Who is the best 'Undefeated' team?
Def Leppard's new single, "Undefeated," is being featured on ESPN programming this month, so ESPN Music has compiled a list of five of the most notable undefeated teams in sports.
We disqualified national teams for this purpose, so Brazil's 1970 World Cup soccer team and the 1992 U.S. basketball Dream Team are omitted. And we had the difficult task of narrowing down the candidates to five (sorry, North Carolina women's soccer, Penn State women's volleyball).
Read the details about these impressive undefeated teams and then vote in the poll at right for the one you believe is the greatest undefeated club team of all time.
You can listen to "Undefeated," which is one of three new songs on Def Leppard's "Mirrorball: Live & More" album (iTunes | Amazon) that was released June 7, on the music player on the ESPN Music page.
Other teams have won more games in the regular season and playoffs combined, but the 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only NFL team to have completed a perfect season. The Dolphins finished their 17-0 campaign with a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII on Jan. 14, 1973. Incidentally, the Dolphins did extend their streak to 18 consecutive victories at the start of the 1973 season, but they lost to the Oakland Raiders in Week 2.
The Gunners won 26 games and had 12 draws for 90 points during their undefeated 2003-04 English Premier League season. Arsenal, which finished 11 points clear of second-place Chelsea, scored 73 goals and allowed just 26. It became just the second Premier League team to go undefeated, joining the 1888-89 Preston North End club (18-0-4). Manager Arsene Wenger's squad was led by striker Thierry Henry (30 goals) and Robert Pires (14 goals). Although the Gunners finished one point shy of Manchester United's record of 91 points in a season, they proved worthy of being called "Invincibles" with a come-from-behind victory over Leicester in the final game of the season. Including two victories at the end of the 2002-03 season and nine at the start of 2004-05, Arsenal's unbeaten streak stretched to a record 49 games from 2002 to '04.
Many college football teams have had undefeated seasons, but the Oklahoma Sooners hold the NCAA record for consecutive victories with 47. Beginning with a 19-14 victory over the Texas Longhorns on Oct. 10, 1953, Oklahoma went undefeated over five seasons until losing 7-0 to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Nov. 16, 1957. During the streak, the Sooners won four bowl games and two national championships (1955 and 1956).
Fans of the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers, 1956 San Francisco Dons, 1957 North Carolina Tar Heels, 1939 Long Island University Blackbirds or even UCLA squads from 1964 and 1967 might disagree, but men's college basketball's greatest undefeated team is the UCLA Bruins of the early 1970s. Legendary coach John Wooden's teams dominated the sport with an NCAA-record 88 victories in a row from 1971 to 1974. During the streak, the Bruins won three (of their seven consecutive) national titles and included players such as Bill Walton, Henry Bibby and Keith Wilkes.
The most recent of the teams on this list, UConn's women's basketball team had its 90-game winning streak from 2008 to 2010. In between losses to the Stanford Cardinal on April 6, 2008, and Dec. 30, 2010, the Huskies won those 90 games by an average of 33.4 points per game and won 88 of the 90 games by 10 or more points. During its winning streak, Connecticut never trailed by more than nine points. Coach Geno Auriemma led the Huskies to two national titles during the streak.
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