There was plenty that we learned while watching the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games this past bowl season.
First, the road to the national championship still runs through the SEC. With Alabama’s victory Monday night, the SEC has now won the last seven BCS championships.
Second, we learned that even without Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck, the Stanford program is going nowhere. They are here to stay.
We also learned that if it wasn’t for Johnny Manziel, the nation would know Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as “Teddy Football.”
BCS National Championship Game
The Alabama Crimson Tide notched their second consecutive national championship and third in four years Monday night with a decisive 42-14 thrashing of Notre Dame.
Quarterback A.J. McCarron led the way for the Crimson Tide offense throwing for 264 yards and four touchdowns.
Freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper was on the receiving end on two of those touchdown tosses and also racked up over 100 yards receiving.
Running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon each rushed for over 100 yards in the game to along with a touchdown run each.
Player to watch for next season: Amari Cooper, WR: Cooper capped of his freshman campaign with a tremendous performance in the BCS national championship game. Everyone knows that Alabama will always be a run-first oriented team; however, Cooper is special. Coach Nick Saban and the Alabama offense profiled Julio Jones in the past and Cooper will be featured the same for the Tide offense next season.
Nokia Sugar Bowl
Teddy Bridgewater was able to lead Louisville to perhaps the biggest upset of the Bowl games when they took down heavily favored Florida 33–23.
Bridgewater carved up perhaps what is considered one of the best defenses in college football for 266 yards and two touchdowns.
The 10-point difference doesn’t tell the complete story as the Cardinals dominated the Gators from start to finish.
The scoring got underway on the second play of the game when Louisville defensive back Terell Floyd picked off Florida quarterback Jeff Driskell and raced into the end zone for a 38 yard interception return for a touchdown.
Louisville would not look back from that point forward forcing the Gators offense into three turnovers.
Player to watch for next season; Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback: Bridgewater will head into next season as one of the best quarterbacks in college football and a Heisman candidate. Bridgewater has smarts, arm strength and the accuracy to be the very best fantasy quarterback options in our college football fantasy next season.
Tostitos Fiest Bowl
Oregon proved that they are one of the best teams in the country, and perhaps the second best to Alabama with their demolition of 5th-ranked Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Oregon’s explosive playmaker, DeAnthony Thomas, ignited the offensive explosion for the Ducks with a 94-yard kickoff return to open the game.
Kenjon Barner led the Ducks with 143 yards rushing with also a receiving touchdown.
The Oregon defense was able to shutdown Kansas State’s Heisman finalist, Collin Klein. Klein was held to 181 total yards for the game after averaging 274 yards through the season.
Player to watch for next season; Byron Marshall, RB: With the departure of Kenjon Barner, Marshall should get every opportunity to provide the inside running game to compliment the electric DeAnthony Thomas. Marshall saw limited playing time as a freshman this season, but when he did play he produced. Marshall averaged over five yards-per-carry and should see a heavy increase in carries next season.
The Huskies of Northern Illinois tried their best to hang in the game with the Seminoles of Florida State, but it was not enough.
Lonnie Pryor led the way for the Seminoles on the ground tallying 134 yards on just five carries and two touchdowns.
Quarterback E. J. Manuel torched the Huskies secondary totaling over 300 combined yards and two touchdowns.
The Seminoles defense was able to keep Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch in check allowing just 220 total yards to Lynch. Nearly 150 yards less than what he averaged for the season.
Player to watch for next season; Jameis Winston, QB: The former 5-star quarterback will get his shot to run the show at quarterback for the ‘Noles next season. Winston is an incredible gifted athlete, also a top baseball prospect out of high school, who possesses a terrific arm to pair with his tremendous athletic ability.
The 99th Rose Bowl saw two teams that feature old-school running games in Stanford and Wisconsin.
With the help of a late interception, Stanford was able to secure their second BCS game in three seasons, 20-14, cementing the program as one of the nation’s elite.
The defense won the game for the Cardinal in this one. Stanford shut-out Wisconsin in the second half of the game and limited them to just 82 yards.
Stepfan Taylor was held to just 88 and quarterback Kevin Hogan was shut down for the most part, but they were able to put enough points on the board to come away with the victory.
Player to watch for next season; Kevin Hogan, Quarterback: Hogan took over as the starting quarterback for the Cardinal at mid-season and the offense took off. Hogan provided a dual-threat attack from the quarterback position. Just a freshman this past season, look for Hogan to make big strides in head coach David Shaw’s offense next season.
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