Friday, December 31
The 10 greatest teams

 10. 1972 Miami Dolphins
Don Shula's Dolphins remain the only undefeated Super Bowl champion in history, finishing 17-0. They led the NFL in scoring (27.5 points per game) and scoring defense (12.2 points per game). Their playoff wins weren't quite as spectacular: 20-14, 21-17 and 14-7 over Washington in Super Bowl VII. Also, the Dolphins played the second-easiest schedule in NFL history (since 1972) that season, playing only team with a winning record until the playoffs.

9. 1996 Chicago Bulls
In the first full season after Michael Jordan's return, the Bulls went 72-10, the best record in NBA history. Jordan averaged 30.4 points per game to lead the league while Dennis Rodman topped the circuit in rebounding. The Bulls led the NBA in scoring offense, were third in scoring defense and had an average point differential of 12.2 points per game. Chicago went 15-3 in the playoffs, dispatching Seattle in six games in the Finals.

The five worst teams ever
1. 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Outscored 412-125 while going 0-14. Shut out five times, scored just 15 touchdowns.

2. 1993 Dallas Mavericks
Finished 11-71, outscored by 15.2 points per game. Next-to-last in offense and last in defense.

3. 1916 Philadelphia Athletics
How bad? Went 36-117, worse than '62 Mets. One pitcher went 1-16, another went 1-18.

4. 1975 Washington Capitals
Went 8-67-5. Allowed 446 goals -- 105 more than next-worst team.

5. 1981 Northwestern Wildcats
From 1976-1981, the Wildcats went 3-62-1. This team was outscored 505-82.

8. 1956 Oklahoma Sooners
Bud Wilkinson's teams dominated college football in the mid-'50s, winning 47 consecutive games from 1953 to 1957. The 1956 squad won a second straight national championship in devastating fashion, going 10-0 while scoring 466 points and shutting out six opponents. Halfback Tommy McDonald and lineman Jerry Tubbs finished 3-4 in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

7. 1968 UCLA Bruins
In three seasons with Lew Alcindor, the Bruins lost only two games and won three NCAA championships. This team was the best, going 29-1. Alcindor, the best college player ever, averaged over 26 points per game and received plenty of support from Mike Warren and Lucius Allen. The only loss came to Elvin Hayes and Houston, 71-69, a game in which Alcindor was bothered by an eye injury. The Bruins got their revenge in the national semifinals, crushing Hayes and Co. 101-69. That was the 13th game during the season the Bruins scored over 100 points. They beat North Carolina 78-55 in the title game.

6. 1939 New York Yankees
The '39 Yankees capped off the most crushing four-year run in baseball history, as they led the American League in hitting and pitching for the fourth consecutive season. They scored 967 runs and allowed just 556. The next-best totals in the league were 890 and 700. After going 106-45, they swept the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. Joe DiMaggio hit .381 and drove in 126 runs. Three others knocked in more than 100. And that doesn't include Lou Gehrig, who pulled himself from the lineup early in the season.

5. 1972 Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers went 69-13, including a 33-game winning streak, and went 12-3 in the playoffs. They beat Lew Alcindor's Milwaukee Bucks in the conference finals and knocked off the New York Knicks in five games for the title. Led by high-scoring guards Gail Goodrich (25.9) and Jerry West (25.8), the Lakers averaged 121 points per game and outscored opponents by an average margin of 12.3 points. Wilt Chamberlain also averaged 14.8 points and led the league in rebounding.

Five more to consider
1. 1998 New York Yankees
114 wins in the regular season and 11 more in the playoffs.

2. 1956 Montreal Canadiens
Won league by 24 points. So potent on offense, NHL changed power play rule.

3. 1984 San Francisco 49ers
18-1. Joe Montana at his most dominant.

4. 1975 Cincinnati Reds
Morgan. Bench. Rose. Perez. Foster. Griffey.

5. 1998 Tennesee Lady Vols
Decimated competition to go 39-0 and win third straight NCAA title.

4. 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers
According to Jeff Sagarin's computer rankings, the two greatest college football teams since 1956 are the 1995 Cornhuskers and 1971 Cornhuskers. But, with fewer scholarships, it was a more level playing field in '95, making this team slightly more impressive. Nebraska rolled to its second straight national title by averaging more than 50 points per game, topping 70 against Arizona State and Iowa State. They beat four teams ranked in the top 10 at the time (each by at least 23 points). Led by quarterback Tommie Frazier and running back Ahman Green, not to mention a injury-slowed Lawrence Phillips, the 'Huskers rushed for 400 yards per game. Facing No. 2 Florida in the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship, Nebraska won 62-24.

3. 1985 Chicago Bears
The Bears went 15-1 in the regular season, losing only a Monday night encounter to the Dolphins. While the famed "46" defense designed by Buddy Ryan allowed the league's fewest points (198), the offense was no slouch, either: the Bears scored 456 points, second only to San Diego's 467. This team oozed with character (Jim McMahon, Mike Ditka, Refrigerator Perry) and then knocked the ooze out of opponents in the playoffs -- they beat the Giants 21-0, trounced the Rams 24-0 and then clobbered the Patriots 46-10 in the Super Bowl.

2. 1977 Montreal Canadiens
The second of four straight Stanley Cup champions from 1976-79, the '77 Canadiens went 60-8-12 to finish with a record 132 points. They went 12-2 in the playoffs, sweeping the Boston Bruins for the title. Montreal dominated both phases of the game as Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt ranked first and third in points and Michel Larocque and Ken Dryden ranked first and second in goaltending. Dryden had 41 wins and 10 shutouts. Eight members of the team are in the Hockey Hall of Fame as is coach Scotty Bowman.

1. 1927 New York Yankees
It's been over 70 years now since the team dubbed "Murderer's Row" claimed their place in history and they're still famous -- reason enough to put them at No. 1. But this team earned it. They went 110-44 and then swept the Pirates in the World Series. Their lineup featured two guys named Ruth and Gehrig. The Babe hit 60 home runs, more than any other team in the league; Lou Gehrig hit .373 with 47 home runs and 175 RBI to win the MVP. Tony Lazzeri was third in the AL with 18 homers. They hit .307 as a team. Four pitchers won at least 18 games. They led the league with 975 runs and allowed the fewest, 599. In short, they were the greatest of all time.

Murphy: Da Bears!

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