Wisconsin is surprisingly looking for a new head coach after Gary Andersen left Madison for Oregon State. Andersen went 19-7 in two years with the Badgers, including a 10-3 record and a Big Ten West Division title in 2014.
The SEC’s trophy case is already full of championships during the BCS era, but the conference is set to once again welcome a handful of national award winners to its collection of previous talent. Alabama receiver Amari Cooper was one of the best players in the nation this year and is a lock for All-America honors after catching 115 passes.
By a handful of measures, the Big Ten had a successful season. The league produced a College Football Playoff team, a Heisman finalist, one of the top defensive players in the country and one of the nation’s biggest surprise teams.
The conference just took an interesting path to reach the finished product.
Certainly, Big 12 fans feel jilted by the inaugural College Football Playoff Committee.
Both TCU and Baylor were worthy candidates for the national championship tournament. But being left out of the bracket and the subsequent finger pointing has taken away from what was a remarkable season in the Big 12.
The 2014 season was one filled with remarkable comebacks, record-setting performances, historic storylines and a lot of purple.
The Pac-12 entered the season with eyes on knocking off the SEC as the best league in college football.
While that may not happen until Oregon knocks off both Florida State and Alabama in the College Football Playoff, the Pac-12 has clearly separated itself as the best league outside of the SEC and has set itself up to be on par with the SEC if the Ducks can win two more games.
Florida State didn’t dominate its conference opponents in the fashion it did last season, but the Seminoles were still the best team in the league and feature nine first-team selections on Athlon’s All-ACC team for 2014.
With the conference challenges and Thanksgiving tournaments and showcases behind us, most teams have assembled their non-conference resumes, for better or worse.
Thanks to the holidays and finals, the December schedule lets up for many teams around the country, but a handful of squads are facing must-win situations during the next three weeks as they build NCAA Tournament resumes.