With the conclusion of the regular season, it’s time to reflect on the college football season and honor the best of the best from 2014. There were plenty of outstanding individual and team performances this year, and of course, we can’t forget about the new four-team playoff, which added a new element of intrigue to the season.
In an alternate reality, North Carolina fans had to enjoy a team in pale blue making a run at Kentucky in Rupp Arena.
Alas, that game was three days too early, and the school was Columbia rather than the Tar Heels.
Columbia jumped to an early 11-0 lead on Kentucky on Wednesday, and though the Wildcats defeated the Ivy Leaguers 56-46, the game was a clear wake-up call for Kentucky. The Wildcats are a near-unanimous No. 1 team whose defensive play may be the best in recent history.
College football’s bowl season kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 20 and extends until Jan. 12 with the national championship in Arlington, Texas in the first year of the four-team playoff. With the bowl lineup set and confidence pools and pick’em contests set to start on Dec. 20, Athlon’s editors give their predictions for the bowl season.
The surging St. Louis Rams (7-6) welcome an Arizona Cardinals (10-3) team that shook off two straight tough losses to post a key win over Kansas City in Week 14. Basically, both of these long-suffering franchises are merely happy to be playing meaningful football in December. “For some teams, (playing in December) doesn’t mean a damn thing except the season’s almost over,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.
Marcus Mariota is going to win the 2014 Heisman Memorial Trophy.
And there couldn’t be a more deserving candidate.
The Oregon quarterback won the Pac-12 North, won the Pac-12 championship, earned a spot in the first College Football Playoff and set numerous records. He is the nation’s most efficient passer (186.33) and is the nation’s most productive player with 4,452 yards of total offense.