On Pac-12 Friday this week, we see the Conference of Champions and its Midwest brethren, the B1G, competing for (the corrupt) College Football Playoff slots. Strangely, the two league champions would meet for the first CFP championship, and of course, the SEC would never let that happen again, so we’ve entered a new era of corruption in the sport. Yay?
Reflect back on the first CFP season for how pure it was before the Confederate dollars intervened …
2014 Pac-12 MVP: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon & Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona (original); Mariota (revised)
The Oregon Ducks ran away with the North Division, while the Arizona and Southern California schools all battled it out for the South Division. Our two MVP vote winners above stay in the fray, as Mariota (181.7 QB rating, 58 total TDs, 4 INTs) goes for three straight nods from us. He did win the Heisman Trophy, too, so it will take a stellar season from Wright (or anyone else) to unseat him here.
Wright had a great season himself (31 TFLs, 15 sacks, 5 FFs, 164 total tackles), but it still pales in comparison to what Mariota did for the Ducks in leading them to the conference title. Plus, Oregon’s offense ran over Arizona’s defense in the Pac-12 Championship Game, 51-13, so there’s that to consider as well as part of this analysis. Open and shut case, really.
2014 B1G MVP: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin & Joey Bosa, DL, Ohio State (original); Gordon (revised)
The league’s top teams were Ohio State (8-0), Michigan State (7-1), and Wisconsin (7-1). Are there any other MVP candidates from these three teams other than the two voted players above? The Buckeyes had a 1-2 punch of QB J.T. Barrett (169.8 QB rating) and RB Ezekiel Elliott (2,098 scrimmage yards and 18 TDs). The Badgers only had Gordon (2,740 scrimmage yards and 32 TDs).
Defensively, Bosa (21.5 TFLs, 13.5 sacks, 4 FFs) was very good, but he can’t match any of the offensive guys above for greatness. With both primary Wisconsin QBs teaming up for an approximate 114 QB rating, it’s clear Gordon carried the Badgers as far as he could on his own. That is good enough for us to decide the MVP, readily.
2014 CFP Championship Game MVP: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State & Tyvis Powell, S, Ohio State (original); Elliott (revised)
Oregon won its CFP semifinal game in Pasadena (not a real Rose Bowl in our eyes) over Florida State, while Ohio State won its CFP semifinal game in New Orleans (a faux Sugar Bowl) over Alabama. They met in the title game, with the Buckeyes winning, 42-20, with a runaway fourth quarter. Despite its 4 turnovers, Ohio State put up 538 total yards while holding the Ducks to “just” 465 total yards.
Elliott takes our MVP nod for being a tremendous workhorse while the Buckeyes had to go with their preseason fourth-string QB due to injuries. He carried the ball 36 times for 246 yards and 4 TDs: While Ohio State still managed 242 yards through the air, this game was Elliott’s to win or lose—and his constant pounding of the Ducks defense brought about it demise in the final 15 minutes of play.
In fact, with the score 21-20, Buckeyes, in the final seconds of the third quarter, Elliott proceeded to score the game’s final three TDs as Ohio State just ran the ball down Oregon’s throat at the end to win the MNC. That’s good enough for us.