NCAA Championship Week: What We Learned
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The end of the season meant the end of the road for several teams' championship hopes and the end of the road for several coaches, period. This season provided the usual mix of excitement and craziness. Time to wrap it up.
Auburn's run was no fluke ... For all of you who thought Auburn's run to an SEC title was a fluke, think again. The Tigers ran for almost 600 -- specifically, 545 -- yards on the top-ranked defense in the SEC, Missouri. Tre Mason, who should be a Heisman candidate, got most of those yards. Auburn also proved you don't have to have a top-ranked defense these days to win a championship, either. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing yet, but so far, it's worked.
Is this the best the ACC could do this year? ... If you needed any proof that the ACC was overrated, look no further than the ACC Championship game. Duke was overmatched, too small, and outplayed by Florida State. Is this really the best the ACC has to offer? You have to wonder how different things might have been had Virginia Tech played even a little bit of offense this season; we'd probably have seen a better game. Don't get me wrong, Duke earned their spot in the game, but it was obviously a very weak year in the ACC.
Winston will probably win the Heisman ... After he was cleared of rape charges, it's obvious now that Jameis Winston will win the Heisman Trophy, despite the fact that most voters will be holding their noses while voting for him. From my observation, most writers don't want to do it because of his conduct off the field, but feel there aren't any viable candidates out there beside Winston. Are you kidding me? I would have been interested to see how the votes would have gone if AJ McCarron, had he beaten Auburn or if Jordan Lynch, had he taken care of business against Bowling Green. And then, perhaps the Downtown Athletic Club didn't realize that running backs like André Williams, Ka'Deem Carey, and Tre Mason were on the field this year, too.
Ohio State is overrated ... Ohio State losing to Michigan State wasn't a shocker to me. They struggled against Michigan; that should have told you all you needed to know about how good the Buckeyes really are. They beat up on a bunch of weak Big Ten teams, and when they finally faced a competitive team like Michigan State, they got their behinds handed to them. Yes, they made a comeback, but when push came to shove, Braxton Miller couldn't carry his team to victory. Not his fault. He can't play defense and run the football -- OK, I take that back; he can -- but the point is, he can't do it by himself, and it caught up to Urban Meyer's team.
Mack Brown realizes it's over at Texas ... It's kind of sad. We all knew Mack Brown was toast at Texas, but all hope for a reprieve went out the window, with his team's loss to Baylor. Even Brown knew it was time to play Taps. When asked about his future in Austin, Brown declined to talk about it. Yep, it's over. And now that Nick Saban reportedly has signed a new contract extension along with Gus Malzahn -- who said to Sports Illustrated that Texas was his dream job -- where do the Longhorns turn? Forget speculation about Arizona State's Paul Graham. One of the conditions accepted by new AD Steve Patterson when he came over from the Sun Devils was that he couldn't bring any coaches with him.
Well, the regular season is over, and it's been a fun one. The Pac 12 actually made some noise this season too, but as usual, it was too little too late. But it's nice to see USC on the comeback trail.
For once, there is no controversy beyond what's expected in the last BCS rankings and two of the best teams -- Florida State and Auburn -- will play for the national championship. And then the real fun starts ... the brass tacks stage of recruiting.
We'll still talk about the games, of course, and keep you posted on the happenings in college football, so don't worry. We've still got your back.