The Grandaddy of Them All is Still Bowl Season’s Top Game
In 2014-15, there are over 35 bowl games, meaning that the spectacle of college football’s postseason has never been bigger. Still, over 100 years later, the original bowl game stands higher than the rest. The 1902 Rose Bowl began a tradition that has turned into an obsession and is culminated by the Rose Bowl’s place in the 1st ever playoff at College Football’s highest level. The Granddaddy of Them All will be played for the 101st time on January 1st, 2015, adorned with a parade, some of the world’s best tailgating, and one of the most exciting matchups in the history of the game.
There are two Heisman Trophy winning players still playing college football this bowl season, and both of them will be in the Rose Bowl. Last season Jameis Winston, threw for over 4,000 yards, 40 touchdowns, and had only 10 interceptions, in route to winning the 3rd Heisman Trophy in the history of Florida State University. In 2014, he struggled to repeat those same kinds of numbers, but is at his absolute best in the biggest moments of the biggest games. It seems as if Winston has led Florida State to a 2nd half comeback in every game this season, and his 4th quarter drive in the waning minutes of last season’s BCS National Championship game will forever be some of the best 66 seconds in the history of college football. Love Jameis Winston, or hate him, one thing is certain, he knows how to win. The Florida State Seminoles have never lost with Winston under center and he has the opportunity to finish his college football career unblemished with 2 more victories (assuming that he enters the NFL draft).
Marcus Mariota might be the polar opposite in personality to Jameis Winston, but the quieter, seemingly humbler Heisman winning quarterback from Oregon is practically unstoppable on the football field. Mariota brought home over 90% of the 1st place votes in the 2014 Heisman competition, and for good reason. The Marcus Mariota stat that is almost unbelievable is his interceptions. Mariota has thrown 2 interceptions on the season. No that is not a typo, no I did not mean in one game. If you include all of the tipped balls, all of the hit as he throws, all of the it slipped, Mariota has only thrown the ball to a non-Oregon Ducks player twice this season, and it is not like Oregon is afraid of throwing the ball. Mariota has 372 pass attempts on the season, and has 38 touchdowns through the air. When combined with his rushing production, Marcus Mariota has a touchdown to interception ratio of +50.
The Florida State Seminoles have won an unprecedented 29 games in a row. The last time Seminole nation experienced a loss was November 24th, 2012. While the Noles have received a mountain of criticism this year for playing numerous close games against teams they on paper should have beat handily, it is impossible to deny their uncanny ability to win games. A win in the Rose Bowl would tie Florida State for the 12th longest winning streak in the history of college football, and give them the opportunity to play for a 2nd consecutive national championship.
The Oregon Ducks and Florida State Seminoles combined for an average for 79.6 points per game this season. The Seminoles scored under 30 points just twice this season, and one of those games Jameis Winston did not compete in. The Ducks on the other hand have only scored under 40 points twice this season, and finished the year off with a 51 point offensive explosion against a very good Arizona Wildcats defense. While Oregon and Florida State both field very talented defenses as well, it would be a big surprise if this game wasn’t one of the highest scoring of the bowl season.
As of, 12/26/2014, the median ticket price for the 2015 Rose Bowl is $224. That number is over $100 cheaper than the other CFP Semi Final game between Alabama and Ohio State. While both games are full of intrigue, can you really argue against the defending national champions led be a former Heisman Trophy winner putting a 29 game winning streak on the line against the current Heisman Trophy winner and a team yearning to win their school’s first national championship?
The last time two Heisman Trophy winning players met on the college football field was in the 2009 BCS National Championship game. The 24-14 win by the Florida Gators was one of the best games of the BCS Era. The matchup between the Ducks and Seminoles looks to have everything that that game had, and then some. With over 100 years of history in thrilling college football fans, the Grandaddy of Them All continues to out do itself. 2015 might be the best year yet.