The 2014 season of the NFL is now less than a month away, and with it, the beginning of the NFL betting season. Just like every year, the opening of the season will be accompanied by a large number of betting lines, as well as plenty of pre-season predictions from pundits and bookmakers. One of the most intriguing games of the 2014 season is the BCS Championship Game, which pits two of the most legendary coach’s against each other in the Big Apple. One thing is for sure: this game is going to be a blast!
History Of The Big Game
The Big Game, as it is colloquially known, is the nickname of the annual NFL season finale played in New York City. The game is traditionally held on December 29th, the Sunday before Christmas Day. The finale is sponsored by the America’s Cup and is officially known as the NFL International Series Game. A fitting venue for such an event is the beautiful New York stadium, known as the ‘House That Ruth Built’.
The Big Game debuted in the early years of the NFL as a one-off game between the champion of the Eastern and Western conference. From 1922-1931, the game was played on either December 27th or 28th, with the champion of the East facing off against the champion of the West. The finale to that era of the NFL was dubbed the ‘Syracuse Sweep’, an allusion to the series of wins by the Orange, who became known as the ‘Syracuse Sweeps’ in those days. From 1932-1942, the two conference champions would meet in a two-game series, with the championship game taking place in the ‘Laughing Bowl’ in the final year of the series.
The Coaching Connection
One of the fascinating subplots of the 2014 BCS Championship Game is the coaching connection of both teams. On one side, we have one of the most successful coaches of all time, going all the way back to his days as a player. On the other side, we have one of the most successful coaches of the 21st century, going all the way back to his collegiate days. These are two men whose paths have been intertwined for more than 70 years, and they are both very proud of that. They represent what could arguably be considered the apogee of American sports coaching, combining for over 700 victories between them, and not a single loss.
The legend of Bear Bryant began in 1945, when he took over a struggling Alabama football team. In his first year as coach, he went 8-1-1 and took the team to their first ever bowl game, the Sugar Bowl against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. His teams were known for their aggressive defense as well as their running game, which featured the Heisman Trophy-winning runner, James ‘Bud’ Anders. In the decades that followed, he would go on to coach some of the game’s greatest legends, leading the Crimson Tide to some of their most successful seasons ever. The 2014 BCS Championship Game will be the 67th edition of the game, and it will be interesting to see if history repeats itself.
With the excitement surrounding the BCS Championship Game at an all-time high, it’s time to take a closer look at the betting odds for this year’s installment.
As with every year, the first place betting line for the game is heavily favored against the spread, with some oddsmakers even having Alabama as a 4-point favorite. But, as we’ve seen in the past, betting lines can be quite volatile, and they are subject to change in the case of unexpected results. For that reason, smart bettors will stay away from ‘true’ betting lines and go for the moneylines, which are the odds of winning or losing the game, as reflected by the betting houses. In this case, it’s less than a 2-to-1 favorite against the spread, with the title game being played in New York City, which is the perfect place for a dog race!
Will This Be Another Alabama-Oregon Flop?
When it comes to the BCS Championship Game, most people think of the legendary Oregon-Alabama showdown of 2014, which saw the Crimson Tide defeat the Ducks 19-14 in overtime. But, aside from that game, there hasn’t been much in the way of quality football in recent years, and many are wondering if this will be another ‘Alabama-Oregon Flop’ and a rare example of two teams combining for a tie. In fact, there haven’t been any ties in the championship game since 2007, which is also when the streak of seasons with no ties began, so this will be quite the event when they do finally meet again!
The story of the 2014 BCS Championship Game is just as interesting as the game itself. With just two weeks until the start of the season, the hype is sure to build even further, particularly as we get closer to the big day. For now, though, let’s enjoy the fact that the best football is only a few days away!