Sadly, the 2014-15 college football season is over. Now begins the dreaded 8 months of no college football, crying in the streets, suicide watch time of the year, the off-season.
Sure, we all love the NFL playoffs, the NBA, college basketball, hockey and all those other random sports we rediscover every Spring, but college football is what makes the sports world go ‘round.
Thus, before we go into the (nearly) never-ending off-season abyss, I present to you the Recap of the entire college football season.
In this you will find What We Learned from this year, the rankings of the Power-5 Conferences, Ryan King’s Final Rankings and my Way Too Early Predictions for next season.
What We Learned
The SEC really WAS overrated
Year after year we hear the same comments abut how the SEC is the greatest conference in all of college football and possibly ever.
Sure, they had their era of domination, winning seven straight national championships, but what about now?
This is the first year since 2005 that an SEC school did not make the championship. It also happens to be the first year that a Playoff was introduced, meaning the teams would have to beat another good team before playing for the Title.
Alabama got into the Playoff, only to lose to the no. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes.
This alone does not prove that the SEC was overrated, I mean, anyone can have one bad game and lose, right? Sure. The problem is, what many considered the greatest division in college football history, the SEC West, went just 2-5 in their 7 bowl games; the only teams that won, were the teams that finished 6th and 7th in the division, Texas A&M and Arkansas.
The marquee losses, other than Alabama, were a 49-34 domination of Mississippi State at the hands of Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl, a 31-28 loss for LSU at the hands of Notre Dame and the best one of all, a 42-3 humiliation of Ole Miss at the hands of TCU in the Peach Bowl.
The SEC has had great teams and will continue to produce good teams, but the notion that the conference as a whole is head and shoulders above everyone else is simply ludicrous.
The Heisman doesn’t mean everything
Marcus Mariota won the 2014 Heisman Trophy and good for him. He seems like a down-to-earth, good human being that any school, or franchise, would love to have as the face of their team. However, we saw once again that winning that Trophy doesn’t mean much.
Mariota was embarrassed in the national title game, and although it was not entirely his fault, his disappointment proved that nearly any competitive player would rather be a champion than have a trophy saying you are really good.
Florida State was what we thought they were
However, against Oregon, they weren’t so lucky.
Florida State fell behind early, as they did often this year, making all of us think they might lose, but still hesitant to call the game because of the fluky ways FSU seems to win.
But this time, it was different. Florida State literally fumbled the ball away, with five turnovers; none more iconic than the Jameis Winston backwards fumble returned for a touchdown.
The final score was 59-20 and it wasn’t even that close.
Now, it is true that when it rains, it pours. Is Oregon really 39 points better than Florida St, no, but we all wanted to see them fail.
The general consensus was that FSU got lucky over and over again and would get killed when they played a good team, which is what happened.
The only side note I want to make is please do not belittle the 29-game winning streak, or the national championship.
Even if a team gets “lucky” game after game, winning 29 games in a row is extremely difficult to do. You cannot get lucky for almost 30 games.
This team was not one of the best in the nation, but winning every game is a skill that few players, coaches and teams have.
Records are meant to be broken…Twice
LaDainian Tomlinson held the record for most rushing yards in a single game in NCAA history with 406 since 1999 and then it was broken, twice.
Melvin Gordon ran for 408 rushing yards against Nebraska on November 15th in one of the most impressive running games you will ever see, the only problem was there was still more college football to be played.
Just one week later, true-freshman running back Semaje Perine of Oklahoma ran for 427 years against Kansas. That’s right. A record that stood for almost 15 years was broken twice within seven days.
Tomlinson had a nice run (haha) but the one you should feel bad for is Gordon. That guy had the record to himself for one week. When people ask how this happened twice in one week, I think we have to look at the “when it rains it pours” idea. Oklahoma knew the record because it had been broken the week before, so why not go for it?
The only question left is, will it be broken again next year?
The Playoff worked
As we all know, it was a huge success, but if you disagree you can read my last article
The meat of the argument is simple, Ohio State and Oregon, who met in the national championship, would not have had a shot at the Title in previous years; instead, Alabama would have played Florida State, effectively handing Alabama their 10th championship, (not 16th, but that is a future article (foreshadowing)).
Power-5 Conference Rankings
1. Pac 12
I know this seems crazy, but Oregon’s domination of a team that hadn’t lost in 29 games, and the fact that their 6-2 record was highest among Power-5 schools gives them the no. 1 spot.
Not to mention UCLA showing up big over Kansas State and USC beating Nebraska.
2. Big 10
I couldn’t put them no. 1, but anytime you have the national champion, you have to be ranked high.
Ohio State beat Alabama and Oregon on its way to the Title, not to mention Michigan State’s come back victory over Baylor and Wisconsin’s overtime thriller win versus Auburn.
Some would find this sacrilegious. But the SEC West, which was so dominate, disappointed big time, as I touched on earlier, going 2-5 in the bowls.
However, the weaker division, the East, did do quite well at 5-0, pulling the conference’s total bowl record up to 7-5.
Many considered the ACC to be a joke, and although it still isn’t great, Florida State is a good team, Georgia Tech killed Mississippi State to win the Orange Bowl and Clemson put a beat down on Oklahoma.
Who knows how good this conference was all year, but at the end, they had a few teams playing extremely well.
5. Big 12
This conference was top heavy all season, but with a weak Texas and Oklahoma, that will happen.
TCU was legit, blowing out Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl, but their other “True Champion” Baylor blew a 20-point lead to Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl.
This, coupled with a 2-5 bowl record (worst among the Power-5) gives them the 5th spot.
Ryan King’s (Final) College Football Rankings
1. Ohio St.
5. Michigan St.
7. Florida St.
8. Georgia Tech
14. Mississippi St.
15. Arizona St.
16. Boise St.
17. Ole Miss
20. Kansas St.
Way Too Early Predictions
My Way Too Early Final Four for next season is as follows, (please do not hold it against me),
1. Ohio State (Duh)
2. TCU (Ehh, not bad)
3. LSU (Lots of young talent and Bama will be weak)
4. USC (Cody Kessler is legit and Oregon should be weak too)
My Bold Prediction for next season is:
The Alabama Crimson Tide loses AT LEAST three regular season games.
Thank you guys for reading and please continue to read me in the off-season!