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Monday, April 8, 2002
Most disappointing teams of past year

Page 2 staff

Nothing frustrates sports fans more than their teams not living up to expectations. With that in mind, Page 2 lists the most disappointing teams of the past year.

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning's Colts had the AFC's No. 1 offense, but the 16th-ranked defense.
Take a look at our list, then see how the readers ranked their 10 most disappointing teams. Then vote in the poll to crown the No. 1 disappointing team of the past year.

1. Indianapolis Colts
Picked by many to win the AFC championship, and picked by almost everyone to at least win the AFC East, the Colts finished 6-10, failing even to come close to making the playoffs. At least they provided some colorful Jim Mora quotes before he was fired.

2. New York Knicks
With the highest payroll in the NBA and essentially the same team as last year, the Knicks missed the playoffs for the first time in 16 years. And they didn't even get a chance to fire Jeff Van Gundy, who fired them 21 games into the season.

Ken Simonton
Oregon State star Ken Simonton rushed for 503 fewer yards and 10 fewer TDs than in 2000.
3. Oregon State Beavers football
Sports Illustrated's preseason No. 1 pick -- in the country, not just in the Pac-10 -- the Beavers didn't even get into a minor bowl, finishing 5-6.

4. Minnesota Vikings
They were embarrassed in the 2001 NFC title game by the New York Giants, Korey Stringer died in training camp, their best player announced he only played hard when he felt like it, Cris Carter couldn't control his big mouth, they failed to make the playoffs (finishing 5-11) and Dennis Green was sent packing. Otherwise, they were cool.

5. Miami Heat
A couple of things will happen to legendary coach/part-owner Pat Riley this year that never happened to him before -- his team finishes with a losing record and it fails to make the playoffs ... this despite the presence of three All-Stars in the lineup (Alonzo Mourning, Brian Grant and Eddie Jones).

6. New York Rangers
Theo Fleury
The same word can be used to describe the Rangers and star winger Theo Fleury: troubled.
Despite adding superstars Eric Lindros and Pavel Bure to the highest payroll in the East, they will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

7. New Orleans Saints
It wasn't so much that the Saints failed to follow up on their success of the previous season by not making the playoffs and winding up with a losing record, it's the way they failed ... dropping any pretense of discipline on or off the field, and losing their last four games by a combined score of 160-52, including a 38-0 debacle at home in their finale against the Niners.

8. Syracuse Orangemen men's basketball
Though they were ranked as high as No. 7 in the polls early in the season, they closed the regular season by losing nine of their last 13 (they started 16-2 and finished 20-11) and then became the first Big East team with 20 wins to ever not make the NCAA Tournament.

9. Houston Astros
Despite the best record in National League, they continued a disturbing pattern of being swept in the first round of the playoffs, this time by the Braves.

Brian Billick
Nobody shed any tears for Brian Billick's Ravens this past season.
10. Baltimore Ravens
After cruising to a crushing Super Bowl win in 2001 with what many thought was the best defense in the history of the NFL, they added Elvis Grbac at QB and were supposed to be the next pro football dynasty. Instead, they were easily defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the playoffs, which, at least, had the fortunate side effect of shushing Brian Billick. For a little while.

Also receiving votes:
  • New York Giants
  • Tennessee Titans
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • New Jersey Devils
  • Washington Capitals
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Cincinnati Bearcats men's basketball
  • Duke Blue Devils men's basketball
  • Florida State Seminoles football
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish football