Between the Hashes: Honoring the best, worst and weirdest of the 2014-15 college football bowl games.
Every week this fall, the SI.com team delved into the fun, the weird and the wacky of college football with a series called Between the Hashes. It was a way to decompress from the madness of the games, and to find a few things you might have missed. Here are some of the best from the 2014-15 bowl season.
Somehow, someway, there is only one bowl game left. That's what you get when you complain about there being too many of something -- eventually even that thing runs out. "We have all these chicken wings. we'll never eat them all." [Fifteen to thirty minutes later.] "I can't believe we ate all those chicken wings. We're so gross." [Fifteen to thirty minutes later.] "You know, I could go for some chicken wings right now." Now imagine there are no more chicken wings for more than half of a year and you can only read about the chicken wings and watch the chicken wings practice against each other for a brief period of time in the spring. Now you're regretting not having more chicken wings in the first place even if you would've felt way too full from eating them all.
The chicken wings are a metaphor.
Anyway, let's look back on the best of bowl season and hold onto what we do have: the vines, the tweets, the quotes, the pictures, the memories, and the fact that for at least a few more days, there's still one more game to be played.
Bowl Team of the Year
This goes to Ohio State, which played its way into the national championship by beating Alabama and sent off a ripple effect all throughout the South of people quick to either pronounce the SEC dead (not accurate) or say that there was nothing wrong and conference bowl records don't matter at all (also inaccurate but less so than the first proclamation). Ohio State showed all kinds of emotion in the win, and as a result, the Buckeyes take home the vaunted honor of the Between The Hashes Bowl Team of the Year with another game left to play.
Big 10 speed— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) January 2, 2015
Saltiest Reaction Award
This is an award that goes to Paul Johnson, as it often does. Georgia Tech's head coach is the Meryl Streep of this award. Johnson' Yellow Jackets beat Mississippi State on New Year's Eve in the Orange Bowl, and he couldn't resist getting in a dig at the SEC. It launched a trend that would soon be followed by other coaches as the conference's nightmare two-day stretch kept on rolling.
That's Not Where I Parked My Car
From the Only In College Football department comes a story of an Ole Miss fan who plugged the wrong address into Uber and ended up with a $908 charge. The story went that the fan had a few too many Tom Collinses, hailed an Uber, accidentally put the address for his house in Mississippi into the destination box, fell asleep and woke up at home. CollegeSpun got to the bottom of it, as the guy was eventually dropped off still in Atlanta but did rack up a $908 bill due to surge pricing and the fact that he entered in an address in another state.
You Serious, Clark?
Props to Dan Mullen for consistently being a good sport about the fact that he looks like Randy Quaid. He took it one step further during the holiday season with this appropriate and wholly amazing Christmas sweater.
This is Shreveport
Coconut Shrimp to All and to All a Good Night
Outback took its sponsorship duties extremely seriously this year, rolling out food mascots, tailored commercials (although we're not forgetting about you, Popeyes), lots of discussion in the ESPN booth and a promotion that included free food depending on who won the game. If you're going to sponsor a bowl game, you might as well give it everything you have.
Outback Bowl dinner for Auburn & Wisconsin: 750 pounds of steak, 900 lbs. of ribs, 750 lbs. of chicken, 1,600 shrimp, 1,200 lbs. cheese cake— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) December 26, 2014
At Least it's not (technically) a Fall Wedding
These wonderful folks got married during a tailgate before the Rose Bowl. After Oregon won, it likely became an extremely memorable day as I would imagine they both attended the game as well. Had the Ducks lost, would this be a "rain on your wedding day" scenario where maybe the rings end up being free depending on which jewelry store you bought them from?
Best Fat Guy Touchdown
Most Wonderful Bowl Trophy
It seems like even when I wasn't doing this job I was still handing out this award in my head to the one and only New Orleans Bowl. Its MVP trophy is colorful, impossible to take your eyes off of and distinctly and purely New Orleans.
Everybody Is Getting Kicked Now
When you watch dozens of bowls, patterns start emerging. The most notable pattern this year was the fact that lots of people were getting kicked for some reason, from presidential mascots to players to coaches. The form from the Cincinnati Bearcats mascot is surprisingly deft.
Most Regrettable Moment
The fight between BYU and Memphis really shouldn't have happened. It was a pre-Christmas bowl game in Marlins Park where you sometimes saw a giant moving sculpture that is typically reserved for home runs become activated on touchdowns. But the brawl did happen. And that's all anyone will ever remember from the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl.
Best Quotes and Tweets
Always lots and lots of good ones, but this is just a sampling from the last few weeks of bowl games.
Last time Randy Gregory was 100 percent? "I don't know. The first three plays of the season before I got hurt," he said with a laugh.— Brian Christopherson (@Husker247BC) December 24, 2014
A reporter just asked Bill Snyder if AARP has asked him to be its spokesman. "No," Snyder replies, "but I have a card."— Kellis Robinett (@KellisRobinett) January 1, 2015
Art Briles asked for his thoughts about the game. "Seriously?"— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) January 1, 2015
Oregon C Hroniss Grasu: “We beat them physically, we beat them mentally and our coaches out-coached them."— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) January 2, 2015
Frogz lets get it!!— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) December 31, 2014
The Ricky Dobbs All-Stars
Each week we highlighted some of the best stat lines in honor of former Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs. Here are some players who made the list with memorable bowl performances.
- Western Michigan RB Corey Davis: 8 catches, 176 yards, 3 TD vs. Air Force
- Memphis QB Paxton Lynch: 306 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT, 3 rush TD vs. BYU
- Marshall QB Rakeem Cato: 281 yards, 3 TD, 2 rush TD vs. Northern Illinois
- Marshall WR Tommy Shuler: 18 catches, 185 yards, TD vs. Northern Illinois
- Central Michigan QB Cooper Rush: 493 yards, 7 TD, INT vs. Central Michigan
- Central Michigan WR Titus Davis: 6 catches, 139 yards, 4 TD vs. WKU
- Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg: 371 yards, 4 TD vs. Boston College
- South Carolina WR Pharoh Cooper: 9 catches, 170 yards, TD vs. Miami
- Texas A&M QB Kyle Allen: 294 yards, 4 TD, INT, rush TD vs. West Virginia
- Georgia RB Nick Chubb: 266 yards, 2 TD vs. Louisville
- Georgia Tech RB Synjyn Days: 171 yards, 3 TD vs. Mississippi State
- Boise State WR Thomas Sperbeck: 12 catches, 199 yards vs. Arizona
- Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon: 251 yards, 3 TD vs. Auburn
- Baylor QB Bryce Petty: 550 yards, 3 TD, INT vs. Michigan State
- Oregon QB Marcus Mariota: 338 yards, 2 TD, INT, 62 rush yards, rush TD vs. FSU
- Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott: 230 yards, 2 TD vs. Alabama
- Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett: 13 catches, 164 yards, 2 TD vs. UCLA
- East Carolina WR Justin Hardy: 11 catches, 160 yards, TD vs. Florida
- Toledo RB Kareem Hunt: 271 yards, 5 TD vs. Arkansas State