Blogs & Opinion

Alex Ferguson picks out best moments from college football year

Alex Ferguson - Alex Ferguson Posted 12th December 2013 view comments

It's been quite a year for college football.

We have a team that wasn't expected to play in the National Championship Game (Auburn) and a team that was expected to play itself OUT of National Championship Game by messing up somewhere along the way, but proved indomitable (Florida State).

Manziel: where would Texas A&M be without him?

Manziel: where would Texas A&M be without him?

We've had shocks, sackings during the season (USC), and some of the great finishes in football games you'll ever wish to see as well.

Our resident college football expert Alex Ferguson is going to give you his Top 10... and some other Top Fives, too.

So without further ado...


1) Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)

Sure, he wasn't great in his last two games against LSU or Missouri, but we've got one question: Where would Texas A&M - with a goddawful defense - have been this year without him? And he was certainly the most entertaining QB in college football, too.

2) Jameis Winston (Florida State)

Sure, he may have had the keys to a Porsche, but he did his job almost perfectly. Threw for over 3,800 yards, 38 TDs and 10 INTs. And he's only a freshman. Gulp.

3) Andre Williams (Boston College)

The guy runs for 2,100 yards, averaging 6 yards a carry, and he's a relative unknown this year. REALLY? 'Andre 2000' put 149 on Florida State, for crying out loud (and 339 on NC State)

4) Ka'Deem Cary (Arizona)

Spectacular numbers from the Arizona running back. He had no games this year with under 119 yards rushing, and he bounced in 17 TDs - including four in 'Zona's monstrous upset of Oregon.

5) Bryce Petty (Baylor)

Petty starred in Baylor's first Big XII victory in its history. The Bears were in the hunt to go to the National Championship Game, too. He threw for 3,844 yards, 30 TDs and only 2 INTs. And he had 11 rushing TDs on an offense that was mostly glorious to watch this year.

6) AJ McCarron (Alabama)

Note Jameis Winston-Porsche remark, and add it perfect girlfriend, too. And a good running back. The ultimate game manager this year. Why No.4? Because it's expected at Alabama.

7) Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois)

Money almost all year long for the little MAC school that could. He's going to New York this year for the Heisman vote. Great out of the pocket, too - he had 1,881 rushing yards.

8) Tre Mason (Auburn)

Didn't have better rushing yards numbers than some of the running backs in the nation, but he was clutch from the point of view of putting ball to end zone. His 164 yards against Alabama and 304 yards against Missouri in the SEC Championship Game probably helped him. And FUN FACT: Dad's PA Pasemaster Mase in De La Soul. Bet you didn't know that.

9) Allen Robinson (Penn State)

If you want a receiver who consistently put a school on his shoulders and has done throughout his career, look no further than Allen Robinson, who's circus-style catches have been something to behold this year. He had 1,432 yards receiving...and only 97 receptions. Talk about a deep threat, folks!

10) Odell Beckham Jr/Jarvis Landry (LSU)

Impossible to split up, since their circus-style catches led them to catch 1,100 yards each. Landry's catch against Arkansas was jaw-dropping. Beckham's ability to catch a kick-off WITH ONE HAND was pretty spell-binding, too.


1) Texas

They were pretty awful when I saw them on the first game of the season. It got worse, then they recovered, then it was inconsistent. And there were rumours swirling throughout the season that they'd fire Mack Brown. Probably started by Texas fans. That's not cool, Texas.

2) Jadeveon Clowney

Note to self: Never call a player 'The Second Coming of Football Jesus' again. Especially when a) Opposing offensive co-ordinators don't play in his direction, therefore wiping out his stats b) He gets injured (ribs, bone spurs, ego) and c) He gets in arguments with South Carolina coaching staff.

3) Florida

Upset by Miami, Vanderbilt and Georgia Southern this year. Yes, we know there were injuries, but the Gators were awful to watch. You felt sorry for their fans at times (those who came along by the end).

4) Clemson

In a first, Clemson didn't lose to teams they shouldn't have. But in their three massive games against Georgia, Florida State and South Carolina, they were 1-2 and lost two of them (FSU and USC) in pretty embarrassing fashion.

5) SEC defenses

I love the SEC. It might well be my favourite conference in all of American Football. They have the players, the pageantry, the passion....but this year, no defences. It seemed every game was a story of inept tackling, huge holes, badly timed interception-efforts. Made for great games, though!


1) Auburn 34, Alabama 28

Alabama goes for a 56-yard field goal with one seconds left and the scores tied at 28. Chris Davis picks up said ball and runs it back to the house. Best. Finish. Ever.

2) Georgia 44, LSU 41

A back-and-forth game that probably wasn't a defensive man's wet dream, but was still high on drama and crowd noise. Oh, and I was there.

3) Penn State 43, Michigan 40

Gets there because it was a game decided in FOUR overtimes. Penn State tied the game up with 27 seconds left (what is it about 27 seconds this season??). Michigan then misses a field goal to win with 13 seconds left to force overtime. Then both kickers miss a field goal (1 OT), hit a field goal (2 OT), Penn State fumbles, and Michigan miss a field goal (3 OT), Michigan scores FG but Penn State wins with a touchdown (4 OT). The stadium was in white and extremely noisy. Craziness.

4) Oregon 36, Oregon State 35

Oregon wins 'The Civil War' against its hated neighbour on a touchdown with 29 seconds left in a game which never let up. Or let down, mind you!

5) Ohio State 42, Michigan 41

Michigan scores in the final seconds. Coach Brady Hoke decides to go for all the marbles with a two-point conversion while trailing by a point. He fails, but excuse while I stand up and applaud you, Mr Hoke.


