Top 25 Teams of 2004 - 2009
#11 – 2009 Texas
Why They’re Top Fifteen:
They were generally dominant against a pretty tough schedule (ranked 9th), and their only loss came in the title game against a great Alabama team. I would call this the first team on this list that you can seriously argue was legitimately great. There are reasonable counter-arguments but they definitely have a case.
Why They’re Not Top Ten:
Their non-conference was ULM, Wyoming, UTEP and UCF. The Big 12 was fine in 2009, but not nearly strong enough to make a schedule with zero challenge non-conference look like a real national title schedule. They lacked a real signature win; consecutive dominant wins over Mizzou and Oklahoma St were nice, but neither is the sort of game an all-time team would hang its hat on.
#10 – 2008 Texas
Why They’re Top Ten:
They played in the Big 12, which was very good in 2008 (arguably the #1 league that year). They played a tough schedule, ranked 6th overall. They were pretty dominant against their slate
Why They’re Not Top Five:
Their schedule, while good, isn’t at the same level as most of the teams rated better than them. The non-conference was way too easy, with none of FAU, UTEP, Rice and Arkansas posing a legitimate challenge for a top team. Losing to Tech definitely hurt, though many at this level had a loss along the way.
Their really big problem against their neighbors on this list was that they lacked a real signature win. 45-35 over Oklahoma was an impressive win, but most teams in the stratosphere dominated really good opponents instead of just beating them. 35-7 on the road against Kansas was dominant, but a five-loss Jayhawk team is nowhere near what anyone would call a really good team; the same thing applies to their 56-31 home win over four-loss Missouri.