What Should Really Surprise You About This Past NCAA Football Season
There was a lot of movement this past season in college football, with several programs rising from the ashes to stardom, and some prominent programs falling off. If you consider the landscape of this past season, in its final state, and how things ended, the programs that actually surprised us are not as evident as you may think. If you saw any of these games with seats from College Football Tickets you may have been pleasantly surprised, or dismally shocked.
Surprises – Alabama Crimson Tide
Not even Alabama fans were overly optimistic heading into this past season as their program’s chances of winning the National Championship. Don’t get me wrong, the nation fully expected them to be in the hunt, but after a mid season loss to Ole’ Miss all hopes took a major hit and don’t pretend you didn’t think the same. Alabama had the same usual stout defense, but their offense was more inefficient than it had been in years. They weren’t even the best offense in their own conference, and of the final four teams the Crimson Tide easily had the worse QB, and the only one that won’t be playing on Sundays. If I were to tell you that a team in the SEC would have a young defense, a QB that won’t play in the NFL, and the 2nd best offense would you pick that team to win the National Championship?
No Surprise – Clemson Tigers
The National runner up did not come out of nowhere to land in the National Championship game. They had a perfectly soft schedule meaning their toughest games (FSU & Notre Dame) were at home, and their rival (USC) was a dumpster fire. They predictably ran through their schedule with a balanced attack packed with upper classmen and Heisman caliber QB. Upstate South Carolina expected Clemson to blow it in one of the cupcake games as they usually do, but most people underestimated the resolve of head coach Dabo Swinney. No one should be surprised by the rise to prominence, and you can expect similar results in 2016.
No Surprise – Iowa
Iowa was one drive away from being in the final four, but their team was also packed with seniors. They’ve had the same coach for 100 years, and a stupid easy schedule with no Michigan, OSU, or Michigan State. The writing was on the wall for a good run, but don’t expect a repeat in 2016 and their non-conference schedule should be its own comedic act too!
Surprise – Ohio State
Surprised, at how bad they were. There’s no question that Ohio State was the best team top to bottom in the Big10. They controlled the Michigan State game for 59 minutes, and Sparty never actually had the lead until the end of the game. This team was super stacked with NFL draft picks and displayed an overall lack of focus in many games which is not typical of an Urban Meyer coached team. Hats off to Sparty for pulling it out, but it’s difficult to argue that Michigan State had the better team.
No Surprise – Oklahoma
There was a lot to like about the Big 12 this past season, as there was a ton of fire power including a multiple big armed QBs that have made their living in the college game lighting up the score board. But with all the offense, everyone forgot about how experienced and how deep the Sooner defense was. The Sooners gave up the fewest points in the Big 12, and it wasn’t even close, which is more telling, considering how many good offenses they faced. Oklahoma was overwhelmed by a Clemson team in the National semi-finals, but a lot people, experts included were shocked to see them push through… and yes it’s still stupid that the Big 12 doesn’t have a conference game.
Surprise – Stanford…. More specifically Christian McCaffrey
McCaffrey was in his 2nd year, but his freshmen year was relatively uneventful. I’m not sure what went off for McCaffrey, but there was no player in college that could score from anywhere on the field like McCaffrey. The son of former Denver Bronco WR Ed McCaffrey and brother of three other McCaffreys’ who are all ballers was electrifying accounting for a 8 rushing TDs, 5 receiving TDs, and even added 2 passing TDs… huh??? That’s right, and if that wasn’t enough, the dude returned two punts as well, for a nasty offensive season long stat line. Can 2016 be even better for the rising junior? Oh and Stanford was Rose Bowl bound as well clobbering an Iowa team that couldn’t keep up, and this was after two clumsy losses in the regular season.