1) Southern California

After firing head coach Lane Kiffin mid-season (English) at the airport (we're serious) after a pair of horrible losses to Washington State and Arizona State, then they appoint Ed Orgeron, where they go unbeaten until the loss to local rivals UCLA at the end of the season. USC then doesn't give the much-loved Orgeron the head-coaching job, and gives it to Washington's Steve Sarkisian instead.

2) Texas

Everything's bigger in Texas. You know, apart from the gift of tackling. The lack of tackling kicked off continued conversation about whether head coach Mack Brown would stay in his job after yet another un-fulfilling season.

3) The run for the National Championship

Before the season started, we thought it would be Alabama and Ohio State, or even Alabama and Oregon. But Oregon lost. Then Ohio State lost. Then Alabama lost. Florida State took the No.1 crown, and previously scorned Auburn - who couldn't win a conference game last year - took the No.2 spot.

4) Auburn

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn deal with His Satanic Majesty must have gone like this: "Hey Lucifer? Can I have a deal? I want to get away with a blatant horsecollar against Texas A&M, to beat Georgia because two secondary players can't punch a ball to ground, and to beat Alabama in the craziest way possible. I'll give you my right arm in two years time. Thanks, buddy". Deal done. Auburn goes to National Championship Game despite a horrible defense.

5) Duke

A fantastic story where unfancied Duke managed to keep on going and win their first ever ACC division title. Coach David Cutcliffe deserves the nods... and should have been awarded Coach Of The Year ahead of Malzahn.

back to top

Other Blogs:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Clowney's no joke

US sports expert Alex Ferguson profiles Jadeveon Clowney, the biggest defensive pick of the draft....

Alex Ferguson

King James reigns

Alex Ferguson celebrates a wacky, smile-inducing year in US sport - and salutes Miami's LeBron James....


Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....


Alex Ferguson

A perfect union?

Alex Ferguson looks at the possible unionisation of college football and how he would handle the issue....

Alex Ferguson

Call of the century

Spacemen Portland pick Bowie over Jordan - Alex Ferguson ranks the biggest decisions in US Sport....


Alex Ferguson

Independence aces

Alex Ferguson kicks off his Independence Day fun by picking his 20 best bits of American sport....


Guillem Balague

Making it for Messi

Barca and Real feature but Spain's best side isn't in the Copa del Rey final, says Guillem Balague....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....


Paul Merson

Still in the frame

Paul Merson says Everton's top-four bid and Man City's title hopes won't be derailed on Wednesday....

Stuart Barnes

Ups and downs

Stuart Barnes says the drama of relegation must be kept in rugby, but the play-offs need changing....

Stuart Barnes

Rising to the top

Stuart Barnes says Toulon look like the team to beat after a mixed Heineken Cup play-off weekend....

Phil Clarke

To Hull and back

Phil Clarke looks at the mental damage done to Hull FC and Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup....

Luke Dorn

Tackling the issue

Luke Dorn on the dangers involved in tackling and praises two legends of Super League....

Phil Clarke

Hero of our game

Phil Clarke pays tribute to Ray Unsworth, who helped change the face of rugby league in the UK....

Rob Lee

Pinky and perky

Rob Lee blogs on his vivid Masters Breakfast attire and the men that made waves at Augusta National....

Paul McGinley

Joy for Jonas?

Jonas Blixt has the short game and heart to win the Masters at Augusta, says Paul McGinley....


Barry Cowan

Heavy burden

Great Britain's best Davis Cup since 1986 fails to mask their reliance on Andy Murray, says Barry Cowan....

Barry Cowan

No force without Fab

Britain's Davis Cup quarter-final with Italy rests on the fitness of Fabio Fognini, says Barry Cowan...

Alex Hammond

Going the distance

Marathon entrant Alex Hammond previews the Newbury action and Scottish National meeting at Ayr....

Alex Hammond

Rocky's road

Alex Hammond explains why she is backing Rocky Creek and Lion Na Bearnai at the Grand National....

Andrew Balding

Resting up

Trainer Andrew Balding says On Demand is progressing well - but now needs time to recuperate....

Johnny Nelson

The best of friends

It will be tough but Johnny Nelson expects mates Anthony Crolla and John Murray to serve up a classic....

Glenn McCrory

Manny happy returns

Manny Pacquiao is back to his best and could yet get it on with Floyd Mayweather, says Glenn McCrory....

Johnny Nelson

Delighted for DeGale

James DeGale's Matchroom switch is the perfect move to get him back in the mix, says Johnny Nelson....

View from America

Desperate deals?

Simon Veness reviews a crazy week in the NFL's free agent frenzy, as sides splash out over $1bn....


Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....


Neal Foulds

Simply the best?

Five-time Masters champion Ronnie O'Sullivan may be the best snooker player ever, says Neal Foulds....


Neal Foulds

Four to the fore

Neil Robertson and snooker's other leading lights are pulling clear of the pack, says Neal Foulds....


Kelvin Tatum

The contenders

Kelvin Tatum runs through the teams and riders ahead of the 2014 Elite League Speedway season....

Kelvin Tatum

Kelvin's 2013 Review

Kelvin Tatum salutes Poole's hierarchy and Tai Woffinden in his round-up of the speedway season....


Kelvin Tatum

Rich re-Ward

Poole, and the dynamic Darcy Ward, will wrap up the Elite League title at Perry Barr, says Kelvin Tatum....


Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......


Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....


Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....


Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...


Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....


Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....