Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes (14-1) for their 42-20 victory over the now No. 2 Oregon Ducks (13-2) in the first ever College Football Playoff Championship. The OSU defensive line did an outstanding job shutting down the Duck attack led by Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. Kudos to Urban Meyer and his coaching staff to effectively rotate defensive linemen in and out to avoid getting winded early as did Florida State in the Rose Bowl semi-final loss to Oregon. QB Cardale Jones showed he can be as cool as a cucumber under pressure. We’re anxious to see what he’ll be like when he gets even more experience down the road. Ezekial Elliot was outstanding at running back in the semi-final and the final. The offensive line was outstanding blocking up front. Overall it was great team effort by the Buckeyes that won the game despite four turnovers. How many teams could have gone all the way as they did with their third-string QB starting in the last three games of the season? It was the end to an exciting and successful season under the new playoff format. The Buckeyes look to be a force to be reckoned with again next season with so many young key players returning.
It was a fantastic season for Collegefootballfan.com as well. We attended a record 26 college football games in one season in 2014-2015. We attended five bowl games (two exciting finishes, a big upset, a very competitive game, and one clunker – four out of five isn’t bad). We attended an FCS quarterfinal game. The New Hampshire Wildcats (12-2) finished third in the nation at the FCS level. We attended our 10th Army-Navy game. We attended the longest ongoing rivalry in college football when we saw Lafayette play Lehigh for the 150th time when they met at Yankee Stadium to celebrate their special, historic game. I got to watch my Alma Mater , Juniata College, play a home game for the first time in 35 years back in Huntingdon, PA as HC Tim Launtz is turning that program back to what it once was. The night before, I saw Fordham defeat Bucknell at Christy Mathewson Stadium for my first time to decide the Patriot League Championship. With good friends Charlie and Lynda Murren, we attended a great game with them at their alma mater, Auburn, where the Tigers defeated my daughter’s school, South Carolina, 35-28. It was bitter sweet as our daughter, Alex, will graduate from South Carolina this spring, and her beloved Gamecocks let her senior class down finishing 7-6. We attended three SC games this season, and they lost all three!
We watched a total of 40 different NCAA football teams – 25 FBS schools, nine FCS, and six D-3 schools. We added the four newest teams to join the FBS – Old Dominion, Appalachian State, Georgia State, and Georgia Southern. We’ve seen every FBS team play at least once including the University of Alabama -Birmingham whose program folded this season (one downer). Though Georgia Southern got romped over by Navy, they finished a very respectable 9-3, best among the new FBS schools, and won the Sunbelt Conference. However, due to some asinine rule, they did not go to a bowl game giving way to several teams they manhandled. We attended games at seven new venues for us – five campus sites and two new bowl games. We saw defending champ Florida State defeat Syracuse with the 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston at QB. Good luck to him in his future if he doesn’t get his act together off the field. We watched Rutgers fall 13-10 in their Big Ten debut to Penn State. One of our former Little League Baseball players, LB Nick Rafferty, made the travel squad every game and lettered at RU as a red-shirt freshman this year. It was a thrill to see him on the team. PSU was eventually released from sanctions imposed by the Jerry Sandusky crimes as it struggled to a 6-6 finish. Hope is on the horizon, however, as the Lions played their best game of the season in an overtime win over Boston College in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. We look forward to the spring game and next season to be back out in State College drinking Evan Williams Honey Bourbon with John and Kelle Massimilla along with their friends and family. And in our first weekend of the season, we saw South Carolina blown away by Texas A&M because it played the worst defense we could ever remember seeing played at any level of college football. We knew the Gamecocks were headed for trouble. But two days later in Baltimore, we watched Navy give Ohio State, led by freshman QB J.T. Barrett, a pretty good game in a 33-17 Buckeye victory. Of course little did we know, it was OSU’s first step on the way to the 2014 National Championship. They became the 11th team in 35 years of us doing this that we would watch play in their Division 1 (now FBS) championship season.
Yes, it was a fantastic college football season for Collegefootballfan.com. In the end, we saw eight of the final Top 25 teams in the AP poll play this season:
1. Ohio State (14-1)
5. Florida State (13-1)
6. Michigan state (11-2)
8. Georgia Tech (11-3)
11. Mississippi State (10-3)
14. Missouri (11-3)
22. Auburn (8-5)
24. Marshall (13-1)
Please check us out regularly as we will continue to report on the comings and goings of this season and next. We will also be adding pages of history and other fun facts on some new pages to be published. Hopefully we can improve our site even more for your viewing and reading pleasure. We especially look forward to sharing our ideas for the upcoming season where plans are already underway to do something special for our 500th game to be attended in 2015. Party!
Also special thanks to Pete Spadora and his crew on WNER 1130 AM in Watertown, NY (and broadcasted in other markets as well). Pete hosted us on his show “Spadora on Sports” just about every other Saturday and let us talk about everything on our college football platter. He’s a great supporter and a great friend. He and his guys make this entire experience even more fun!