Recency bias is a terrible thing. It turns our brains, honed into powerful analytical machines through time and evolution, into little more than a collection of off brand Post-It notes with defective adhesive backing. Recency bias leads to poor decision making, like thinking a college football team in 2008 or 2012 or 2015 comes close to the sprinting, bloodthirsty terror that was the Miami Hurricanes at their peak.
Stop. You're going to insist some other squad was better. Whatever team you're thinking of, it did not have Ed Reed, or Willis McGahee, or Andre Johnson, or Sean Taylor, or Jonathan Vilma, or Clinton Portis, or Frank Gore, or Jeremy Shockey, or Santana Moss, or Vince Wilfork, or Reggie Wayne. At some point from 2000 to 2002, the Canes had all of them.
Syracuse had this.
This was not bringing a knife to a gun fight. This was bringing a knife to a craft store, handing it to the owner, asking for a replica of the knife to be made out of cashmere, coming back in nine business days to pick it up, and then taking your soft, useless cashmere knife to a gun fight. And then doing it again for the next two years.
The three games Miami and Syracuse played from 2000 to 2002 are total destruction. They are death. They are that dual star system where one bigger star says oh buddy let's cuddle, and the other one goes nooooooo you're sucking up all my matter into your orbit and reducing me to a pitiful mewling quasar. Avalanches consider this kind of fight unfair.
Of the 10,800 seconds of game time played, Miami led for all but...666. That is not a number we made up. That is the actual number, because Satan was an amazing recruiter until he left to become Jeffrey Loria's local government liaison.
Ken Dorsey may have earned his Heisman candidacy based on these three games alone, throwing for 832 yards and 7 TDs with no picks in limited appearance thanks to immediate and horrendous blowout conditions. This was because Ken Dorsey was very good at his job, but also because no one on the Syracuse defense could run in a straight line across the field with either Jeremy Shockey or Kellen Winslow, Jr. for more than three steps at a time. Someone there is a Syracuse linebacker who can be made to go into seizures simply with a whisper of the words "drag route."
It's worse on the rare moments when you watch Syracuse players try to match pace with Andre Johnson. Miami didn't have to do anything innovative, and that is most of the majesty here. There is a tragic back-of-the-endzone in-cut in the 2002 game by Johnson where he runs through one, then two Syracuse defenders with no concern for their presence whatsoever. Syracuse could have let four defenders attempt to defend him, and he still would have pulled away and appeared by the pylon with a touchdown in hand. They are not the same species. They do not belong on the same planet.
Someone put the "highlights" of all three games on Youtube because Miami fans traffic in pornography without apology. We won't embed them because this is a PG-13 website. We will show you this, though: this is what happened in 2001 when Syracuse attempted a play-action pass.
There is also this moment from the 2002 game when Syracuse attempted a draw against a defensive line with DJ Williams and Vince Wilfork on it.
Or in 2002 when the punter noticed an uncovered man, audibled, and threw
a pass to the late, great Sean Taylor
ahahaaha we kid he juked three fools out of their pants and spun the ball like a top for a 47 yard TD to make it a 42-7 game.
There is a moment of triumph in this tragedy for Syracuse. After a long drought, Troy Nunes finally led a touchdown drive against the Hurricanes in 2002. He also threw one for the Hurricanes, and finished the play knocked prone on the field like a sad discontinued robot.
That was Troy Nunes' final play as a college football player. Erase this game.