What I Loved and Hated from the College Football Regular Season
You've been in the position. Sometimes when things don’t go your way, there’s nothing else you can do but eat an entire pizza in seclusion and sadness.
Maybe you didn’t lose a chance at the national championship, but sometimes it has to happen. And with college football’s regular season coming to a close—Army and Navy play next week—perhaps we’re all just lost souls searching for comfort food.
There were many moments that warrant a second look, although certainly for different reasons.
There was Eminem in the booth, a fox on the field, a Hail Mary, a fourth-down spike, a two-point conversion for the ages, the Iron Bowl finish and so much more. It’s impossible to put the ultimate bests and worsts in one slideshow, but I will try to here.
Here is what I loved and hated from the college football regular season.
HATED: Carl Pelini’s Fourth-Down Spike
Before Carl Pelini got "fired" at FAU for a situation that is getting weirder weekly, he told his quarterback to spike the ball on fourth down against Miami in Week 1. Perhaps it was a sign.
The score was 34-6, and Pelini was only trying to make the score slightly more respectable. Unfortunately, the end result was basically the exact opposite.
Remember that? That happened.
No, I’m not going to make a joke between this play and the substance concerning his firing, although it is awfully tempting.
LOVED: This Villanova Fake Punt
Villanova pulled off what was likely the special teams play of the year—well, minus one play which you likely know—and it came during the first week of the season
Playing against Boston College, Villanova executed the fumblerooski fake punt to perfection. Forty-seven yards later, Jamal Abdur-Rahman scooted into the end zone, but not before everyone—from the opposing team, to the cameraman, to us—got lost trying to find him.
Cameraman Performance: C- (although we were fooled, too)
HATED: The Akwardness of Eminem in the Booth
This was the cringe-inducing moment of the year, and it's not even close. Eminem's cameo felt more like a botched SNL skit than an exchange in a football booth.
Yes, this moment takes us all the way back to Week 2. Notre Dame and Michigan were playing in prime time, and Eminem was set to promote his new album. It seemed like a solid idea on the surface, sure. And then it was put in play.
Oh, this one has it all. Ultimate awkwardness? Check. Gambling talk from Brent Musburger? Check. Kirk Herbstreit trying to keep it together? Check.
Months later, it remains difficult to watch in full.
LOVED: Fresno State's Fat-Guy Trick-Play Touchdown
Do you like large men being used in trick plays? If you answered no for whatever reason, kindly show yourself out.
Fresno State incorporated two of our favorite things into one play: a lineman and a hook-and-lateral. Austin Wentworth is the man who scored the touchdown, and his “oh wow, that actually worked reaction” pretty much says it all.
And here I thought this would only work with Jonathan "Mox" Moxon playing quarterback and taking over play-calling duties.
Not so fast, my friend.
HATED: To Be a Fox Stuck on the Field
This, as far as I know, is the only time a fox made an appearance during the 2013 season. It might be the only time a fox has ever surfaced during a football game. Unfortunately, he did not log a carry or make a tackle.
Well, maybe it’s not unfortunate he didn’t make a tackle.
The sideline fox appeared during Week 3 in Lubbock, a fitting destination. Texas Tech was playing TCU, and the cameras couldn’t help but track the frantic animal while it surveyed the sideline.
If you remember the game, this was probably the most exciting moment. Fumbles, anti-touchdowns, punts and a fox. At least there was a fox.
LOVED: SMU's Two-Point Conversion
2013 gave us one of the most absurd two-point conversions we've seen in a while.
SMU and Rutgers played a game in Week 6 that featured approximately 9,000 points in the second half and overtime. Although SMU eventually lost the game, quarterback Garrett Gilbert—remember him?—gave us free football with this play.
Gilbert ran, ran some more, ran a little more and then threw the ball across his body brilliantly to wideout Jeremy Johnson.
Was it planned? Oh, goodness no. But it was beautiful, and somehow it worked.
HATED: South Florida's Two-Yard Punt
Kicking a two-yard punt should come with some sort of trophy and a year supply of ham. That seems appropriate given how difficult it is to kick a football two yards with a full, deliberate motion.
In Week 5, however, USF punter Mattias Ciabatti pulled off this feat against Miami. And much like everyone else, the cameraman struggled to follow the ball’s path because, well, this is a path not often traveled.
Ham is in the mail, though, Ciabatti. There will always be ham.
LOVED: J.J. Worton's Absurd Catch
After careful review, J.J. Worton’s unbelievable effort has been deemed "Catch of the Year." This is a sensitive award to many of you, so allow me to explain before the hate pours in.
There were many worthy submissions in this category, although the UCF wideout delivered a magnificent one-handed catch that is unmatched. Adding to the difficulty of the play—which is off the charts—Worton came down with the ball at a time when his team needed it most.
Do you believe this catch was worthy of top honors? If not, send your nominee to You'reWrongSoDon'tBotherSending@DealWithIt.com.
HATED: To Lose on a Hail Mary
There could be an entire Love/Hate catalog for Bo Pelini’s season alone. But one spot will have to do.
And yes, unlike many of the other submissions, this one is indeed a positive. For him, at least.
While the narrative was predominantly bad, Pelini was on the right side of Lady Luck in Week 10. Playing against Northwestern, and with the hot seat ready to engulf his coaching slacks, Pelini got some love as time expired. A Hail Mary arrived at a time when he needed it most, giving Nebraska the win against Northwestern.
There are a few things worth noting about this. First, Pelini’s bewildered expression is outstanding. And next, it really didn’t get much better for Northwestern. This wasn't rock bottom.
LOVED: Arizona's Ridiculous Interception
Marcus Mariota’s first interception of the year came with fireworks. He would likely argue that and have another word for it, but Arizona’s takeaway of the fabulous quarterback was without question one of the best plays of the season.
It was also a group effort.
The ball first bounced off Oregon’s Bralon Addison, and then Arizona’s Shaquille Richardson got involved. Richardson tossed the ball back into play, hitting it off Addison and somehow getting it to Scooby Wright.
The result was indeed a turnover, and you don't see many quite like this.
HATED: To Block My Own Teammate
When this image first came to light, it seemed like a catchy snapshot. Two players caught at an exact moment to make it look like they were blocking one another, and nothing more.
But then the video surfaced, and yes, this scene was far better (worse?) than we could have possibly imagined. The music added to this special football encounter only adds to its magnificence.
Looking for a Gators season recap? There’s no need for stats, record or game tape. Just watch this, and you’ve got it.
LOVED: The Iron Bowl Finish
We end with this, because there is no other way to end. There is no other ending that could possibly top what we witnessed in this year’s Iron Bowl, a play that still feels surreal in a lot of ways.
The missed-field goal return by Chris Davis was one of a handful of plays that could have made the cut from Auburn this season, although this was the standout. And now because of this play, the miracle catch against Georgia and superb late performances throughout the year, Auburn will play for the national championship.
College football, you've done it again. Take a bow.
And with the regular season complete, I think I'll go eat a pizza in silence.