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The wait is over!

TCU QB Trevone Boykin is looking to prove 2014 wasn’t a fluke.

Football fans, the wait is over at last–and we mean that in more than one way. We’ll start with the longest-running storyline of the NFL offseason: the Deflategate saga, the battle between Tom Brady and the NFL. After much of the sports world waited for the other proverbial shoe to drop, Judge Richard Berman delivered the result New England Patriots fans have hoped for. He vacated the punishment imposed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and cleared Brady to begin the season as usual. Berman’s decision appears to have been based on the fact that, regardless of the merits of the case against Brady, Goodell ignored due process in his handling of the matter…and as you might imagine, this issue isn’t dead yet. Speculation has already begun about the NFL’s next move, as well as how much this whole thing might tarnish the legacies of many involved. One thing’s for sure: if you took a shot and drafted Brady in your fantasy league, you’re doing a happy dance.

As for the other thing football fans have waited seemingly forever for: the college football season is fully underway! It actually began last Saturday, in an under-the-radar but highly exciting FCS kickoff between Montana and FCS defending champion North Dakota State. With just two seconds to go, the Montana Grizzlies excited the home crowd in Missoula with a game-winning touchdown to beat the defending champs, 38-35!

Back to the big show, last night marked the start of the Jim Harbaugh era for the Michigan Wolverines. Unfortunately, the game that was referred to as a ‘cupcake’ match for Harbaugh & company didn’t go as planned. The Utah Utes took down the Wolverines 24-17, as Utes running back Devontae Booker put up 124 total yards and a touchdown. Harbaugh and his famous gameday outfit will be back next week, of course, to try and get the Michigan football program back to the top.
In other action, the South Carolina Gamecocks relied on their defense to beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 17-13. The South Carolina D had two interceptions in their own end zone against Heels’ quarterback quarterback Marquise Williams, who had some bright moments but seemed a little too aware of closing pass rushers. And at the top of the standings, the second-ranked TCU Horned Frogs survived a scare against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, winning 23-17 as quarterback Trevone Boykin set out to prove last season wasn’t a fluke.
The first full week of college football will continue over Labor Day weekend, and the top 25 will be looking to get their hunt for the national title on! Who do you think will get off the biggest start? Will there be any major upsets? Who’s on your early watch list for the Heisman Trophy? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. You can also us #FanCrazy photos and make bold predictions on our Facebook wall. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app!
May the brackets always bust in your favor,
Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer
#GoFancheer

Urban Meyer wins another title!

Well, football fans, we might be witnessing the making of an all-time coaching legend in Urban Meyer. In the first ever (and long overdue) official college football National Championship, Meyer took fourth-seeded Ohio State all the way and won his third national title as a head coach!
The Buckeyes were a controversial selection, as many believed that Big 12 co-champions Baylor and TCU were both more deserving of playoff bids. But Meyer, using his third string quarterback and shepherding his team through a season full of adversity, quieted doubters with back to back thumpings of both playoff opponents.
Early on, the game looked like it might be the shootout many folks predicted. Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota led the second-seeded Oregon Ducks down the field in short order, putting six on the board to open the scoring. But then the Ducks began to miss opportunities, and third-string quarterback (seriously?) Cardale Jones and running back Ezekiel Elliot took over.
Jones has become widely known, in short order, for almost stupefying arm strength; but Jones was also masterful in his decision-making, and impressive with his variety of throws. He threw receivers open, hit wised open guys downfield, threw from the pocket, and delivered back-shoulder passes to the sidelines. He also showed his running ability, buying time with his legs and using his 250-pound frame to impose his will in traffic. And Elliot was dominant, scoring four touchdowns and shredding the Ducks’ defense for 246 rushing yards.
Going into the fourth quarter, the game was still 28-20. When the Buckeyes took a two score lead, the floodgates opened and the Ducks never recovered. The final score was 42-20, and Ohio State fans felt vindicated, while Urban Meyer entered the conversation as one of the best college football coaches ever. One can make the argument that losing two key wideouts during the playoffs hurt the Ducks’ chances, but one thing is clear: the Ohio State Buckeyes earned their national championship. The inaugural college football Championship will be a hard act to follow for next year’s final two!
What do you think were the key moments and factors in the game? Who do you think are the best bets to dominate college football in 2016? Who’s your pick to win the first college football national title? Tweet us @BracketHead using the hashtag #FanCrazy and sound off. You can also send us fan photos, make bold predictions, and post photos to our Facebook wall.
Remember, here at FanCheer we’re all about the fans and their love of the games. 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’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

Who wins the Heisman?

Well, college football fans, we’re within 24 hours of knowing who wins this year’s Heisman Trophy. As the clock winds down, the discussions continue: who should win the award this year? Here’s what the folks at FanCheer think, listed in order of our selections.

Mariota seems like the Heisman favorite.

1. Marcus Mariota: QB, Oregon Ducks

Mariota is the front man for the second-ranked Ducks, winners of the Pac 12 and one of the four participants in the inaugural playoff. The 6’4”, 219lb junior is widely considered to be NFL-ready, and he led the third highest scoring offense in the nation. In 2014, Mariota put up this ridiculous stat line: 38 passing touchdowns and 14 rushing touchdowns, with only 2 interceptions and a 68.3 percent completion rate. He should be the frontrunner. 

2. Melvin Gordon: RB, Wisconsin Badgers

Gordon is the guy who broke LaDainian Tomlinson’s single-game rushing record this season, with a staggering 408 yards in just over three quarters against Nebraska (of course, his record only lasted a week, but we digress). He’s an electric gear-changer, but not too slight of build at 6;1” 207lbs. Gordon ran for 2,336 yards in 2014, with 26 rushing scores and an average of 7.6 yards per carry. His longest run was 88 yards. He didn’t catch a ton of passes, with only 17 receptions for 151 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he was clearly the Badgers’ engine on offense and a frequent source of highlights. 

3. Amari Cooper: WR, Alabama Crimson Tide

Cooper is an explosive downfield threat for the Tide, who set the SEC record for receptions in a season with 115. He totaled 1,656 receiving yards and 14 receiving touchdowns, and his longest catch of the year went for 80 yards. At 6’1”, 210, he’s a dynamic game-changer. He’s also the surprise winner of a Sports Illustrate poll in which 6,000 people entered their own Heisman choices…still, we don’t think it’ll go that way in the official vote.
When it’s all said and done, we think Mariota’s the clear choice, though all three are great candidates. Got your own breakdowns to share? 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