10. Auburn Football- The Tigers won the SEC title with a 12-1 record and may win a BCS Title to begin 2014. I debated them against other champions in this country, but went with War Eagle because when I think of 2013, and I believe when most sports fans think of this year, Auburn without question will come up.
9. Notre Dame Men’s Soccer- The Irish captured their first national title after going 12-1-6 during the season.
8. Florida State Football- As my colleague Eric Lopez points out, the Noles are actually 14-0 in 2013 having won the Orange Bowl to start the year. They were as dominant a college football team that has played in the last 20 years winning every game by double-digits on their way to the ACC crown. They would put themselves atop the list of contenders for top team in 2014 with a BCS Title in January.
7. Baltimore Ravens- As impressive a run of postseason victories you’ll find in NFL history. The beat Manning and Brady back-2-back weeks, on the road. They excelled in all three phases during the playoffs and improbably won a Super Bowl.
6. Louisville Basketball- They were always a factor during the regular season but weren’t really recognized as great until the NCAA Tournament field was selected and they were tabbed the #1 overall seed. The Cards lived up to that hype, finishing up 35-5 in route to a national championship.
5. Alabama Football- The Crimson Tide won their 2nd straight title in dominant fashion over previously unbeaten Notre Dame in January. It was their 3rd title in 4 seasons. They fell just short this year, going 11-1.
4. Chicago Blackhawks- They began the season 21-0-3, a new NHL record. They eventually lost, but that wouldn’t stop them from winning their second Stanley Cup in four seasons.
3. Oklahoma Women’s Softball- The Sooners went 57-4 in route to a national championship. They led the nation in ERA, runs and slugging percentage, among other statistics. They became the first champion to lead the nation in ERA and scoring. These Sooners are in the conversation for the greatest college softball team ever. Eric Lopez will be pleased by their inclusion on my list.
2. Boston Red Sox- The Sox compiled the best record in MLB this year, and then would go on to top the Cardinals in the World Series and stake claim to being the best team over the last decade in the sport.
1. Miami Heat- They won their second straight NBA Title. Along the way they won 27 consecutive games, the second longest winning streak in league history. They had the best record in the NBA and the league’s best player, LeBron James. The Heat were the best team in 2013.