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Poll Results: Best Miami Football Team to not win a championship

A poll on Canes Talk determined the '88 Miami Hurricanes as the best team not to win a title. They had a dominant season, but fell short in a critical game against Notre Dame.

In our exclusive forum, Canes Talk, we conducted a survey to determine which team, despite not winning a title, was considered the best. The 1988 team, situated between two championship-winning teams in 1987 and 1989, garnered significant attention. Many believed that this team had the potential to secure a national championship and complete a three-peat. It was a remarkable season for the Miami Hurricanes, led by the legendary head coach Jimmy Johnson, and is widely regarded as one of his finest coaching performances.

The Hurricanes entered the 1988 season feeling undervalued after their 1987 championship. They were ranked sixth in the preseason rankings, which fueled their determination to prove their worth. Miami kick-started their campaign with a commanding 31-0 victory over top-ranked Florida State. This victory was followed by an impressive 31-30 win over the fifteenth-ranked Michigan in a thrilling match held at "The Big House," witnessed by a staggering 105,834 fans.

However, it was the game against Notre Dame that truly defined the season. Dubbed the "Catholics vs. Convicts" matchup, Miami, ranked number one, faced off against the fourth-ranked Irish. The game was fiercely contested and ultimately came down to two crucial plays. Trailing 31-24, Miami's quarterback Steve Walsh connected with running back Cleveland Gary, who extended the ball over the goal line. Unfortunately, it was ruled a fumble once the football hit the ground, and Notre Dame recovered the ball. Although Miami managed to score a late touchdown, Coach Johnson decided to go for a two-point conversion and the win instead of settling for a tie (as there were no overtimes in those days). Walsh's pass was batted down, resulting in Miami's only loss that season. Prior to this defeat, Miami had not lost a game since September 7, 1985. The Hurricanes continued to dominate their opponents, outscoring them 248-52 for the remainder of the season.

The 1988 season culminated in a resounding 23-3 victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Despite this triumph, Miami finished as the number two team in the AP poll, trailing behind Notre Dame. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Hurricanes, who had displayed exceptional skill and determination throughout the season.

In conclusion, the 1988 Miami Hurricanes team was a force to be reckoned with. Despite falling short of a national championship, their performance and resilience earned them a place among the greatest teams in college football history. The season was filled with memorable moments and showcased the exceptional coaching abilities of Jimmy Johnson. While they may not have secured the title, the 1988 Hurricanes left an indelible mark on the sport and will forever be remembered as one of the best teams not to win it all.

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