(Photo Credit: OU Daily)
The regular season of the 2021 College Football season is finally over. This may be one of the craziest seasons I have ever seen. The top dogs did their thing, but there was so much. From conference changes to major upsets to a crazy coaching carousel to Lane Kiffin getting hit with a golf ball.
Let's take a dive into the top stories of 2021!
Oklahoma and Texas join the SEC and chaos begins
This was the first major story of the college football season. Long time Big 12 schools Oklahoma and Texas announce they are leaving the Big 12 in favor of the SEC by 2025. This started a crazy amount of conference changes. Cincy, Houston, BYU, and UCF all announce they are joining the Big 12. The American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt poach Conference USA schools to fill the void of lost schools.
The year of the young QB
The story going into this season was the future of the QB position in College Football. Last year's QB class was elite and this year we saw some young hungry players. Alabama QB Bryce Young was this year's Heisman Trophy winner as a sophomore. Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler was supposed to be the best player in college football, but instead got benched for true freshman Caleb Williams. Ohio State's CJ Stroud showed many signs of promise after taking over the best QB in program history. Next year's QB class is going to be fun to watch. Thank god we have another season of watching them all.
Mackenzie Milton overcomes the odds and plays in a game
College football fans disagree on everything. One thing we can all agree on, we are all Mackenzie Milton fans. After a devastating leg injury that easily could have resulted in him losing his leg, Mackenzie Milton was able to take another snap. After transferring from UCF to Florida State, we were able to overcome the obstacles and play another game.
Texas A&M beats Bama on late second field goal
One of the most emotional moments of the season was when Seth Small kicked a game-winning field goal to beat #1 Alabama. His family's reaction to the kick went viral
Kansas is not just a basketball school!
The Kansas Jayhawks won their first game since 2019 and the students rushed the field. That would have been the highlight of their season. However, Jared Casey was able to secure a late TD to help Kansas beat Texas. Fun fact, Texas is not back.
Illinois upsets Penn State in Happy Valley in 9 overtimes
Probably the best game of the season was between Illinois and Penn State. A game Penn State was not ready for at all. A game that Penn State should have dominated. Instead, Illinois had a big upset. To make it more exciting it went into overtime. Not just one overtime, but NINE. They played more than two games.
Spencer Rattler makes it clear he was overrated
(Photo Credit: OU Daily)
Heading into this season, Spencer Rattler was an easy favorite for the Heisman trophy and to be the first overall pick in 2022. Instead, he played mediocre football and was looking like a day 3 draft pick. He was rightfully benched for a true freshman QB. He later entered the transfer portal and ended up signing with South Carolina. Are you shocked about any of this, because I am not.
Lane Kiffin makes his much-anticipated return to Knoxville
Tennessee Volunteers had one game circled on their schedule. That game was Ole Miss. Tennessee fans are still salty that Lane Kiffin left 10 years ago for USC. He heard his fair share of boos. However, in the final minute, Tennessee fans started throwing debris on the field. Cheerleaders were forced to leave and Kiffin was hit with a water bottle and a golf bottle.
Clemson's reign finally comes to an end??
Going into 2021, Clemson was the heavy favorite to win the ACC. Having won every championship since 2015, Clemson dropped 3 heartbreaking games this season. Clemson still has the opportunity to get back to the top. They will have fresh minds in the locker room with long-time coordinators Brent Venables and Tony Elliot both left for head coaching opportunities.
Jim Harbaugh finally makes the argument he should be the head coach at Michigan
(Photo Credit: Click on Detroit)
Every year, Harbaugh heard the same exact thing. He never wins big games and he never beat Ohio State. A disappointing loss to Michigan State continued that dialogue. However, Michigan finally was able to beat Ohio State in one of the biggest upsets of the season. Michigan followed up that win with a dominating win in the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff.
Cincinnati makes history
Cincy was disrespected last season and was not awarded a bid into the College Football Playoff. This year, they had an elite head coach in Luke Fickell and future NFL QB Desmond Ridder at the helm. After a big win at Notre Dame, Cincy finished the season undefeated and became the first G5 school to earn a bid into the College Football Playoff.
Coaching Carousel: What the H E Double Hockey Stick happened
Let me start by saying, oh my god. We saw coaches leaving powerhouse programs for other powerhouse programs. Up and coming coaches get their opportunities at top-tier programs. Long-time assistants finally get their first shot.
USC- Lincoln Riley
LSU- Brian Kelly
Notre Dame- Marcus Freeman
Virginia- Tony Elliot
Miami- Mario Cristibol
Oklahoma- Brent Venables
Florida- Billy Napier
Virginia Tech- Brent Pry
This list is absolutely crazy. So much movement that we never saw coming. Some of these names are those joke names that you think will take the job, but we all know there is not a snowballs chance they would take it (cough cough Lincoln Riley.)