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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
LSU not only team to just miss "best ever"

By Vince Masi

If LSU had won the BCS Championship Game, one could argue that its season would have gone down as one of the best in college football history. But it was not meant to be. The Tigers are not alone, they have plenty of company among the "what-ifs."

2011 LSU Football
The LSU Tigers took care of business during the regular season, knocking off eight ranked opponents, three of them top-10 teams, including second-ranked Alabama on the road. They wrapped up the SEC Championship with a convincing 42-10 victory over Georgia. However, in the BCS Championship, their offense disappeared and they become the first team to be shut out in a BCS bowl game, with a 21-0 loss to Alabama.

2007 Patriots
Record after record fell as the New England Patriots dismantled their opponents during the regular season. Tom Brady would throw a record 50 touchdown passes, and Randy Moss caught a record 23. However, their dreams of being the first 19-0 team in NFL history ended in Super Bowl XLII with a 17-14 loss to the New York Giants on Eli Manning’s touchdown to Plaxico Burress in the final seconds.

2005 USC Football
The USC Trojans easily went through the regular season undefeated with nine of its 12 wins by at least 17 points. Cases were being made that it could be the greatest team in college football history. However, Vince Young and Texas would not let it happen. In the National Title Game at the Rose Bowl, Young and the Longhorns shocked the Trojans with a 41-38 victory as Young scored the game-winner with 19 seconds to play.

2001 Mariners
The Seattle Mariners set an American League record with 116 wins and looked as though they would go easily to the World Series. They had Ichiro, who won the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year. After a five-game series win over the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS, they faced the New York Yankees in the ALCS, who knocked them out in five games.

1990-91 UNLV Basketball
The UNLV Runnin' Rebels entered the season as the defending national champion and ran through all comers as they easily won the Big West title and went 30-0 entering the NCAA Tournament. However, in the National Semifinals, they would lose 79-77 to Duke, who had lost to UNLV by 30 points in the previous year's championship game.

1990 Athletics
The defending World Series champion Oakland Athletics seemed poised to repeat with a 103-win regular season, most in the majors. They swept the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS and faced the underdog Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. However, Cincinnati turned the tables and swept Oakland.

1988-89 Lakers
While it’s not an undefeated season, the Los Angeles Lakers were 57-25 during the regular season, the top team in the Western Conference and coming off back-to-back titles. They entered the playoffs and did not lose a game through the first three rounds (11-0). However, in the NBA Finals, they would get swept by the Detroit Pistons.