3 Biggest Surprise Teams of the 2014 College Football Season
The 2014 college football season was one full of surprises from the beginning of the season all the way to the national title game on January 12, 2015. There were teams that came out of nowhere to compete for the first annual College Football Playoff final four and made the season magical on so many levels.
I wanted to take a look at the three teams that were the biggest surprise of the 2014 season. These teams were in contention for the College Football Playoff all the way up to the end and one team that may feel like they should have been included in the final four teams.
At number three, we have the Ole Miss Rebels. The Mississippi Rebels had arguably the greatest victory and moment in their program’s history when they defeated Alabama on October 4th. The victory was one of the greatest moments in the history of college football and certainly in the history of Mississippi Rebels’ football.
The Crimson Tide entered the game against Ole Miss as the best team in the nation, according to most analysts. The Rebels had an amazing fourth quarter, which was capped off with an interception in the back of the end zone to seal the victory.
The win put Ole Miss as a legit contender in 2014 and sent the crowd into a frenzy that we have seen very few times before. The goal posts were torn down and carried throughout the streets all night. The famous goal posts were carried into fans homes and even part of the goal posts made its way into Ole Miss’ Head Coaches’ Hugh Freezes’ office.
The Rebels were in contention throughout most of the 2014 season for making the College Football Playoff. They faded late in the season as their schedule toughened up, but still experienced one of their best seasons in recent memories.
At number two on our biggest surprise teams of the 2014 college football season, we find the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs spent several weeks at number one in the polls and appeared to be the favorites to win the national title at the midpoint of the season. Mississippi State’s quarterback Dak Prescott was the Heisman Trophy favorite for most of the season, but faded late in the season.
The Bulldogs, much like their in state rival Ole Miss, faded late in the season as their schedule toughened up. Mississippi State lost their number one ranking and shot at winning the national title when they lost to Alabama late in the season. The Bulldogs then lost to rival Ole Miss to close out the season and that made what was a dream season a nightmare finish on a number of accounts.
The Bulldogs still had an incredible season and were right in contention for the first annual College Football Playoff until November. The future appears bright for Mississippi State and Head Coach Dan Mullen. 2014 was almost a perfect season, but the wear and tear of an SEC season caught up to the Bulldogs in November.
Finally, our biggest surprise team of the 2014 season is the TCU Horned Frogs. The Horned Frogs had one of the nation’s best defenses and also one of the most explosive offenses in all of college football.
TCU has always been known for having a stout defense, but in 2014 TCU added an explosive offense to match their defense. The only loss of the season for TCU happened against Baylor, in which they blew a 21 point lead with eight minutes left in the game.
TCU fell to Baylor 61-58 in one of the most exciting games of the entire 2014 season. TCU’s loss to Baylor cost them a shot at being in the first annual College Football Playoffs, but they still received a New Year’s Day bowl game.
TCU was still in contention to make the final four teams despite the loss to Baylor and many people felt TCU deserved to be in over teams like Florida State or Ohio State. It was not to be however and Ohio State was the fourth and last team in and the rest is history as they say.
Despite being left out the College Football Playoff, TCU had an amazing 2014 season and brought themselves back to the elite of college football. TCU is a threat to be reckoned with in the Big 12 and nationally now that they have an offense to go along with their defense.
TCU comes in as our number one surprise team of the 2014 college football season.