Miami team had some remarkable players, that's for sure. The political BCS paired them with the wrong team...that Husker team had no business being selected.

Let's see how many '18 Tigers are drafted in the '19-21 drafts. The rhetoric may shift...a lot.

Re: The Past vs Present debate is

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 5:59 AM

They went back the very next year and got screwed in the championship against OSU. Come one man. That team was stacked


Re: The Past vs Present debate is

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 6:44 AM

They did get screwed, but the Clemson team has knocked off ALL the big boys the past few years. It was very political back in the day as to who was good or thought to be good. With the talent Clemson has and the coaches we have along with the depth, Clemson would smoke all the older teams if playing today.

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But our 1st string only played the whole game very few times

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 6:56 AM

Our stats could be better.

Miami by at least a TD***

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 8:22 AM

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