Top 50 stories countdown: No. 45-41
It was a year of 10,000 stories in and around college football in 2015. There were great plays made by great players, and there were plenty of magical and emotional moments to keep us entertained.
We’re culling the list down to the 50 best stories of the year. Here were the first five stories, from 50 to 46.
And here are the next five in our series on the greatest moments of 2015, from No. 45 to No. 41:
45. Butch Jones and the Sweet Home Alabama music
It was the first day of spring practice at Tennessee and everyone was excited. It was a the start of a new season. Priceless.
But it didn’t last long when “Sweet Home Alabama” started playing very loudly over a set of speakers, and Tennessee coach Butch Jones went nuts. No one seemed to know where the music was coming from and it was driving Jones batty.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with the song; it’s a classic. But location, location, location always wins out and there’s no place for it on Rocky Top.
44. Lou Holtz bids farewell to ESPN
We loved Dr. Lou on ESPN for 11 years. The former Notre Dame and South Carolina had a great run on many of the ESPN’s college football platforms, but he decided to hang it up last April. ESPN gladly accepted the news.
Holtz, 78, wasn’t the smoothest of talkers – his lisps made for great memes – but he sure knew his football and his back-and-forth banter with fellow analyst Mark May became the stuff of legends. He was missed this fall, that’s for sure.
“I just told them before that I have no intention of coming back. I’m an old man. I’m going to be 79 on my next birthday (next January) and there comes a time when you have to step aside and let the young people do it.
“And I like to leave when people are asking, ‘Why are you leaving,’ rather than, ‘When are you leaving?’ I have no intentions of broadcasting anymore. I broke up our team (on ESPN’s College Football Final with Rece Davis and Mark May). We’ve been together for 10 years, so I’m just very, very content.’’
Lou Holtz retires.. the real winners today are college football fans
— Nate Montgomery (@natemonty55) April 13, 2015
43. Texas A&M renovates Kyle Field and starts with a bang
Texas A&M is all about progress and adding to Kyle Field is part of their plan to have the best possible facilities. But sometimes it has to be out with the old, and in with the new. Que the dynamite:
The fast-paced construction made Kyle Field the largest stadium in the SEC, with capacity at more than 102,000. The price tag was almost $500 million. Now that the stadium is rebuilt, it’s time to rebuild the product on the field now.
— S. Smith (@RTSadie) October 18, 2015
42. Johnny Manziel just can’t stay out of trouble
Former Texas A&M great Johnny Manziel had a tough rookie year in the NFL but it was all supposed to be better in 2015. He went to rehab in February and vowed to be a good teammate for Cleveland Browns mates.
“Johnny knows there are areas in which he needs to improve in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate and he thought the offseason was the right time to take this step,” his advisor, Brad Beckworth, said.
But the good behavior didn’t last long. There was a domestic issue that caught the nation’s attention in October and then in November, during the Browns’ off week, Manziel was caught partying and then lied about it to the team. He was demoted and missed two games.
He’s returned to the lineup only because of injuries, but it’s too bad his off-field antics are still there. He’s actually been playing well when he’s been out there. He threw for 372 yards in a loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 15 and beat San Francisco on Dec. 13 throwing for 270.
Good morning, Cleveland. Even your lowlights ended with highlights. 🙌 https://t.co/kybO9EPzH9
— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) December 14, 2015
41. Maty Mauk’s troubles at Missouri
If at first you don’t succeed, then screw up even worse the second time. Well, that’s not quite how the old say goes but it seemed to work for Missouri QB Maty Mauk, Mauk had taken the campus by storm, helping the Tigers win a second straight SEC East title.
But then he got suspended for his off the field behavior and as soon as he was reinstated, he was back all of a week when he was suspended for the rest of the season for another event off the field.
Missouri’s offense really struggled all year without Mauk. It’s going to be interesting to see where this is all going to go, especially with coach Gary Pinkel retired and Barry Odom coming in.