The 2014–15 NCAA football bowl games were a series of college footballbowl games. They completed the 2014 NCAA Division I FBS football season, and included 39 team-competitive games and four all-star games. The games began on December 20, 2014 and, aside from the all-star games, ended with the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship which was played on January 12, 2015.
A new record total of 39 team-competitive bowl games were played, including the national championship game and the inaugural Camellia Bowl, Boca Raton Bowl and Bahamas Bowl. While bowl games had been the purview of only the very best teams for nearly a century, this was the ninth consecutive year that teams with non-winning seasons participated in bowl games. To fill the 76 available team-competitive bowl slots, a total of 13 teams (17% of all participants) with non-winning seasons participated in bowl games—12 with a .500 (6-6) season and, for the third time in four years, a team with a sub-.500 (6-7) season.
The schedule for the 2014–15 bowl games is below. All times are EST (UTC−5). The rankings used are the CFP rankings.
The 2014–15 postseason was the first to feature a College Football Playoff (CFP) to determine a national champion of Division I FBS college football. Four teams were selected by a 13-member committee to participate in a single-elimination tournament, whose semifinals were held at the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl as part of a yearly rotation of six bowls. Their winners advanced to the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
CFP bowl games and Championship Game
Starting with the 2014–15 postseason, six College Football Playoff (CFP) bowl games will host two semifinal playoff games on a rotating basis—the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl. The games will be played on two days, on or around January 1. The winners of the two semifinal games will advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship. These six bowl games are also known as the New Year's Six. All games will be televised by ESPN and broadcast on the radio by ESPN Radio.
Non-CFP bowl games
For the 2014–15 postseason, four new bowl games were added — the Camellia Bowl, Miami Beach Bowl, Boca Raton Bowl, and Bahamas Bowl — bringing the total number of bowl games to 39. Additionally, the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl was replaced by the Quick Lane Bowl.
|Dec. 20||R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl||Mercedes-Benz Superdome|
New Orleans, LA
|ESPN||ESPN||Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (8–4)|
Nevada Wolf Pack (7–5)
|Gildan New Mexico Bowl||University Stadium|
|Utah State Aggies (9–4)|
UTEP Miners (7–5)
|Utah State 21|
|Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl||Sam Boyd Stadium|
|ABC||Sports USA||#22 Utah Utes (8–4)|
Colorado State Rams (10–2)
Colorado State 10
|Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Albertsons Stadium|
|ESPN||ESPN||Air Force Falcons (9–3)|
Western Michigan Broncos (8–4)
|Air Force 38|
Western Michigan 24
|Raycom Media Camellia Bowl||Cramton Bowl|
|Bowling Green Falcons (7–6)|
South Alabama Jaguars (6–6)
|Bowling Green 33|
South Alabama 28
|Dec. 22||Miami Beach Bowl||Marlins Park|
|BYUR||Memphis Tigers (9–3)|
BYU Cougars (8–4)
BYU 48 (2OT)
|Dec. 23||Boca Raton Bowl||FAU Stadium|
Boca Raton, FL
|ESPN||Marshall Thundering Herd (12–1)|
Northern Illinois Huskies (11–2)
Northern Illinois 23
|San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl||Qualcomm Stadium|
San Diego, CA
|Navy Midshipmen (7–5)|
San Diego State Aztecs (7–5)
San Diego State 16
|Dec. 24||Popeyes Bahamas Bowl||Thomas Robinson Stadium|
|Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7–5)|
Central Michigan Chippewas (7–5)
|Western Kentucky 49|
Central Michigan 48
|Hawaii Bowl||Aloha Stadium|
|Rice Owls (7–5)|
Fresno State Bulldogs (6–7)
Fresno State 6
|Dec. 26||Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl||Cotton Bowl|
|RedVoice||Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8–5)|
Illinois Fighting Illini (6–6)
|Louisiana Tech 35|
|Quick Lane Bowl||Ford Field|
|Quick Lane Radio Network||Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7–5)|
North Carolina Tar Heels (6–6)
North Carolina 21
|Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl||Tropicana Field|
St. Petersburg, FL
|ESPN||NC State Wolfpack (7–5)|
UCF Knights (9–3)
|NC State 34|
|Dec. 27||Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman||Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium|
|Virginia Tech Hokies (6–6)|
Cincinnati Bearcats (9–3)
|Virginia Tech 33|
|Hyundai Sun Bowl||Sun Bowl Stadium|
El Paso, TX
|CBS||Sports USA||#15 Arizona State Sun Devils (9–3)|
