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The 2016 BCS National Championship was a classic!

Well, college football fans, you couldn’t have hoped for much more excitement from this year’s BCS National Championship. The undefeated Clemson Tigers took on the Alabama Crimson Tide out in Arizona, and what a game it turned out to be!

The Crimson Tide won an instant classic of a title game.
Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry kicked off the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown run about halfway through the first quarter. Superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson responded with a 31-yard wheel route touchdown to Hunter Renfrow, tying the game at 7. The two connected for another score at the end of the first quarter, with Watson hitting Renfrew in the back of the end zone and Renfrew going to the turf to make a nice grab.
In the second quarter, the Crimson Tide defense picked off Watson and Henry scored again, this time on a one-yard plunge. The game was tied once again, and the show was just getting started! Henry was already over 100 yards rushing as of the second quarter, but he wouldn’t be the only star of the game. Alabama’s senior quarterback Jake Coker struggled early, taking sacks and not finding open receivers; they went three-and-out with under a minute left in the half, and Watson drove his team into field goal range with seconds to go. There was some controversy, as the clock appeared to continue running after Clemson got a first down in the red zone, and Alabama blocked a field goal attempt. The game went to halftime, with the score tied at 14.
Coker picked his game up in the second half, and so did Alabama’s tight end O.J. Howard. Howard leaked up the sideline for his first touchdown since 2013–a 53-yarder–and the score was 21-14. Howard was far from done, but we’ll get to that. Greg Huegel kicked a field goal to close the gap, then Wayne Gallman caught a pass to get Clemson into the red zone. He came up limping, and would go in and out of the trainer’s room for much of the rest of the game; but he came back in to run it in from a yard out, and give Clemson a 24-21 lead they would take into the fourth quarter. Going into the game, Clemson had won the last 51 games in which they had started the fourth quarter with a lead!

Renfrew had a great night, with Clemson’s first two scores.
Adam Griffith tied the game with a field goal early in the fourth quarter. And then Alabama recovered an onside kick with 10:34 to go! And then Howard got into the act again, this time with a 51-yard bomb up the seam on a blown coverage! Huegel closed it to 31-27 with another field goal…and Alabama answered in striking fashion. Kenyan Drake took the ensuing kickoff, and ran it all the way to the house, 95 yards to put the Tide up 38-27 with seven and a half to go. If you thought that was that, it was time to think again. Gallman started catching passes from the backfield and making something from nothing, fueling an impressive drive back to the red zone. Artavis Scott got into the act, with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 4:40 to go. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, and this thriller of a title game stood at 38-33. The Alabama offense struggled to open their next drive–until Howard caught an innocuous looking pass headed toward the sideline. He turned the corner and took it all the way to the red zone! This reception put him at a whopping 208 receiving yards for the night, and Alabama was poised to try and put the game away. On third and goal, Henry used a third-effort spin move to punch it in from a yard out–and with 1:07 to go, it was 45-33. Alabama fans thought they could relax–but alas, Watson led an electrifying march down the field. He hit tight end Jordan Leggett from 24 yards out, on a perfectly thrown bullet past outstretched arms…and with 12 seconds left, the game was 45-40.  Clemson refused to go away easily! They tried an onside kick to no avail, and after an instant classic, it was time for Coker and Henry and company to celebrate. Howard was rewarded for his breakout performance by winning the Offensive MVP of the game.

Tight end OJ Howard was the game’s offensive MVP.

Where does this game rank on your list of all-time great national championships? Who was the player of the game? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your favorite teams, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app to Play, Shout and Win!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

College Football’s first National Championship!

Will Marcus Mariota go all the way?

College football fans, the day so many of you have waited for is finally almost upon us. On Monday, January 12th, 2015, division I College Football will finally see its official title-deciding game. After an exciting weekend in which the Ohio State Buckeyes beat up on the Florida State Seminoles and the Oregon Ducks upset the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, the stage is set for an exciting final. The Ducks and Buckeyes are both extremely hot teams, and in many ways this game is a study in contrasts. Oh yeah, and this game is on pace to be the most ever wagered-upon game in college football history!

