Miami, the collegiate football team of the 1980s, continued its winning ways in the '90s with a record-smash Cotton Bowl. But it may not be enough for the defending national champions to repeat.
The twice-beaten, fourth-ranked Hurricanes, making a last desperate attempt to impress the poll voters, battered No. 3 Texas 46-3 on Tuesday as Craig Erickson threw a Cotton Bowl record four touchdown passes.But No. 2 Georgia Tech downed Nebraska 45-21 in the Florida Citrus Bowl and top-ranked Colorado defeated Notre Dame 10-9 in the Orange Bowl.
Miami coach Dennis Erickson wasn't hopeful.
"We gave it our best shot but when Georgia Tech won there just wasn't any scenario I could see Miami would be voted the national champions," Erickson said after the Orange Bowl.
Early-season losses to Brigham Young and Notre Dame may have doomed the Hurricanes, who won their last six games.
Miami produced the most points and widest margin of victory in Cotton Bowl history with the rout of the Southwest Conference champion Longhorns, who had won nine games in a row after an opening loss to Colorado.
"Miami deserved to be considered for No. 1," Texas coach David McWilliams said. "If Miami isn't the national champion, then I don't want to play the best one."The Hurricanes were penalized a record 16 times for 202 yards yet produced the worst rout in the 55-year history of the Cotton Bowl.
"I think any team in the country would have a tough time beating us, but I'm not going to politic," said Criag Erickson. "We lost twice. We made our bed and have to sleep in it.
"That's all I have to say about it. I would politic for a playoff, though. It didn't seem like we were getting much respect and we were on a mission to get respect."
The previous Cotton Bowl record was 45 points by Boston College in 1985.
While Erickson was winning offensive MVP, Outland Trophy winner Russell Maryland led the mauling of quarterback Peter Gardere with three of the eight Miami sacks.
"We weren't getting a lot of respect and I think today we proved we're a very good team," Maryland said. "We got a lot of penalties. Everybody hates the 'Canes. We're the team you love to hate."