The regular season (that matters, Army-Navy never impacts anything) is all wrapped up. As I foretold last week, Florida State cruised and Ohio State fell. Auburn won the SEC and the right to get clobbered by Florida State. So how will things play out here in the end? Let me tell you before they happen.
Florida State will remain No. 1 and Auburn will move up to No. 2 and those two will play for the BCS championship. Just about everyone already knows this. What happens behind them is a bit murky.
Since Florida State is ACC and their bowl tie in is the Orange Bowl, they get first pick replacement since FSU is No. 1. The Sugar Bowl gets second pick replacement since their SEC champion tie in is also going to the title game. The Orange Bowl will take Clemson, another strong ACC team, and the Sugar Bowl will take Alabama, another strong SEC team, as their replacements. Baylor is going to the Fiesta Bowl and the Rose Bowl gets Stanford and Michigan State.
UCF has an automatic berth to the BCS, but as they are the least desirable team, they probably get picked up last. I see an outside chance of the Orange Bowl taking them, being in Florida and all, but I highly, highly doubt it. The Orange Bowl is going to take Ohio State. That’s just a foregone conclusion.
The Fiesta Bowl I think goes next, and that’s where things get interesting. There aren’t a lot of options here. Missouri can’t be in, that would be 3 SEC teams. Rules out South Carolina as well. Oklahoma State may drop out of the top 14. So there’s only two teams to even choose, really. Oregon or Oklahoma. Since Baylor is the other team, you can count on Oregon going to the Fiesta Bowl. That leaves UCF the Sugar Bowl and a date with death at the hands of Alabama.
Championship: Florida State vs Auburn
Rose: Stanford vs Michigan State
Orange: Clemson vs Ohio State
Sugar: Alabama vs UCF
Fiesta: Baylor vs Oregon
If I were a voter in the AP Poll, this would be my final ballot:
1. Florida State
4. Michigan State
7. Ohio State
8. South Carolina
13. Oklahoma State
15. Arizona State
19. Fresno State
20. Northern Illinois
24. Notre Dame
25. Texas A&M
If I were voting for the Heisman, here’s how my top 3 ballot would look:
1. Jameis Winston
2. Jordan Lynch
3. Everyone else
I mean, really, those two are head and shoulders above everyone else this year. No one else comes close. Disservice to put anyone in their league.
Now, for the annual College Football Cafeteria awards. I watch a lot of football, and based on what I see, here’s how I hand out my end of season awards.
Coach of the Year – It’s close…very close. But Gus Malzahn of Auburn wins it over David Cutcliffe of Duke. Had the Blue Devils beat Florida State he would have won the award. But you can’t deny the turnaround at Auburn.
Offensive Player of the Year – Jameis Winston. Jordan Lynch was close, but he lost the big one while Winston won the big one.
Defensive Player of the Year – Anthony Barr of UCLA. He was basically this year’s Jadeveon Clowney.
Outstanding Team of the Year – Duke Bluedevils. Think about it. Not long ago their practice field was nothing but weeds. The football program was an afterthought, only maintained as required to be in the ACC. Basketball was all they cared about. David Cutcliffe changed all that. And no, he didn’t do it at Auburn with trillion dollar facilities. He did it where no football program should have ever thrived. What Duke accomplished this year is incredible. Baylor was a close second.
Play of the Year – Is there any question about this? Chris Davis returning a missed field goal 109 yards for the score is the play that will live in infamy for years and years to come.
Favorite Player – I watched a lot of games this year, and the played I enjoyed watching the most was Myles Jack of UCLA. He played defense and offense. Just got to respect that.
Biggest Surprise – That would be Auburn. 3 wins to 12 and a berth in the championship? No one saw it coming. No one.
Moment I Cheered The Loudest – That would be last night when Michigan State knocked in the final TD of the game to seal the win against Ohio State. I absolutely didn’t want the Buckeyes in the championship, but they would have earned a spot with that win. Glad they didn’t get it.
Biggest Disappointment – Johnny Manziel. Sure his defense sucked this year. But he threw two interceptions per loss. Horrible. His off the field antics made things worse. Turns out this kid is just a hotshot punk and I hope he declares for the NFL and gets Tebowed.
Hottest Seat – Mack Brown. I don’t know if he survives this off season.
Best Hire – Washington. Picking up Chris Petersen is huge.
And last but not least…Best Prospects For 2014 – Oregon. When Marcus Mariota said he was staying, they pretty much became one of the favorites to go all the way next year.
Be sure to check out predictions page later this week as we pick all the bowl games!