If you are a fan of college football and didn’t watch the College Football National Championship game between the Tide and the Tigers, you may want to kick yourself. The game was an instant classic, with some claiming it was the best championship game ever. I am not sure I can make that statement, but I can say it was the best I can remember in a long time. The two most disciplined and talented teams of 2015 squared off and traded blows in what turned out to be the best test either team faced all season. It was a joy to watch, especially not having any emotional attachment to either team. Absolutely great football.
Clemson certainly has nothing to be ashamed of. They stood toe-to-toe with the juggernaut that is Alabama’s defense and showed them they could put points on the board, almost at will. Their defense blew a couple of key coverage assignments, but was otherwise just as good. If it were not for two special teams mishaps, the Tigers might just have hoisted the trophy instead. Deshaun Watson was practically unstoppable, throwing for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns and constantly evading his pursuers. The sophomore proved his case as the best quarterback of the 2015 season.
Alabama’s QB, Jake Coker was hit early and struggled to keep his offense in stride with the Tigers. He did eventually get to full strength and took great advantage of the Clemson secondary. With Derrick Henry providing the performance expected, Alabama just needed to get a few other key players involved. Those players turned out to be tight end O.J. Howard (208 yards, 2 TDs) and running back Kenyan Drake (95 yard kickoff returned for TD). Coach Saban’s gutsy decision to on-side kick with a tied ballgame and under 11 minutes to play proved to be a pivotal decision, finally turning the tide in Alabama’s favor and dyeing the momentum in crimson. Saban would say later that they had practiced the play and were looking for the right moment to use it. Having a difficult time stopping Deshaun Watson, he hoped that they could recover the kick and keep him off the field for a few minutes. A stroke of genius from the normally straight forward coach. Now with 5 national titles to his name, Saban has taken one more step toward the GOAT that is Bear Bryant. With no signs of retiring or going to coach at the next level, I am sure there will be plenty of opportunity to see him take a crack at the record.
Our competition broke wide open when I performed so poorly on January 2nd. That allowed several more people to jump into the mix to beat our staff picks and it help Trip to pull even for the lead here in the office. Overall it was a great bowl season, much more pleasant for me than last year (mostly because of my poor pickin’). Although I am downtrodden by my final results, I am proud of those who came out winners. Our grand prize winner staked his claim to the lead early, winning 2000 points for the tribe of his choice and 15% off camp tuition for 2016, despite his national champion pick not even making it to the big game. David Maggiore played it tough the entire bowl season with an impressive 31-11 record. I don’t keep track of ever year’s results, but I would guess that this might be the best record ever for our competition. Congrats, David!
Amy Sims had a chance to take this thing to tiebreaker, like last year, but her choice to pick Clemson in the final game kept her out of contention. A 30-12 record is still impressive and deserves our applause. Joining her for second place was Charles Bond. His pick of Alabama gave him one higher step on the podium. Again we congratulate all of you who beat our staff. College football will be back before we know it, so we won’t have to wait too long to do it all over again!
Trip: 27-15, Rambo: 27-15, T-Bone 23-19, Sprinkles: 19-23
1st place overall: (31-11) David Maggiore
2nd place: (30-12) Amy Sims, Charles Bond
3rd place: (29-13) Darrin Tarleton, Bekah “Swift” James
4th place: (28-14) Martin Pierce