The Top Ten Teams of the Decade

January 2, 2010

With the start of a new decade, it's now time to reflect upon the past 10 years in the world of sports. Here is our list of the top 10 teams of the last decade:

#10. 2007 New England Patriots

The 2007 Patriots are the only team on this list that did not win a championship, as they were upset in Super Bowl XLII by the New York Giants.

What made this loss all the more shocking was the fact that New England went undefeated during the regular season, becoming the first NFL team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to run the table by going a perfect 16-0.

In fact, the Pats ran their record to 18-0 in truly dominant fashion before eventually falling to the G-Men.

Considering the awe-inspiring offensive numbers put up by Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker, the '07 Pats deserve recognition as one of the top teams of the past 10 years.

#9. 2004 Boston Red Sox

This team of self-proclaimed "idiots" finally broke all the talk of the franchise's "Curse of the Bambino" by famously coming back from a previously insurmountable three games to none deficit against the Yankees.

Behind the great base running of Dave Roberts; the clutch hitting of Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, and ALCS MVP David Ortiz; and the strong pitching of Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling, the Sox surged into the World Series, where they would sweep an overwhelmed St. Louis Cardinals team. Such was the Red Sox's dominance that St. Louis would never lead in any of the four games.

#8 2005-2006 FC Barcelona

The 2005-2006 team arguably produced one of the best-ever seasons enjoyed by this world-famous Spanish football club, as they were led by a remarkable collection of talent, including Brazilian Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, and a young Argentinean wunderkind named Lionel Messi.

Barca won both the La Liga and Spanish Supercup trophies. However, what made this particular campaign extra special to Barca's supporters was their 3-0 win over hated rival Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The victory gave coach Frank Rijkaard's his second win at the Bernabeu, making him the first Barcelona skipper to acheive that feat.

Although this accomplishment alone was enough to qualify the season as a success, Barcelona capped it off with a resounding triumph over Arsenal FC in the UEFA Champions League Final, bringing the most prestigious trophy in European football to Camp Nou. As such, the '05-06 version of Barcelona deserves recognition as one of the top teams of the past 10 years.

#7 2005-2007 University of Florida Gators Men's Basketball Team

Led by future NBAers Al Horford, Corey Brewer, and Joakim Noah, this team became the first collegiate squad to repeat in 15 years when they captured consecutive NCAA Men's Basketball Championships.

Over the course of their two championship seasons, the Gators won 68 out of 80 games played. Included in those 68 wins were 18 consecutive postseason wins in both the SEC and the NCAA "March Madness" Tournaments.

#6. 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins capped off perhaps their most memorable season in club history by capturing the Stanley Cup last season.

Led by the phenomenal play of superstars Evgeni Malkin and Sydney Crosby, and the stellar goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins showed true grit in gutting out a tough series win over the equally-loaded Washington Capitals and superstar sniper Alexandre Ovechkin.

The Penguins then dismissed the Carolina Hurricanes, setting up a rematch with the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. Against Detroit, the Penguins once again showed their mettle, overcoming a two games to none series deficit to capture the third Stanley Cup in franchise history, and first since Mario Lemieux's heyday.

#5. 2008-2009 University of Connecticut Lady Huskies Basketball Team

This Lady Huskies squad completed the fifth undefeated regular season in school history, going 39-0 in both regular season and Tournament play.

Led by the unparalleled talents of Maya Moore, and the unrelenting drive and leadership of legendary coach Geno Auriemma, the Lady Huskies won every single game by at least 10 points.

#4. 2006-2007 San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs won their fourth championship in typical Gregg Popovich style, competing on the defensive end and leading the NBA in most defensive statistical categories.

In the Western Conference semis, the Spurs faced a young Phoenix Suns team equipped with a lethal high-octane offense. Still, the older Spurs were able to grind out a gritty win over the Suns, some would say due to their chippy play and intimidating tactics.

In the Finals against Cleveland, the Spurs were led by point guard Tony Parker's nightly heroics. Parker would average nearly 25 points per game on an astounding 57% shooting from the field, in helping the Spurs sweep LeBron James and his overmatched Cavs teammates. Spurs superstar Tim Duncan would later identify the '06-'07 year as "the best" of the four championships that the team won in 9 years.