Duke Blue Devils (9–3)
|Arizona State 36|
|Duck Commander Independence Bowl||Independence Stadium|
|ABC||South Carolina Gamecocks (6–6)|
Miami Hurricanes (6–6)
|South Carolina 24|
|New Era Pinstripe Bowl||Yankee Stadium|
|ESPN||ESPN||Penn State Nittany Lions (6–6)|
Boston College Eagles (7–5)
|Penn State 31|
Boston College 30 (OT)
|National University Holiday Bowl||Qualcomm Stadium|
San Diego, CA
|#24 USC Trojans (8–4)|
Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3)
|Dec. 29||AutoZone Liberty Bowl||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium|
|Texas A&M Aggies (7–5)|
West Virginia Mountaineers (7–5)
|Texas A&M 45|
West Virginia 37
|Russell Athletic Bowl||Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium|
|#17 Clemson Tigers (9–3)|
Oklahoma Sooners (8–4)
|AdvoCare Texas Bowl||NRG Stadium|
|Arkansas Razorbacks (6–6)|
Texas Longhorns (6–6)
|Dec. 30||Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl||LP Field|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7–5)|
#23 LSU Tigers (8–4)
|Notre Dame 31|
|Belk Bowl||Bank of America Stadium|
|#13 Georgia Bulldogs (9–3)|
#21 Louisville Cardinals (9–3)
|Foster Farms Bowl||Levi's Stadium|
Santa Clara, CA
|Stanford Cardinal (7–5)|
Maryland Terrapins (7–5)
|Jan. 1||Outback Bowl||Raymond James Stadium|
|ESPN2||Touchdown||#18 Wisconsin Badgers (10–3)|
#19 Auburn Tigers (8–4)
Auburn 31 (OT)
|Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl||Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium|
|ABC||ESPN||#16 Missouri Tigers (10–3)|
#25 Minnesota Golden Gophers (8–4)
|Jan. 2||Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl||Amon G. Carter Stadium|
Fort Worth, TX
|ESPN||RedVoice||Houston Cougars (7–5)|
Pittsburgh Panthers (6–6)
|TaxSlayer Bowl||EverBank Field|
|ESPN||Tennessee Volunteers (6–6)|
Iowa Hawkeyes (7–5)
|Valero Alamo Bowl||Alamodome|
San Antonio, TX
|#14 UCLA Bruins (9–3)|
#11 Kansas State Wildcats (9–3)
Kansas State 35
|TicketCity Cactus Bowl||Sun Devil Stadium|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-6)|
Washington Huskies (8–5)
|Oklahoma State 30|
|Jan. 3||Birmingham Bowl||Legion Field|
|Florida Gators (6–5)|
East Carolina Pirates (8–4)
East Carolina 20
|Jan. 4||GoDaddy Bowl||Ladd Peebles Stadium|
|Nevada||Toledo Rockets (8–4)|
Arkansas State Red Wolves (7–5)
Arkansas State 44
Selection of the teams
CFP top 25 teams
On December 7, 2014, the 13-member College Football Playoff selection committee announced their final team rankings for the year.
- American (6): Cincinnati, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Temple, UCF
- ACC (11): Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami (FL), NC State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech
- Big 12 (7): Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, West Virginia
- Big Ten (10): Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Wisconsin
- Conference USA (7): Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, Rice, UAB, UTEP, Western Kentucky
- Independents (3): BYU, Navy, Notre Dame
- MAC (6): Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan
- Mountain West (7): Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, San Diego State, Utah State
- Pac-12 (8): Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington
- SEC (12): Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M
- Sun Belt (4): Arkansas State, Louisiana–Lafayette, South Alabama, Texas State
Number of bowl berths available: 76
Number of bowl-eligible teams: 81
Bowl-eligible teams that did not receive a berth
Ohio, Texas State, Temple, UAB, Middle Tennessee
- American (5): Connecticut, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, USF
- ACC (3): Syracuse, Virginia, Wake Forest
- Big Ten (4): Indiana, Michigan, Northwestern, Purdue
- Big 12 (3): Iowa State, Kansas, Texas Tech
- Conference USA (6): FIU, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Old Dominion†, Southern Miss, UTSA
- Independents (1): Army
- MAC (7): Akron, Ball State, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Massachusetts, Miami (OH)
- Mountain West (5): Hawai'i, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV, Wyoming
- Pac 12 (4): California, Colorado, Oregon State, Washington State
- SEC (2): Kentucky, Vanderbilt
- Sun Belt (7): Appalachian State†, Georgia Southern†, Georgia State, Idaho‡, Louisiana–Monroe, New Mexico State, Troy
Number of bowl-ineligible teams: 47
† – Appalachian State (7–5), Georgia Southern (9–3, Sun Belt champions), and Old Dominion (6–6) were conditionally eligible based on win/loss record. However, under FCS-to-FBS transition rules, they are not eligible because enough teams qualified under normal circumstances.
‡ – Idaho was ineligible for postseason play due to an insufficient Academic Progress Rate. However, the Vandals would not have been eligible without the ban, as they finished with a 1-10 record.
- ^ ab"College Football Playoff 101", ESPN, May 19, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- ^"2014–15 College Football Bowl Schedule – 2015 Playoff", FBSchedules.com. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
- ^Wolken, Dan (April 25, 2013). "Questions and Answers for the College Football Playoff", USA Today. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- ^"Future Sites and Schedules", College Football Playoff. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
- ^Berkes, Peter (July 23, 2013). "College Football Playoff Bowls to Be Part of 'New Year's Six'", SB Nation. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- ^Huston, Chris. (October 7, 2013). "Report: Four New Bowl Games on Tap for 2014", NBC Sports. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
- ^"Detroit's Quick Lane Bowl to Feature ACC vs. Big Ten", USA Today, August 26, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
- ^Conway, Taylor (December 7, 2014). "College Football Playoff 2014: Final Official Selection Committee Rankings", Bleacher Report. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
Last week, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly named three captains for the 2018 season. He also said he would hold a team vote for a fourth captain by the end of spring practice. That naturally leads to some speculation as to who could prevail in that balloting.
Kelly indicated “six or seven” players were in the mix after the first tally this spring, the one that made captains out of fifth-years Drue Tranquill, Sam Mustipher and Tyler Newsome. Considering which seniors stand out as productive playmakers, which fifth-years were invited back to contribute and thus create a roster crunch, and who led the offseason “SWAT” teams, a few frontrunners emerge.
The Irish have long had multiple leaders along the offensive line, and fifth-year right guard Alex Bars could join Mustipher as a team-wide captain. Similarly, fifth-year tight end Nic Weishar returned despite not yet being a vital piece of the passing game — instead, Kelly has often cited Weishar’s influence within the tight end group and the offense as a whole.
The returns of rising seniors Te’von Coney and Jerry Tillery, each opting to forgo the NFL draft, certainly made Notre Dame’s defense a force to be reckoned with as far as paper is concerned. Usually, when a player up the middle comes off a strong junior season and opts to return, a captainship may soon follow, but both Coney and Tillery have faced disciplinary issues during their Irish careers. Such could jeopardize a captainship from an administrative standpoint, no matter how a player vote turns out.
Rising senior cornerback Nick Watkins is leading one of those spring SWAT units. Watkins may otherwise be off the possible captain radar, but that position of leadership has been an indicative piece of data the last two years. Exhibit A: Newsome led a group each of the last two years, bringing him to a more prominent role in the locker room than a punter may usually have.
Rising senior quarterback Brandon Wimbush heads a SWAT team, as well, as a co-leader with Weishar. Naming Wimbush a captain coming out of spring would create some level of expectation of him being the starting quarterback, something Kelly does not intend to establish before August, at the earliest. Of course, Wimbush’s play, or rising junior Ian Book’s subpar play, could force that issue before then.
That makes six candidates. Rising junior cornerback Julian Love (pictured above) could be a seventh. Love has comported himself well both on and off the field in his two years as a starter, and he may not be around to be a captain as a senior.
This is nothing but idle speculation, but it is spring break and the conversation is intriguing, at the least.
Mustipher on new o-line coach Jeff Quinn
The verdict on Quinn’s promotion to fill the void left by Harry Hiestand will not be returned until November, at the earliest. Until then, the opinions of Mustipher and the rest of the offensive line are the best clues to Quinn’s interactions with the offensive line. When asked about Quinn on Tuesday, there was no chance Mustipher would offer anything but praise, but some insight can be gained by what praise Mustipher provided.