The Buckeyes are coached by the 50-year-old living coaching legend, Urban Meyer. Meyer is a proven winner who’s seeking his third national championship (of course, we needn’t remind anyone that this is the first official national championship), and has managed his team through the loss of two starting quarterbacks as well as the tragic death of one of its players. Ohio State relies heavily on the run, bruising their way to enormous margins of victory by pounding opponents at the line of scrimmage. They can throw the ball if they really need to—quarterback Cardale Jones can reportedly throw the ball 80 yards on the fly and a ridiculous 65 yards from one knee—but they mostly prefer to win on the ground. Ezekiel Elliot is one of the nation’s best runners, rolling up 220 and 230 yards in his past two games.
The Ducks are coached Mark Helfrich, a 41-year-old relative newcomer. Helfrich has the Ducks using a wide-open, up-tempo offense, led by Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. Helfrich uses an uncommon approach, in which he favors “horizontal leadership” and minimal yelling. The Ducks do need to be able to run inside the tackles, but this is mainly to balance out their fast-paced passing attack. Mariota is widely believed to be NFL-ready, combining size, speed and a good arm with practically nonexistent turnovers and an even temperament. The Ducks have been rolling up points in big chunks, and once they get in a rhythm, they render defenses exhausted and off balance. As for the Ducks’ defense, it’s been opportunistic and tougher than their lack of hype would suggest. Their pass rush is capable of causing problems, and if they create just a couple of turnovers, their games get out of hand—in their favor—in a hurry.
This game should be evenly matched on the field, despite its numerous contrasts, but the Ducks have a few situations they’re dealing with. Freshman receiver Darren Carrington will miss the game after failing a drug test; Carrington was second on the team with 704 receiving yards this season, and racked up 165 yards and two scores in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks are also missing, for the second straight game, cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu because of a knee injury. As if that isn’t enough, freshman receiver Devon Allen inured his knee on the opening kickoff of the Rose Bowl and is also done for the year. This has contributed to a fluctuating betting line in what might be the most anticipated college football game in a decade.
Once kickoff starts and the bright lights go on, it’ll all come down to energy and execution. Who’s your pick to win the first college football national title? Tweet us @BracketHead using the hashtag #FanCrazy and sound off with your predictions. You can also send us fan photos, make bold predictions, and post photos to our Facebook wall. If you or someone you know is a REAL #FanCrazy fan, send us proof in a picture with a catchy caption! And don’t forget to check in and follow us for a chance to win fun prizes!
May the brackets bust in your favor,

The folks at FanCheer

#GoFanCheer

College Football Playoff Preview

Well, college football fans, the time is finally nigh: the inaugural NCAA football playoff is here! Here at FanCheer, we’re going to give you some stuff to look for in the two big first round games.
Game one is the Rose Bowl, set for 5:00 Eastern Time on New Year’s Day. It features kind of a study in contrasts: the mercurial, controversial Jameis Winston against the polished, seemingly NFL-ready Marcus Mariota. Another clear contrast is in the Ducks and Seminoles’ paths to victory. Florida State always seems to cut it close, and in fact has often taken its first lead of the game within five minutes of the end of regulation. On the contrary, Oregon has often had games well in hand from early on. This doesn’t mean that haven’t at all been tested, but they’ve had a better knack for controlling the flow of play. The Noles’ tendency to cut it close—often due to early blunders—has made them a highly controversial choice to appear in the playoff, and they come into it with a lot to prove in the eyes of many. Despite neither being the top ranked team in the nation, both come in with a championship-or-bust aura. As for the matchup, it should be interesting: the Ducks can really throw it around, and the Seminoles have at times been leaky in their pass defense. As for Winston and company, he’s got game-breaking talent and late-game resilience as well as a platoon of speed merchants that can make secondaries look bad. If the Seminoles catch the turnover bug early, the Ducks won’t be as easy to make up ground against. But if both teams bring their A games, this one might be a serious shootout.
The next playoff game is the Sugar Bowl, set for 8:30 Eastern Time on New Year’s Day. It features the number one seeded Alabama Crimson Tide, widely considered the best team in the country. The Ohio State Buckeyes, meanwhile, are another controversial selection despite destroying 13thranked Wisconsin 59-0 to close the regular season. The Buckeyes have stayed the course despite losing multiple quarterbacks to injury and one of its players to a tragic suicide; they come in looking to validate their selection over Big 12 co-champions Baylor and TCU. If the Buckeyes have a chance to upset the Tide, it might be downfield: Alabama was just 57th in the country in passing defense in terms of yards allowed. If the Tide get caught looking ahead, this could get interesting.
Here at FanCheer, we think it’ll be the Ducks meeting the Tide in the national title game on January 12th. Who do you think wins the first round of the first ever college football playoffs? Tweet us @BracketHead using the hashtag #FanCrazy and sound off with your predictions. You can also send us fan photos, make bold predictions, and post photos to our Facebook wall. And don’t forget to check in and follow us for a chance to win fun prizes!
May the brackets bust in your favor,

