We've already covered some of the best indvidual performances of the 2010 college football season. In part two of our coverage of the 2010 Homies, we run down some of the year's top moments, trends and developments–good and bad.
Game of the Year: Boise State 33, Virginia Tech 30 (Sept. 6)
The 2010 season got off to a great start with a Labor Day battle in the nation's capital. This back-and-forth game had it all: rallies, collapses, clutch plays, boneheaded coaching calls, hideous special uniforms. When all was said and done, the Broncos' nip-and-tuck win had kickstarted a possible national title run, which ended up falling short.
Get Off: The "Bus"
Boise's big win against the Hokies touched off a season-long campaign to get the Broncos into the national championship game. By the end of the year, all the Boise pimping going on in certain corners of the media (jumble: DORFE) was more objectionable than the Broncos getting screwed by the BCS.
Go Away: Craig James
And speaking of objectionable, did anyone else catch Pony Boy opining on the dirty scoundrels down at Auburn and the whole Cam Newton saga? You CANNOT be serious with that junk. ESPN, how can you let that go with a straight face? Oh, wait...
Punk of the Year: John Bond
From one punk to an equally punky punk. Bond decided to wait until midseason to go public with allegations that Newton's preacher pops was working unnoticed behind the scenes to lease out his son to the highest bidder. And why again did you wait nine months to come out with this? And how many times did you talk with these chumps before you told them no, Mr. Bond?
Hope He Was Worth It: Cam Newton
And that, of course, brings us to the baddest one-man wrecking in college football since Vince Young. Truth be told, buying the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner's commitment for $180,000 would have been a steal, given how much dough Auburn has made off of him this year. And you have to love Auburn's Thelma & Louise act, triumphantly trotting Newton out every week while knowing that it will only make the beatdown from the Association that much worse in a couple years.
Statement Game of the Year: Auburn 56, South Carolina 17 (Dec. 4)
On their way off the cliff, Newton and the Tigers easily made the most noteworthy impression of the year in a ruthless shellacking of South Carolina in the SEC championship. I'm not sure how anyone could have watched that game and not come away thinking Auburn is going to handle Oregon with ease on Jan. 10. About the only thing more impressive would have been if Newton had convinced Tracy Wolfson during the game to try a mouthful of his "Cammy Cam Juice" with assistant coach Trooper Taylor cheering him on.
Letdown Game of the Year: TCU 47, Utah 7
TCU made its own statement in routing Utah in early November. For some reason, though, Utah's complete ineptitude stuck out more to me that day than the Horned Frogs' dominance. TCU didn't face many tough challenges this year, but the Utes were supposed to be an exception. Not even close.
Finally: Wisconsin and Michigan State
Speaking of letdowns, we've reached two Big Ten teams that finally didn't disappoint this season. Lately, Sparty and the Badgers have had a bad habit of starting strong and fading. This year, though, both finished out strong, ending the season 11-1.
Falling: Big Ten
Wisconsin and MSU didn't disappoint this year, but I foresee lean years ahead for them and the rest of the Big Ten.
Can someone please explain to me what the Big Ten did this year to suddenly make everyone think it was the best conference in the country? Pick your best non-conference – Ohio State over Miami, Michigan over UConn, Wisconsin over Arizona State – all are underwhelming.
Then comes the news about the Leaders and the Legends and the unveiling of that awful new logo. Is anybody buying stock in this league?
Rising: Florida State
As down as I am on the Big Ten, I'm the complete opposite with regard to the Seminoles. The Jimbo Fisher regime has instilled a toughness and discipline down in Tallahassee that was completely missing in Bobby Bowden's final seasons. Although FSU has never lacked for talent, the 'Noles are finally getting some needed direction under Fisher's staff.
With Florida and Miami both in flux, FSU stands to see immediate benefits in the next few seasons.
2011 National Champion: Oklahoma
An early trip to Tallahassee looks like the toughest test in 2011 for the Sooners. With just eight seniors on the season's official two-deep roster, OU will have squad that will be loaded with talent and experience across the board. Landry Jones' strong finish this year also has given Sooner Nation reason to believe he can take OU back to the top of the mountain.
It may sound like blatant homerism, but OU looks like the best bet to win it all in what should be a wide open season.