ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ohio State was done when Braxton Miller got hurt in August.
Ohio State was done when it lost at home to Virginia Tech in September.
Ohio State was done when J.T. Barrett got hurt in November.
A funny thing happened: Every time the Buckeyes looked done, they kept getting better. And in the new era of college football, that was enough to earn a chance to win a championship.
They took advantage of an opportunity they never would have had in the BCS, shrugging off questions about if they belonged among the college football's final four. Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliott and the Buckeyes won the first College Football Playoff national championship, upsetting Marcus Mariota and Oregon 42-20 on Monday night.
Peyton Manning’s underwhelming playoff legacy has been largely defined by the phrase "one-and-done." He has endured a mind-boggling nine first-game eliminations in his postseason career, in 14 playoff trips. That’s an NFL record no one would ever care to hold, certainly not a Hall of Fame-bound quarterback who will go down as one of the best to ever play the game.
But in the wake of his latest early exit from the postseason — the Broncos’ stunning 24-13 loss to the No. 4-seeded Indianapolis Colts — one-and-done could take on a whole new level of meaning for No. 18.
Anything can happen in the playoffs. The San Francisco Giants — a team that squeaked into the second Wild Card spot and went on to dominate its way to winning the 2014 World Series — proved it this past baseball season. And college football found it out first hand in its first experience with a playoff system.
The two College Football Playoff National Championship semifinal games were played yesterday: second-seed Oregon topped third-seed Florida State in the Rose Bowl, 59-20; number-four Ohio State stunned top-ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, 42-35.
In perfect playoff fashion, neither game really went the way they were supposed to.
The YouTube footage is grainy, but it is clear that the high school quarterback from the tiny Kansas town is the best player on the field. On the first play of the clip, he gets the shotgun snap, fakes a handoff, and then takes off. Fifteen yards downfield he sheds a tackler and somehow simultaneously spins off a second one, a move that immediately leads into another spin that splits another two would-be tacklers.
Fifty yards, two stop-on-a-dime jukes, and 13 broken tackles later — yes, that means at least two defenders missed twice —17-year old Jordy Nelson is in the end zone.
Nelson then finishes the spectacular play with his now signature celebration: He calmly hands the ball to the official and heads back to the sideline. "I've never enjoyed attention," says Nelson, now a star receiver for the Green Bay Packers. "I think it's wrong for me to celebrate when there are 10 other guys on the field that did their job just like I did."
Christmas came a day early for 86 NFL players when the 2015 Pro Bowl rosters were announced on Tuesday. The players were chosen for the Pro Bowl through a fan/player/coach vote, and the teams will be selected through a Pro Bowl Draft overseen by two former players. This year, it's Hall of Famers Cris Carter and Michael Irvin.
There are a lot of expected names on these rosters — Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray, JJ Watt — as well as a few notable exclusions. (Odell Beckham Jr, where are you?!) The Broncos have the most players represented (nine), while the Bears, Raiders, Jets, Chargers, Bucs, and Washington all have the fewest (one a piece).
But like last year, the game will kick off Super Bowl week and take place before Super Bowl XLIX. It will be played January 25 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, the site of the Super Bowl. (That game is played February 1.) So that means if a team like Denver, New England, Dallas, or Seattle make it to the championship game, a lot of marquee names will choose to sit out. In other words, these rosters will likely change before the first snap of the Pro Bowl.
Here's the full rundown of the rosters, as they were announced on December 23:
NEW YORK (AP) — Marcus Mariota wrote it all down, every word of his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech. It was a good thing, too, because getting through it might have been tougher than sprinting away from linebacker or tossing a long touchdown pass for the Oregon Ducks.
The understated star quarterback became Oregon's first Heisman winner going away Saturday night, capping a three-year climb to college football's most prestigious individual award.
"I'm humbled to be standing here today," Mariota said moments after he was announced as the winner.
For years, two special trophies have brought a very important ending to college football season. The first award was the BCS crystal football and the second was the Heisman Trophy. There’s a new national championship trophy this season, but the Heisman is still standing. And yesterday, we learned who is one step closer to taking it home.
On Monday, 1996 Heisman winner Danny Wueffel announced the three finalists for the trophy recognizing the year’s most outstanding college football player. All three have been in the mix since the start of the year. During a season in which a new playoff has brought twists, turns, and ultimately a new college football playoff trophy, it’s nice to have some tradition within the Heisman race.
Let’s meet the 2014 Heisman finalists: