Top 10 College Football Plays

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I love college football. It is my oxygen. My escape. My fellowship. I thrive on the pageantry, camaraderie, and atmosphere of a rural college campus on a fall Saturday.

The NFL still has its grand finale, but we are now without REAL football – college football – for 30 some odd weeks. Woof.

Let’s take a look back at the crazy, fun 2014 season with what I consider to be the season’s top plays:

10. LSU RB Leonard Fournette Blows Up Texas A&M Poor Soul

Let’s get this puppy out of the way early. I am a diehard Texas A&M Aggie. I watched every down of this game. The Aggies lost in heartbreaking fashion. This play sticks out the most in my memory. Freak freshman running back Leonard Fournette of the LSU Tigers put a vicious stamp on the game when he steamrolled A&M safety Howard Matthews as he drove his train into the end zone. 18 year olds aren’t supposed to be that powerful and angry, gang. Fournette is going to terrorize SEC defenses for a couple years and might even win a Heisman before he inevitably winds up in the NFL.

9. Notre Dame QB Everett Golson Converts Massive 4th Down

In one of the best games of the season, Everett Golson of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish converted a huge fourth down in a losing effort to the Florida State Seminoles. The Irish were faced with a 4 and 18 mountain on their own end of the field when Golson found Corey Robinson (NBA legend David Robinson’s son) on a 20 yard pass play to keep the Irish rolling.

8. Heisman Trophy Winner Marcus Mariota Goes Virtuoso

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota has had a legendary career that was capped with a stellar Heisman campaign in 2014. This incredible Mariota effort took place in the Pac-12 Championship Game as the Ducks got revenge over the Arizona Wildcats from earlier in the season. Just check out Mariota – he remains super calm as he waltzes around the pocket as 300 pound fast bulldozers try to knock his head off. Then, he rolls out, keeps the eyes down field, and fires a strike to a blanketed Darren Carrington for a huge gain. The two would hook up on the next play for a touchdown.

7. Silly, SILLY One-Handed Grab

Virginia shocked the ACC this year when they demolished the Miami Hurricanes in Charlottesville. In one of the finer catches you’ll ever see, Cavalier WR Canaan Severin (such a badass receiver name) dove from the 5 yard line, feared no head hunting safeties, and pulled in a SICK one handed catch for the TD. That athleticism and focus is dadgum staggering.

6. A ‘Lil Jitterbug, Then Housed

The Egg Bowl is great. You get decades worth of statewide hate when the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Ole Miss Rebels take the gridiron. Both programs had their best seasons in modern history simultaneously in 2014 and wrapped up the regular season in Oxford for Egg Bowl pride. The game was close until Rebel scat back Jaylen Walton (5-foot-8, 166 pounds) took a pitch 91 yards for 6 to break the game open. Check that out – Walton takes the play right in its intended direction, but quickly flips the script and bounces back against the grain of the Bulldog D before breaking free in a 91 yard foot race. Beauty.

5. MAXX Catch

If your name is “Maxx” you better be pretty kickass at your vocation. Such is the case with one Maxx Williams – TE for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Maxx had a MASSIVE game for the Gophers against Iowa this season that was highlighted by this insane sideline grab. It doesn’t even look real on first glance. In fact, the refs ruled it incomplete. Replay knew best, and this was one of my favorite grabs in 2014.

4. An Amazing Play, From KANSAS

Remember how good TCU was in 2014? The Horned Frogs were one of the best teams in the land but nearly got derailed by the atrocious Kansas Jayhawks earlier in the season. This snag by Kansas WR Nigel King put the Jayhawks up 27-17 in a game they’d ultimately lose, but man. That catch. He carries the football like a tray of champagne for a second while sashaying down the sideline. SUCH GRACE.

3. Time for Defense? Time For Defense.

I love great defensive plays, and Oregon DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu put a nice bow on the big win over Michigan State early in the season with this elite play. Check it out – there is a classic “tip drill” situation and Ekpre-Olomu spins on a dime, sees the ball get misdirected, and lays out for a sensational pick. Crank your stereo on that highlight clip for some classic Gus Johnson announcing.

2. Woo Pig Fat Man Quarterback!

No one got better and more dangerous as the season progressed than the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hogs are going to be damn good in 2015. I love this play. Bert goes to the bag of tricks and draws up a touchdown pass from 6-foot-5, 350 pound offensive lineman Sebastian Tretola. Man, gotta love this stuff. You just don’t get this in the NFL.

1. Hail Mary Full of Graceful Football

Arizona. Cal. The context of what I deem the best play of the season is super important. The Arizona Wildcats entered the fourth quarter down 31-13. Ball game right? Not so fast. Arizona outscored Cal 36-14 in the final period including three touchdowns in the last three and a half minutes. NUTSO. The belle of the ball that day was Wildcat QB Anu Solomon. On the final play of the game with the Cats trailing 45-43, it was Hail Mary prayin’ time. Solomon rolled around in the pocket as the clock ticked 0:00 and his receivers sprinted toward the end zone for the final play. With a high-arching bomb, Solomon dropped a beautiful pass into the corner of the end zone into the crowd of receivers and defenders. Miraculously, the Wildcats came out with the ball for an unbelievable W.

There you have it. What were your favorite plays of 2014? I sure as hell can’t wait for what 2015 holds. God bless college football.

Image Source: PR Photos