The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of This Year’s College Football Season
Like all good things, college football season came to an end last night with Ohio State taking the championship with a 42-20 victory over Oregon.
This season, each conference had its standout moments. Some universities met new heights and made history for their schools, while others were met with firing coaches, tough loses and some very upset fans.
College football season combines the love for an American sport and pride someone has for his or her school. Win or lose, you stand behind your team.
To celebrate the heartache and celebration of the season, I now present to you some of the best and worst of college football this year.
Rutgers and Maryland join the B1G Ten
Although neither school had an overly impressive record, both the Scarlet Knights and the Terps gave their first years in the conference all they had. Each team stood their ground and ended the year on a high note.
Rutgers finished the season 8-5, and Maryland ended with a 7-6 year. Now that both teams have the first year under their belts, only time will tell if either school becomes a new powerhouse in the B1G Ten.
Illinois knocks out rival Northwestern to become bowl-eligible
The Tim Beckman era hasn’t been a particularly successful one at Illinois, but there’s one thing you can’t deny: There’s been progress. From 2-10 in his first season in 2012, to 4-8 last year, to 6-6 this season, the program earned its first bowl bid since 2011.
With a constant back-and-forth game against the Wildcats, Illinois’ Mason Monheim’s 49-yard interception returned for a TD iced the 47-33 road victory and led the team to the Heart of Dallas Bowl Game.
Wolverines show sportsmanship despite rivalry
When Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett went down with a season-ending injury, archrival Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner kneeled down at Barrett’s side to help. He humbly put aside years of heated school rivalry to make sure a fellow athlete was going to be okay.
After the accident, Ohio State’s director of community relations and development said this in a letter to Gardner, proving that behind every university rivalry there is humanity and love for the sport:
The Ohio State-Michigan game is important, but it pales in comparison to the humanity you displayed during that moment.
Saddest Ohio State fan in history
Sometimes, the best moments in football aren’t in the game, but in the stands. Some fans go above and beyond when making signs or cheering on their schools, and some get caught at awkward moments and become a Vine sensation over night.
I mean, I get it: Everyone gets upset when his or her school is losing, but try to look like you’re having some fun. Now, visibly-upset fan is one of the greatest football fan memes of the year.
150th Lehigh vs. Lafayette Game
As not only one of the biggest rivalries in the Patriot League, but also the oldest running rivalry in college football, Lehigh University played Lafayette for the 150th year in a row at Yankee Stadium.
The game ended with Lafayette beating Lehigh, 27-7.
Oregon’s first Heisman Trophy winner
Junior quarterback Marcus Mariota made Oregon history by being the first Duck to win the Heisman. During the season, he helped Oregon to a 12-1 season, a Pac-12 Championship and a trip to the College Playoff Championship Game.
Penn State back to bowling
Two years after the NCAA took away the Lions’ post-season, Penn State regained their privilege and came out winning the Pinstripe Bowl in OT against Boston College. Kicker Sam Ficken ended his college career with a storybook ending by scoring the extra point that gave PSU the win.
Baylor lineman touchdown
In one of the most impressive plays during this year’s post-season, 390-pound Baylor lineman LaQuan McGowan scored a touchdown, giving the Bears a 40-21 lead in the Cotton Bowl.
It’s the touchdown everyone keeps watching, mainly because we’re all still slightly confused how it happened.
Although that is just a short list of memorable moments, the 2014 season will be one to remember. As we anxiously wait to see what next season brings, we remember why college football is, without a doubt, one of the best times of the year.