College Football in December, A time of excitement, change, commitment, and a time when dreams come true. For college football, December is the month that is not only exciting for players but also fans. This is when you see the results, positive or negative, and all the behind the scene work comes to life.
December holds the annual Army-Navy game, the Heisman trophy presentation, bowl games, play-off games, coaching changes, and recruiting commitments. It is pretty much the happiest time of the year for a college football fan. They get an early Christmas present that is full of surprises.
The month starts with the annual Army-Navy game. America comes together to watch this historic rivalry game knowing that no matter what happens Americans will come away with the win. Of course, there is still a very fierce competition between the two branches. This year the game didn’t let college football fans down. Army came away with the win, breaking their 14 year losing streak to Navy.
The Heisman trophy presentation is right around the corner. No matter who is still left in the race when December comes around, every college football fan turns on the tv to watch the show. The background and explanation of how every player who is nominated got there is truly inspirational. This is college football’s gift that makes every fan and player realize how important the game can be. It changes lives, and year after year a new Heisman brother steps into the brotherhood with every college football fan cheering him along.
Next comes the bowl games. After a few weeks of no division one college football games on tv, fans are ready for action. This time of the year brings out the competition in each fan no matter what. Fans make bowl game brackets, host watch parties, and brag over whose team is playing in the better bowl game.
This is the time of the year when no matter what kind of season a team had their fans can still rally behind them in one more game. Tennessee Volunteer fan, Caleb Olive, said “I am not pumped about the Music City Bowl when the Sugar Bowl was in our reach at the beginning of the season. But I am still excited to watch the game, and talk some trash to my boss who is a Nebraska fan.”
On the other hand, for some teams just making it to a bowl game is a huge success for their football program. The Vanderbilt Commodores are bowl eligible for the first time since 2013 and will be making only their eighth bowl appearance in their programs history. This is definitely something to celebrate. Former Vanderbilt University football player Jeff Holt said, “Vanderbilt finished with a flurry and should have won two other games. I am very happy for the players and Coach Mason! I am starting to believe in Coach Mason’s development as a coach. The players like him and have bought into his system! He is a class act and a role model for his players. I am excited to see Vanderbilt return to a bowl game this year and hope this is the first of many bowl games under Coach Mason.”
Then of course, rounding out December are the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl which serve as play-off games for the College Football Championship. Not only are these games exciting as they showcase the top four teams in the nation, but they lead up to the biggest college football game of the year.
In between all the madness, college football fans still have more to look forward to in the month of December, recruits committing and coaching changes.
College football commitments and recruiting shows have become very popular over the last few years. Now with social media, instead of a player just naming where he is going to commit, many players either make videos or special tweets or post about their decision. It has even been suggested that wide receiver recruit, Michael Harley, will make his decision based on the outcome of the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Recruiting can not only be exciting for fans, but also shows the behind the scenes work that the coaches and recruiting staff have been doing all year. After Tennessee lost to Vanderbilt this season many fans were upset, but soon after head coach, Butch Jones, was able to land a big recruit. This helped settle the fans who are uneasy about coach Jones and the way the Vols finished their season.
This is also a season where the players can receive support and encouragement from their new fan base. Northeast Mississippi Community College football player, Ethan Smart, just recently announced his commitment to Purdue University, “I have received a lot of positive feedback when I announced my decision. Everyone has been very supportive.”
Coaching changes are the last wild card that can happen during the month of December. This year the changes haven’t let college football fans down.
This month has seen many coaching changes. Texas hired Tom Herman as their new head coach. This left an opening for the head coaching position at Houston, which has now been filled by Major Applewhite. And the fun part about this, every change has a ripple effect that changes something else. Ex Texas coach, Charlie Strong now has taken the head coaching position at the University of South Florida, replacing Willie Taggart who is now the new head coach at Oregon, and it goes on and on.
The latest coaching change is Lane Kiffin. The University of Alabama’s offensive coordinator who just took the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic University. (To view reactions from college football fans about Lan Kiffin’s decision click here.) This was definitely surprising to many, a few weeks ago many fans thought he would end up being Houston’s new coach. With all this excitement fans are left on the edge of their seats all off-season.
The way to a college football fan’s heart is keeping them excited and alway reminding them why they love the game of football. That is what December does. It gives college football fans a gift that they can keep opening and opening all December long.
Merry Christmas College Football Fans!!