The folks at FanCheer

#GoFanCheer

the top four hold serve

There weren’t as many upsets and fantastic finishes this week, but Week 13 in NCAA Football still had its share of excitement.
First of all, unbelievably, the FBS single-game rushing record was broken again. Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine ran for a whopping 427 yards against Kansas; this broke Melvin Gordon’s record of 408, which he set only a week ago. Meanwhile, Gordon had another great day for the 16thranked Wisconsin Badgers, as they outlasted unranked Iowa 26-24.
The top teams held serve this week, though third ranked Florida State needed yet another late comeback to stay unbeaten against unranked Boston College. Rounding out the top four, the Oregon Ducks, Mississippi Sztate Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide won by a collective 143-24. Ohio State and Baylor won handily, while the day’s lone upset was a doosy: unranked Arkansas pummeled 8th ranked Ole Miss 30-0, continuing the latter team’s struggles. Blowouts were the theme of the week, though no. 25 Minnesota won a 28-24 top-25 thriller against no. 23 Nebraska.
Week 14 has a ton of intriguing matchups and local rivalries. Arizona State-Arizona, Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia Tech-Georgia and Ohio State-Michigan are just some of the promising games on the schedule. Saturday night is this year’s Iron Bowl, between Auburn and top ranked Alabama!
Who will win these big-time rivalry games? Will the top 4 hold serve again, with the playoffs approaching? Will TCU finally play its way into the top four? Will someone else break an FBS record? Tweet us @BracketHead using the hashtag #FanCrazy and sound off with your predictions. You can also send us fan photos, make bold predictions, and post photos to our Facebook wall. And don’t forget to check in and follow us for a chance to win fun prizes!
May the brackets bust in your favor,

The folks at FanCheer

#GoFanCheer

SEC West is on fire!

Week 8 was another ridiculous one in College Football’s first playoff season! There was another full batch of back & forth shootouts, there was a CRAZY top-five upset, and the top of the rankings reshuffled one more time.
The SEC West made college football history this week, becoming the first conference with four teams ranked in the top five in the country! The ACC’s Florida State hung on to no. 2 after a thrilling (and controversial) 31-27 win over Notre Dame. Meanwhile, Mississippi State kept the top spot during its bye week while Ole Miss, Alabama and Auburn climbed into the top five. The Crimson Tide made the biggest statement, clobbering no. 21 Texas A&M 59-0! And the West Virginia Mountaineers helped clear the path by taking down no. 4 Baylor in one of the week’s most exciting games. Out west, no. 20 Utah outlasted no. 29 Oregon State 29-23 in double overtime.
College football has a bumper crop of sleeper teams that continue to score in bunches. Still unranked, high-scoring the UNC Tarheels hung 48 points on Georgia Tech. Texas & Iowa State scored a combined 93 points in their game, with the Longhorns hanging on 48-43. Twelfth-ranked TCU went to town on no. 15 Oklahoma State by a surprising score of 42-9. And Marshall—finally in the top 25!—remained undefeated with a 45-13 pounding of Florida International.
As the second half of the College Football season begins, it’s unclear how long the playoff picture will take to come into focus. Marcus Mariota will lead the still-rising 6-1 Oregon Ducks against a dangerous California team. West Virginia, now ranked at no. 22, will go to Oklahoma State and face a team looking to bounce back. A game to keep an eye on is third-ranked Ole Miss at newly-ranked no. 24 LSU.
The increasing crop of formidable one-loss teams is creating a logjam at the top of college football. This should make things very interesting when the time comes to pick four…will the SEC maintain its hold on the top of the polls? Tweet us @BracketHead using the hashtag #FanCrazy and sound off with your predictions. You can also send fan photos to us, make bold predictions, and post photos to our Facebook wall. And don’t forget to check in and follow us for a chance to win fun prizes!
May the brackets bust in your favor,
The folks at FanCheer

#GoFanCheer