“He brings a motivational and inspirational energy to the offensive line room,” Mustipher said. “He understands the way the standard needs to be set.”
That is pretty generic to start. Mustipher then spoke of the “privilege” of being part of the interview process, along with Bars. It would seem the two made it clear to Kelly they wanted not only consistency in message and system, but also some investment in that approach.
“We understand that standard of excellence,” Mustipher said. “We wanted a guy that wanted to be here and wanted to coach, and that it meant a lot to him to be here.”
Kizer to the Green Bay Packers
Former Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer was traded to the Green Bay Packers from the Cleveland Browns on Friday for a cornerback, per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Without a doubt, getting away from the Browns will be good for Kizer, but do not presume he will ever throw many passes on the shores of Lake Michigan.
In trading oft-injured cornerback Damarious Randall, the Packers not only received Kizer, but they also moved up in both the fourth- and fifth- rounds in next month’s NFL draft. That alone may have been enough incentive to move on from a defensive back who publicly feuded with an assistant coach last season.
Securing a contract-controlled backup quarterback solidified the deal, and it is likely Kizer is never more than a backup for the Packers. Starting quarterback and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers is only 34. He should have another four or five or even more years left in his career. Kizer’s contract, meanwhile, expires after the 2020 season.
If he minds his manners, learns from Rodgers and makes a few cameos in the next three seasons, then perhaps an opportunity elsewhere will await Kizer. Knowing the NFL and its preference for the newest inventory, though, this may be a step toward a career as a backup for the 2017 second-round draft pick.
Kizer finished his rookie season with 2,894 yards, 11 touchdowns and 22 interceptions on 255-of-476 passing in 15 games. He added 419 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 77 attempts with nine fumbles sprinkled in.
(Off-topic, but near to the heart: Quarterback rushing statistics do not need to be adjusted for sacks in the NFL.)
Kudos to Oklahoma
With the Sunday night reveal of the NCAA men’s basketball bracket, Oklahoma continued a rather impressive streak. The Sooners athletic department is the only one in the country that can claim AP Top-10 finishes in football and men’s basketball tournament teams in each of the last two years. For that matter, Oklahoma actually managed the double in 2015, as well.
‘Inside the Irish’ March Madness Pool
Every online community has a bracket pool. On good days, this space is an online community. Thus, applying logic, it should have a bracket pool.
Inside the Irish 2018 Bracket Contest
There is nothing at stake except for bragging rights and a chance to embarrass this scribe by finishing well ahead of him. What more could one possibly need?
For the sake of being different, the group will utilize a Fibonacci scoring sequence (2-3-5-8-13-21) with a seed-difference upset bonus throughout the Tournament.
At least with Notre Dame out of the bracket, the group’s results will not be skewed by unrealistic Irish hopes.
Speaking of Notre Dame not making it …
The Irish did not have much of a résumé, injuries or no injuries. Looking at analytical measurements, though, Notre Dame appeared to have a much better chance than Syracuse, who squeezed in as the last at-large team. The Irish were the first team left out.
The differences between the two? Well, aside from Notre Dame winning at the Carrier Dome while without their two best players? The Irish have the nation’s No. 28 offense when adjusted for efficiency, per Ken Pomeroy. The Orange have the No. 128 offense, offsetting it with the No. 11 adjusted defense.
It was indeed that difference that helped Syracuse to a 55-52 win over Clemson in its March 3 regular-season finale, a credentials-boosting victory the likes of which Notre Dame did not have.
INSIDE THE IRISH READING:
— Monday’s Leftovers: Spring begins, a 2019 QB de-commits from Notre Dame & NFL Combine results
— Position changes, weight loss and quarterback questions welcome Notre Dame’s spring
— Notre Dame names three captains: LB Drue Tranquill, C Sam Mustipher … and punter Tyler Newsome
— With two captains gone, only natural another pops up on Notre Dame’s offensive line
— Tranquill’s move to linebacker should benefit both him and Notre Dame
— What a hospital stay sparked inside new Notre Dame captain Tyler Newsome
— Damonte Ranch’s Cade McNamara de-commits from Notre Dame
— AG Lobo probe expands to football rape case