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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

College Football’s First Final Four (with the bowl schedule embedded)

Well, football fans, it’s official: the first ever playoff bracket is in place…and not everyone’s happy. After days of widespread speculation, and a final Saturday in which all six contenders held serve (albeit tenuously, in the case of Florida State), the Selection Committee chose the teams that will compete for the national title. The bowls begin on December 20th, and the national semifinals will be a New Year’s Day doubleheader! The Alabama Crimson Tide will take on Ohio State, who will be out to prove itself deserving of that controversial fourth spot. And Heisman favorite Marcus Mariota will lead the Oregon Ducks against Florida State, whose string of close-cut wins has left them with questions of their own to answer. And the national champs will be crowned on January 12th, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas! Will Alabama take it all, confirming the widely held belief that they’re the best in the country? Will the Seminoles silence their detractors by running the table, or will their tendency to miss early chances catch up with them? Will the Ducks win it for the Pac 12? Or will Ohio State continue its upward trend and take it home despite all they’ve gone through? See below for the full bowl schedule, and as always, 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 #brackethead

2014-15 College Football Bowl And Playoff Schedule

Bowl
Location
Date/Time
Network
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Nevada vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
New Orleans
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Dec. 20
11 a.m.
ESPN
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Utah State vs. UTEP
Albuquerque, N.M.
University Stadium
Dec. 20
2:20 p.m.
ESPN
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
Utah vs. Colorado State
Las Vegas
Sam Boyd Stadium
Dec. 20
3:30 p.m.
ABC
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Western Michigan vs. Air Force
Boise, Idaho
Albertsons Stadium
Dec. 20
5:45 p.m.
ESPN
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
South Alabama vs. Bowling Green
Montgomery, Ala.
Cramton Bowl
Dec. 20
9:15 p.m.
ESPN
Miami Beach Bowl
BYU vs. Memphis
Miami
Marlins Park
Dec. 22
2 p.m.
ESPN
Boca Raton Bowl
Marshall vs. Northern Illinois
Boca Raton, Fla.
FAU Stadium
Dec. 23
6 p.m.
ESPN
San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium
Dec. 23
9:30 p.m.
ESPN
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky
Nassau, Bahamas
Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium
Dec. 24
Noon
ESPN
Hawai’i Bowl
Fresno State vs. Rice
Honolulu
Aloha Stadium
Dec. 24
8 p.m.
ESPN
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
Dallas
Cotton Bowl
Dec. 26
1 p.m.
ESPN
Quick Lane Bowl
Rutgers vs. North Carolina
Detroit
Ford Field
Dec. 26
4:30 p.m.
ESPN
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tropicana Field
Dec. 26
8 p.m.
ESPN
Military Bowl presented By Northrop Grumman
Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Annapolis, Md.
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Dec. 27
1 p.m.
ESPN
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Arizona State vs. Duke
El Paso, Texas
Sun Bowl
Dec. 27
2 p.m.
CBS
Duck Commander Independence Bowl
Miami vs. South Carolina
Shreveport, La.
Independence Stadium
Dec. 27
3:30 p.m.
ABC
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Boston College vs. Penn State
Bronx, N.Y.
Yankee Stadium
Dec. 27
4:30 p.m.
ESPN
San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium
Dec. 27
8 p.m.
ESPN
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Texas A&M vs. West Virginia
Memphis, Tenn.
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Dec. 29
2 p.m.
ESPN
Russell Athletic Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Clemson
Orlando, Fla.
Florida Citrus Bowl
Dec. 29
5:30 p.m.
ESPN
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl
Arkansas vs. Texas
Houston
NRG Stadium
Dec. 29
9 p.m.
ESPN
Nashville, Tenn.
LP Field
Dec. 30
3 p.m.
ESPN
Belk Bowl
Georgia vs. Louisville
Charlotte, N.C.
Bank of America Stadium
Dec. 30
6:30 p.m.
ESPN
Foster Farms Bowl
Maryland vs. Stanford
Santa Clara, Calif.
Levi’s Stadium
Dec. 30
10 p.m.
ESPN
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
No. 9 Ole Miss vs. No. 6 TCU
Atlanta
Georgia Dome
Dec. 31
12:30 p.m.
ESPN
VIZIO Fiesta Bowl
No. 20 Boise State vs. No. 10 Arizona
Glendale, Ariz.
University of Phoenix Stadium
Dec. 31
4 p.m.
ESPN
Capital One Orange Bowl
No. 7 Mississippi State vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech
Miami Gardens, Fla.
Sun Life Stadium
Dec. 31
8 p.m.
ESPN
Outback Bowl
Auburn vs. Wisconsin
Tampa, Fla.
Raymond James Stadium
Jan. 1
Noon
ESPN2
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Baylor
Arlington, Texas
AT&T Stadium
Jan. 1
12:30 p.m.
ESPN
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Missouri vs. Minnesota
Orlando, Fla.
Florida Citrus Bowl
Jan. 1
1 p.m.
ABC
Rose Bowl Game Presented By Northwestern Mutual
College Football Playoff Semifinal

