The bowl season has come and gone, and the dreaded offseason is upon us. I’ve actually dreaded writing this for about three months, knowing the long road ahead.
Thirty-five games seemed like plenty on paper, but we breezed through them all, just like we usually do. On that note: Weren’t we just watching South Carolina play Vanderbilt on a Thursday night in the opening weekend?
Where does the time go? Come back, football.
Before we dive deep into recruiting and spring football storylines and attempt to restart our social lives for the first time in months, let’s take a look back on the bowl season that was.
Here are the highlights, the moments that matter and what I loved and hated about the past month.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s performance against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl is likely worthy of the spot here (516 total yards and four touchdowns isn’t shabby), but Johnny Football’s entire bowl season is worthy of your attention.
Don’t stop livin’, Johnny Football. Let the haters hate, and keep fighting the good fight of trolling the country on your lovely escapades.
By now you’ve watched this hit at least a few hundred (thousand?) times, and you will likely watch it a few hundred more before an actual college football game is played again. This will never get old, ever.
South Carolina defensive end/destroyer of humans Jadeveon Clowney is the closest thing to a cheat code in college football. We knew this before he took off Vincent Smith’s helmet with a picture-perfect hit that will be studied for years, although this has now been confirmed outside of the CFB circle.
Now, if you’ll excuse me. I need to watch this a few hundred more times.
Play of the bowl season, play of the season, play of the everything.
Oh, you never anticipated that a punt would sneak its way into this, did you? Well, this one is most certainly deserving.
We love punters, and we especially love what Duke punter Will Monday did in the first bowl game the Blue Devils have made in roughly 1,800 years. Against Cincinnati, Monday ripped off a 79-yard bomb that someone may or may not have operated with a remote control.
Forget about the distance, and watch this baby maneuver the sideline and goal line. Seriously, I’m not sure how you get a football to do this, BUT I WANT TO KNOW.
OK, I didn’t really hate this one bit. I did, however, feel for the poor editors who got approximately three million calls and emails before they had breakfast the next day. I’ve been there. Oh, have I been there.
The image above comes from The Weirton (W.Va.) Daily Times, and this is a very appropriate typo following the Mountaineers' no-show in New York City. West Virginia, of course, lost to Syracuse 38-14 in the Pinstripe Bowl, and so a mix-up with “bowl” and “bowel” feels about right.
Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin is [expletive deleted] awesome. It’s that simple.
He’s a fantastic football coach who has his team absolutely rolling in the nation’s most challenging conference, sure, but his excellence stretches well beyond X's and O's and wins.
In the video above, a fan thanked Franklin for the job he’s done after the team handled NC State 38-24 in the Music City Bowl. So…Franklin gave him a big hug in the middle of his presser.
Not only that, but Franklin gave safety Eric Samuels the ol’ fake makeout treatment following his key interception in the team’s bowl victory. What can’t he do?
More Vanderbilt love...everything's coming up Franklin.
Wide receiver Chris Boyd hauled in a one-handed grab against NC State, and this catch was originally ruled incomplete. After the review was made, however, the call was overturned, and points were added to the scoreboard.
This was clearly the catch of the bowl season—the handwork, the footwork, the control and the beauty of this grab with a defender right on him.
Smooth. Really, really smooth.
By now you've undoubtedly seen this video, and although the Christmas season has come and gone, it still warms the soul.
I watched this Alabama grandfather get national championship tickets shortly after my Christmas morning wrapped up, and it added a little something to my day. Oh, and it gets better for the father and son, who were originally seated at the top of the stadium.
At the BCS National Championship Game they were surprised with even better seats while doing an interview, and then the game itself was played.
Now that is a two-week stretch.
This is not a typo for those of you who missed out on the Fiesta Bowl. The rare one-point safety made an appearance this year for the first (and only) time since 2004.
Oregon’s extra point was blocked, but a Kansas State player took it backwards into the end zone, and the ball ended up downed in the same end zone. The result?
One point. The rarest of rulings in your favorite game.
FUN FACT: ESPN’s Brad Nessler was strangely on the call for both games. Weird, useless but somehow awesome bar trivia that will undoubtedly stump your buddy. You're welcome.
Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that these polite and excited Texas A&M fans were at all under the influence when they sort of stumbled upon this live broadcast. You can be the judge of that for yourself.
We certainly know where the reporter stands on this, and I can't get enough of this video.
This little exchange took place before the Cotton Bowl, and kudos to these fans for making the right call with A&M and giving Johnny Football plenty of love before he worked his magic once again.
Also, well played, reporter. Well played. He didn't crumble when thrown into this situation, handling it all very well.
Although the BCS National Championship Game was over after about 15 minutes and three seconds of clock went off—and some may argue that it didn’t take that long—we’re now knee-deep in this horrible but familiar stage called “the offseason.”
College football, of course, really doesn’t have much of an offseason anymore with the circus that is recruiting and the circus-in-the-making that is spring football. With that said, we won’t see actual games until the end of August, and that’s always a difficult to pill to swallow.
Despite the anticlimactic ending, it was once again just a lovely season. Football will be back before you know it. Just keep telling yourself that, and eventually it will be game day once again.