Miami Coach Jimmy Johnson offered no excuses but did offer reasons for the second-ranked Hurricanes' 35-7 loss to No. 8 Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl. And those reasons began with the Hurricanes themselves.
"I talked all month long about how this wasn't an underdog situation. Tennessee proved that tonight," said Johnson, whose team entered the game an eight-point favorite in hopes of winning a second national championship in three years.
"Penalties hurt us. Crowd noise was a factor. That's not to make excuses. . . . Tennessee played a great game and we did not."
Johnson had made it clear that he felt Miami deserved to be No. 1 if the Hurricanes beat Tennessee and if No. 3 Oklahoma knocked off top-ranked Penn State in the Orange Bowl.