College Football 2018: A year in review

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Photo Credit: Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Seen here are the helmets of the two teams who faced off in this season’s College Football Playoff Championship.

By: Zachary Kaye, Fall Reporter

With the National Championship just finishing, and Clemson being crowned national champions, it is crazy to look back at all the changes and surprises this college football season has brought us.

At the start of the season, there were a few definite powerhouse teams in the world of College football. The top six teams at the start of the season were, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Oklahoma. Out of these teams, only one had a very unexpected, struggle of a season. That team is Wisconsin, and they could not live up to the top five hype. They only won eight games this year, missing out on a Big Ten Championship and a major bowl game. Out of the other four teams, there were two consistent leaders in Clemson and Alabama. Both finished out the season without a single loss and won their conference title. This was the third meeting in the last four years between these two teams in the College Football Championship game.

While everyone knew about Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Clemson was led all season by true freshman Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence, was the nation’s top 2018 high school recruit. He wasted no time transitioning that talent into college football. The first year quarterback was announced as the starter on September 25, and never took a look back. While he did not win any awards, he was absolutely dominant over his opponents in the two most important games. In the championship game, Lawrence led the offense to scoring 44 points on Alabama’s top ranked defense. His tremendous plays were able to lead Clemson to a National Championship. 

Although Lawrence had a tremendous season, his statistics were nowhere close to that of Heisman Winner Kyler Murray. Murray, who took over for last year’s Heisman winner Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma and did not miss a step. He was able to shred every defense he went against. He even led Oklahoma to be number four at the end of the season. This gave the Sooners a shot to play for the College Football Championship trophy. Oklahoma fell short in the College Football Playoffs for the second straight year. Along with being the best player in College Football, Murray was the seventh overall selection in this years’ MLB draft. He has already signed his contract with Oakland A’s, and will look to pursue a professional career in baseball over football.

Another team who was ranked high early in the season is Ohio State. The Buckeyes fell just short of a spot in the top four for the second straight year. They were able to have a very successful season for the most part. They would go on to win the Big Ten Championship, have a Heisman finalist in Quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., and score 62 points on the number three team in the country at the time, The University of Michigan. The only thing that was holding them back, was a 29-point loss to unranked Purdue in October. This, along with a suspension early in the year over allegations of his former staff-member, pushed legendary coach and previous Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer into retirement.

After all the upsets and crazy games, the final four teams only had one surprise. This team was Notre Dame, and the Fighting Irish were able to finish the season with the number three ranking. They beat teams like Michigan and Syracuse in the regular season. But, were unable to translate that to their first ever College Football Playoff game. In this game against Clemson, Notre Dame lost 30-3. Them, along with Alabama, fell victim to Clemson’s amazing performance in the final two games.

Overall, this season of College Football saw excitement in nearly every way possible, and gave viewers something to look forward too every Saturday night and afternoon.