No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State
Pasadena, Calif.
Rose Bowl
Jan. 1
5 p.m.
ESPN
Allstate Sugar Bowl
College Football Playoff Semifinal

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State
New Orleans
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Jan. 1
8:30 p.m.
ESPN
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Houston vs. Pittsburgh
Fort Worth, Texas
Amon G. Carter Stadium
Jan. 2
Noon
ESPN
TaxSlayer Bowl
Iowa vs. Tennessee
Jacksonville, Fla.
EverBank Field
Jan. 2
3:20 p.m.
ESPN
Valero Alamo Bowl
Kansas State vs. UCLA
San Antonio
Alamodome
Jan. 2
6:45 p.m.
ESPN
TicketCity Cactus Bowl
Washington vs. Oklahoma State
Tempe, Ariz.
Sun Devil Stadium
Jan. 2
10:15 p.m.
ESPN
Birmingham Bowl
East Carolina vs. Florida
Birmingham, Ala.
Legion Field
Jan. 3
1 p.m.
ESPN
GoDaddy Bowl
Toledo vs. Arkansas State
Mobile, Ala.
Ladd-Peebles Stadium
Jan. 4
9 p.m.
ESPN
College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T
TBD vs. TBD
Arlington, Texas
AT&T Stadium
Jan. 12
TBD
ESPN

Championship Time!

Well, football fans, the time is here. Titles get decided, debates get settled, and the action should be exciting to cap off one doosy of a season. We’re closing in on the inaugural College Football Playoff, and fans of college football can’t wait!
The week began with a bang. The University of Central Florida won a share of the American Athletic Conference title with a win over East Carolina…but how they did it was crazy! East Carolina stormed back from a three-score deficit in the fourth quarter, and stopped UCF on 4th& 20 with less than two minutes left. In its last drive, East Carolina took a knee three times and took a sack on fourth down…with only ten seconds to go. Undaunted, UCF completed a pass to their 49 yard line. Then on the last play of the game, they hauled up a Hail Mary into the left side of the end zone and it was caught on a dead run over a handful of leaping defenders! What a finish! These two teams aren’t even ranked, and they kicked off the weekend with a game that was hard to top.
The Bedlam game was bonkers! Okahoma State returned a punt for a 92-yard touchdown with under a minute to go, and went on to beat 20thranked Oklahoma in overtime! Cincinnati won a share of the American Athletic Conference title with a 38031 win over Houston, and Marshall finished 12-1 and took the Conference USA title with a 26-23 win over scrappy Louisiana Tech.
At the top of the playoff race, the Oregon Ducks locked down their position with a 51-13 pounding of Arizona and TCU blasted Iowa State 55-3. Top-ranked Alabama beat Missouri 42-13, securing its spot. No. 6 Baylor beat Kansas State 38-27, meaning they split the B12 12 title with…TCU. Adding to the drama, no. 5 Ohio State beat Wisconsin by an astounding 59-0, making their own case for a playoff seed. Last but not least, Florida State eked out a tense one over no. 11 Georgia Tech, 37-35. All six of the top ranked teams won their games, but the Seminoles were the only ones who didn’t win decisively. Will it cost them?
With less than 24 hours until the official playoff selection, debates are raging all over the college football world. Who are your four? Is being undefeated enough to keep Florida State in, or does one of the Big 12 teams take their spot? How about Ohio State, who continues to crank out points despite losing another quarterback?
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!
p.s. we’d like to give a special shoutout to the Ohio State family, in recognition of their tragic loss. The hearts and minds of sports fans nationwide are with you.
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