#3. 2003-2004 University of Southern California Trojans Football

The USC Trojans football team won an astounding 25 out of 26 games during the 2003 and 2004 college football seasons, with their lone blemish being a 34-31 upset loss in triple overtime to the Cal Golden Bears.

In fact, if the 2005 season was to be included, history would show that coach Pete Carroll's squad went a nearly unfathomable 37-2 during the course of the 2003, 2004, and 2005 seasons. However, as we all know, that second loss came when 'SC fell to the Vince Young-led Texas Longhorns in the 2005 title game, and therefore that season was not included in this analysis.

However, there is no denying that in 2003 and 2004, the Trojans were the creme de la creme of college football, as they celebrated each season with a National Championship (although in 2003 they split the title with LSU).

Led by QB Matt Leinart and tailback Reggie Bush, the Men of Troy undeniably had one of the best runs in collegiate football history, as they fielded perhaps the best collection of talent on one team that any school has ever produced in the collegiate ranks.

As evidence of this, one needs to look no further than the following statistic: the 2003 edition of the USC Trojans produced no less than 13 NFL players.

The 2004 team boasted the Heisman winner (Leinart), as well as the co-Pac 10 Conference Players of the Year in Bush and Leinart. This squad won each game impressively by at least a touchdown. The Trojans capped off the year with a blowout 55-19 win over the #2 ranked Oklahoma Sooners, finishing their season with a perfect 13-0 record.

#2. 2007-2008 Boston Celtics

This squad won the Celtics' league-record 17th NBA Championship, defeating the Lakers four games to two in the NBA Finals.

Led by Finals MVP Paul Pierce, and newly acquired veterans Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, the determined Celtics were able to overcome a 24-point deficit and win a series-altering Game 4, thanks to their sheer will alone. Over the course of the series, Boston proved to be not only the more balanced team, but also the mentally tougher unit, as they punctuated the series with a 39-point victory in the Game 6 clincher.

#1. 1999-2002 Los Angeles Lakers

The team of the decade won three straight rings in overwhelming fashion, as they were tested in only two series during their entire championship run.

The Lakers featured one of history's most lethal two-man combos in Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. At the time, O'Neal was in his prime and the NBA's most dominant player. Bryant, meanwhile, was an emerging superstar, and the best at his position. Celtic GM Danny Ainge likened the pair to having Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan on the same team.

Surrounding those two stars was legendary coach Phil Jackson, and a collection of tough, veteran role players, including Robert Horry, Derek Fisher, and Rick Fox.

The 1999-2000 team won a franchise-best 67 regular season games, and then took out the Eastern Conference Champion Indiana Pacers in six games to claim the 12th NBA Championship in club history. O'Neal would go on to earn Finals MVP honors for the series.

The Lakers 2001-2002 team steamrolled past the New Jersey Nets in the Finals after first winning a tough Game 7 on the road against the high-scoring Sacramento Kings. Once more, O'Neal was the Finals MVP.

But the 2000-2001 squad was the most dominant of LA's three championship teams, and the strongest individual team of the entire decade. This squad blasted its competition, going 15-1 during postseason play. The Lakers capped off the year with a 4-1 pasting of the Philadelphia 76ers, with Finals MVP Shaquille O'Neal repeatedly punishing Defensive Player of the Year Dikembe Mutombo in the low post.

By Kweku Turkson
Staff Reporter for


  1. Agree with most of these, but how can you put the Patriots above the team that beat them in the Super Bowl?

  2. The Steelers should be on this list

  3. this author is CRAAAAAAZY for not including the 2001 Miami Hurricanes!!!

    Perhaps the names Clinton Portis, Ed Reed, Jeremy Shockey, Jonathan Vilma might ring a bell?!

    SMH This team was soo stacked

    UM woulda WHOOOOPED those soft west coast boys from 'SC

  4. It will be great to watch World Series: Boston Red Sox,i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.


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