Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Every NCAA football game is unique. Unfortunately, what happens off-the-field is usually a lot of the same.

Plenty of coaches told their teams to “ante-up” in 2017. Many student-athletes praised their Lord and Savior (or their parents) after four quarters. Lots of losing teams shot themselves in the foot, while others just didn’t execute. And a few (hundred) winners played harder because nobody gave them a chance. 

But no season that includes A) a true freshman throwing an overtime TD pass to win the CFP Championship, B) Navy running the Single Wing against Army in a snowstorm, or C) mid-major UCF awarding itself a national title is devoid of crazy, even magical moments.

Here are the 25 coolest pregame, post-game and off-field happenings of the 2017-18 CFB season.

25. Baker Mayfield claims The Horseshoe for Oklahoma 

Heisman trophy quarterback Baker Mayfield of the OU Sooners presided over a 31-16 thrashing of Ohio State in September that set the tone for an improved Big 12 conference.

The fiery Mayfield would later take criticism for grabbing his crotch while taunting the Kansas Jayhawks, a team so weak it ought to play in the FCS. But the quarterback’s bold post-game gambit at Ohio State received far more fan support, judging by 100,000-plus likes on Twitter:

24. Security guard takes bean-ball in Miami

There were plenty of funny moments, too. Check out this clip of a security worker making an impulsive career-change during Miami’s epic 25-24 comeback win over Georgia Tech:

23. Troy coach Neal Brown’s Howard Dean moment

It’s never good when you try to say something dramatic and your voice cracks, but we’re guessing Brown didn’t care, since his team had just upset LSU in a September shocker:

…and then we’re going to Michigan to take back the Big House! Yeeeeeaaaahhh!

22. Ultimate Buckeye fan scores final touchdown in the Spring Game

This one is technically “on the field,” but grab a tissue and click play to see why it makes our list:

21. Cornhusker’s early Homecoming 

Many “Homecoming” celebrations took place in October, but there wasn’t a better coming-home moment than deployed Staff Sgt. Matthew Hawke seeing his family at the Nebraska Spring Game:

20. Southern miracle 

Get another tissue, and check out Southern’s Devon Gates taking his very first steps after a vicious, life-threatening collision on a kickoff in 2015:

19. Hawkeye fans re-invent The Wave…for a good cause 

Here’s a clip of Iowa fans waving to a newly-built nearby children’s hospital:

18. West Florida triumphs in dancing and pigskin 

The West Florida Argonauts finished runner-up in Division II this season, but wowed the media long before that. Check out the Args’ post-practice rave-up:

17. Fear the Tree…and the Rabbit 

The photo and caption say it all.

16. 200,000 points-against, but man, look at those abs

It’s all so clear to us now. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy could go out and recruit a competent Power Five defense, but he’s too busy in the gym:

15. Step aside, Argonauts 

West Florida’s reign as best dance-attraction in college football lasted only a few weeks.

14. Jake Bentley consoling Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano

13. Port-O-San! Far out! 

Washington State head coach Mike Leach remembers only sunshine, rain, nudity and Earth Wind & Fire:

12. We’re guessing this guy is a Georgia fan 

Alabama claimed three victims in the College Football Playoff. Clemson, Georgia, and an unlucky door:

11. Can’t make Michael Jackson out of a Bulldog…

After Alabama missed a late attempt at a winning field goal in the title game, Georgia made a somewhat less-skillful attempt at the dance crown:

10. Syracuse coach Dino Babers hails the revival of Syracuse football

9. Ole Miss finds delicious spot for the Egg Bowl trophy

8. LSU’s Ed Orgeron says something we can all relate to 

…if you played sports as a youngster, that is.

7. After a few beers, the tusks are looser 

Crazed Alabama fans in Tuscaloosa during the CFP Championship Game:

6. Fan trolls LiAngelo Ball with very little mercy in heart

5. Army-Navy Game takes breath away…before the opening kickoff 

It’s hard to look fearsome, majestic and timeless while being led onto the field by a guy in a giant goat helmet. But the Navy Midshipmen pulled it off:

The snow in Philadelphia helped, too.

4. Coach Scott Frost stays at UCF for bowl season

Bowl season is when way too many coaches skip town early for a big paycheck, leaving their teams disoriented and vulnerable (we’re looking at you, Willie Taggart).

The exact “moment” may never be known. But Scott Frost, head coach of the unbeaten Central Florida Knights, chose to keep Nebraska waiting and coach his final UCF game against Auburn in the Peach Bowl. It worked out well.

Frost blistered the CFP committee after UCF whipped the Tigers 34-27:

3. Penn State coach James Franklin runs 50-yard dash for sportsmanship

2. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn trolls Georgia with devilish pun after 40-17 win

He might not be a poet, but this is pretty good considering the opposing team mascot:

1. A few short days ago, in the Milky Way galaxy 

Spontaneous fan-reaction to the College Football Playoff on New Year’s Day makes No. 1 on our list thanks to its heartening social subtext.

Remember 30 years ago when geeky sci-fi kids were bullied mercilessly by big, tough, macho football fans at their school?

How times have changed…

This article first appeared on SNIPdaily and was syndicated with permission.


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