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Florida was a respectable team from its early beginnings in 1906; however they never gained the national respect that the school from Gainesville had craved since their entrance into the Southeastern conference in 1932. However, that all changed in 1990 when the team hired former Heisman Trophy quarterback and alumnus Steve Spurrier to lead the team to the dominance they have craved.
Florida State University is one of the most recognized universities in the United States, both in academics and athletics. The Florida State Seminoles sports teams compete in 17 different sports, winning 12 national championships and more than 100 conference titles. They've also fielded numerous conference champions in individual sports.
The East Carolina Pirates, of Greenville, NC had a very good season in 2008. The Pirates went 9-5 overall and 7-2 in Conference USA games, including a 27-24 heart pounding victory over Tulsa, who went 11-3 overall and 7-1 in conference games, to clench its first conference title in 32 years and received a berth in the Liberty Bowl, where they lost 19-25 to Kentucky.
The East Carolina Pirates are the sports teams representing East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. The Pirates compete in the NCAA's Conference USA of Division 1, along with Rice University, the University of Houston, Tulane University.
The Duke Blue Devils of Durham, NC have tasted so much success with their basketball program that it is sometimes hard to remember they do have football as well, albeit, the football team is almost laughable at times.
Duke University in Durham, North Carolina is both a respected institution for learning and research, as well as one of the leading athletic institutions in the United States. Duke competes strongly in a number of different sports, though the school is widely known for their men's basketball program, which consistently produces NBA quality players, and challenges for regional and national championships on a consistent basis.
The Clemson Tigers were set to clinch their second straight winning season in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They'd won two straight games and three of its last four contests. They held an impressive overall ranking at 22-5, and with a record of 8-5 in the conference stood at 12th.
The Golden Bears of Cal State Berkeley had a good year last season, going 9-4 overall with 6-3 in conference play, finishing fourth in the Pac 10. Cal received a bowl game berth, where they defeated Miami in the Emerald Bowl 24-17, as Jahvid Best rushed for a bowl-record 186 yards and two touchdowns.
Sitting on the steps of the Big 12 conference cellar last season at 4-8 overall and 2-6 in conference games was the Baylor University Bears. The good news for fans was that in every game they won it was by a margin of at least 20 points.
The Auburn Tigers and the Mississippi Rebels came to the contest on February 25th tied for third in the Southeastern Conference, but the Tigers pulled a 77-64 win, moving them up to a second place tie with Mississippi State.