The Era of True Champions: Reflecting on the inaugural College Football Playoff

With an impressive win of 42-20 over the Oregon Ducks at the National Championship in Arlington, Texas, the Ohio State Buckeyes became officially the first National Champion of College football through the playoff bracket implemented this season.

The new playoff bracket era, delivered the thrilling and excitement that it was hopping to achieve, yet still left one team with a sense of bitter and utter disappointment.

Some of the biggest stories of the season were not the constant scandal of Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota winning the Heisman trophy, but how the TCU Horned Frogs were snubbed out of a playoff spot due to the Big 12 crowning both TCU and Baylor as Co-Champions despite Baylor winning head-to-head.

The playoff committee voted in the last week to drop the then No. 3 Horned Frogs to sixth in the country. Their fall left them outside looking in as the then No. 5 and newly National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes went into the bye after they beat Wisconsin 59-0 for the Big Ten title. TCU went on to the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl where they man-handled No. 9 Ole Miss by a final score of 42-3.

“There is always next year” begins now with the new Way-Too-Early Top 25 Poll released by Mark Schlabach just one day after the National Champions of college football were crowned.

The AP’s top 25 ranked teams poll in 2014 witnessed 33 drop out of their rank, while at the end of the season 15 teams, who were on the original preseason polls survived inside of them. Now, ESPN has released their new Way-Too-Early Top 25 Poll for College Football’s 2015 season.

The poll released by Schlabach gives credit to where credit is due and has TCU at the top of his poll and ranking the current National Champions, Ohio State in the No. 2 slot. Oregon occupies the No. 5 spot, while local rivals USC and UCLA occupy No. 4 and No. 7, respectively.

Now the recruiting begins all over again as teams gear up for a new season with a fresh start with potential new stars as the old ones make the jump from Saturdays into Sundays. Like always, the polls are in, but they are not set in stone because, at the end of the day, college football has no script as we witnessed this past season. One thing that can be certain is that there is hope for each and every team.