College football season 2021 is over, and it was a great one. It was a lot more football games played this year than last year, even though five of them had to be called. As in every postseason, some bowls were so good that you wished there were 100 more of them. Then, some people made you wonder why there were bowls at all.
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In the end, it was just another year. People are happy that not all of the games were thrilling, but there were not many blowouts. Of the 37 games that were played, 14 were one-score games, and 11 were three-score games. It was 13.9 points per game, which is less than last year’s 14.8.
Of course, these are just numbers, and numbers aren’t as fun as having your own thoughts about them. So let’s talk about what people think. This is the second time I have ranked all 42 bowl games before they were played. I will now rank the 37 games that were played. College football, after all. In college football, things are ranked.
Maryland scored 54 points, and Virginia Tech had a score of 58 points. 10: The game that led to a tweet with 1,000 takes. Did my Cover 3 Podcast co-host Danny Kanell tweet about “too many bowls”? That was during this game. Danny can’t blame himself for feeling that way, and neither can anyone else. They’d rather fight than watch any more of this game. Virginia Tech came to the game with a very small coaching staff and a very small roster. It also showed that Maryland was missing a lot of players, but it looked like a team that was actually interested in football. Before the game, they were ranked 37th (E)
In the College Football Playoffs, there is at least one game every year that ends up being a rout. This year, we had two of them. There were two bad ones. This one was the worst of them all. That doesn’t mean the game didn’t go in a different direction. The first time Georgia went down the field and scored, Michigan went right back down the field against that Bulldogs defence. On fourth down in Georgia territory, Erick All was just out of reach for the pass from Cade McNamara. This led to a turnover on downs for the Georgia football team. As things got worse, Georgia got the ball back and scored a goal as things got worse. If Michigan gets that first down, I think it will score. I think it will. My guess is that there would have been no change in the outcome of the game. However, I think the game would have been a lot more fun to watch. Pre-game: 1st (-35)
There was no Mike Leach Revenge Game for Texas Tech. They beat Mississippi State 34-7. The Red Raiders jumped out to an early lead against the Bulldogs and never relented after figuring out quickly that they’d be able to run the ball on the Bulldogs. During the game, the Raiders ran for 260 yards and three touchdowns while getting 6 yards per carry. Mississippi State couldn’t get out of its way on offence, giving up the ball three times and making sure you didn’t have to watch any more than you wanted to watch. Pre-game: 30th (-4)
Kansas State 42, LSU 20: The last bowl game of the season didn’t have a very exciting ending. At least 11 billion people were out for LSU. Jontre Kirklin was the quarterback. He did a good job, but Kansas State was too good for the Tigers, so he did well. In the end, Skyler Thompson finished his career at Kansas State with 259 yards passing and three touchdowns. Deuce Vaughn ran for 146 yards and had four total touchdowns on the ground. Still, even though the game didn’t go well, I have to give LSU a good grade. Other teams in the same situation couldn’t play in a bowl this season, and the Tigers had every reason to back out of the Texas Bowl but didn’t. Pre-game: 27th (-6)
At No. 1: Alabama 27, at the end of the game, No. 4. Cincinnati I saw two guys fight at a bar when I was in college. Well, at least one of the guys was interested in getting into a fight. He had been a little over-served, and for some reason, he thought this other person didn’t like him. So the drunk guy swung at the other guy without any reason. The bigger guy was much bigger than the drunk one. It didn’t take long for the large, calm man to wrestle down the drunk man and then lay on top of him. It was really that simple. He just sat on top of him, let the drunk guy get tired, and waited for security to come and take the drunk man out of the place. In the Cotton Bowl, I didn’t think back to that night and how much I laughed. My point isn’t that Cincinnati was drunk or got into a fight that it shouldn’t have. In my mind, Alabama was sitting on top of Cincinnati for a few hours and waiting until the clock ran out. Before the game, I was ranked 2nd (-30)
No. 17 Wake Forest beat Rutgers 38 to 0 10: When Texas A&M was forced to cancel this game because of COVID-19 rules, Rutgers took the game on short notice, which is great. It didn’t last long because it was a bowl game between a team that almost won its conference and a team that didn’t win enough games during the season and agreed to play on short notice. When Rutgers played, they did a good job of fighting back. In the second half, Wake was a much better team, and they kept things going smoothly. He finished his career at Wake with 304 yards and three touchdown passes, while A.T. Perry caught 10 of his 10 passes for 127 yards, making him one of the best receivers at Wake. Rutgers was only able to score 276 points as a team. Before the game, I was ranked 9th (-22)
Peach Bowl — Michigan State 31, Pittsburgh 21
Even though Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett and Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker didn’t play, this game still had a lot to offer. During the third quarter, Pittsburgh went up 21-10 thanks to the return of a football. That score stayed that way until the end of the game. Payton Thorne, the Spartans quarterback, threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns in the game, with two of those touchdowns coming in the fourth quarter to put the Spartans up 24-21. Davis Beville was thrown off by Cal Haladay as the Panthers were going for a touchdown. The game was over.
Birmingham Bowl — Houston 17, Auburn 13
It doesn’t matter if you didn’t know who Clayton Tune was before this game. You quickly learned what he could do on the football field. Tune threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns against the Tigers. The first came on the Tigers’ first play of the game. Houston went on a 12-play, 87-yard drive that took more than six minutes. This set the tone for the game, and it was a good one. In the second half, Auburn was down 10-3, but they came back and took the lead late in the third quarter with a Kobe Hudson pass from TJ Finley. But Tune scored his second touchdown pass with 3:27 left in the game to go ahead and win it.