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Here's to Mike MacIntyre, Lamar Jackson and 2016's best in show

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Top five plays of the college football season (2:07)

With the regular season now in the books, take a look back at college football's five most incredible plays of 2016. (2:07)

The College Football Playoff field is set, along with the lineup for 41 bowl games.

But before the postseason kicks off with six games on Dec. 17, let's take a look back at the best and worst from the 2016 season.

Once again, there were plenty of surprises and disappointments:

Offensive player of the year

Schlabach says ... Lamar Jackson

His play (and his team's play) tailed off dramatically at the end of the season, but he still set school and ACC records with 51 total touchdowns (30 passing, 21 rushing), 1,538 rushing yards by a quarterback and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

Defensive player of the year

Schlabach says ... Jonathan Allen

He was the most disruptive force on the No. 1 defense in the FBS, finishing with 56 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 8½ sacks, 15 quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries. The Tide led the FBS in scoring defense (11.8 points), total defense (247.8 yards) and run defense (63.4 yards).

Coach of the year

Schlabach says ... Mike MacIntyre

After winning only two Pac-12 games combined in his first three seasons at Colorado, MacIntyre guided the Buffaloes to a dramatic turnaround in 2016. Colorado finished 10-3, won the Pac-12 South and will play in a bowl game for the first time since 2007. The Buffaloes beat Oregon for the first time since joining the Pac-12 and defeated Stanford for the first time since 1990.

Freshman of the year (offense)

Schlabach says ... Jalen Hurts

The first freshman to start at quarterback for Nick Saban, Hurts led the Crimson Tide to a 13-0 record and SEC championship. He completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 2,592 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Just as importantly, he brought a new dimension to Alabama's offense, rushing for 841 yards with 12 scores.

Freshman of the year (defense)

Schlabach says ... Ed Oliver

One of the most decorated recruits to ever sign with Houston, Oliver more than lived up to his billing this season. He had 61 tackles, 19½ tackles for loss, five sacks, seven quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles. He was at his best in the Cougars' biggest games, totaling four sacks in upsets over Oklahoma and Louisville.

Comeback player of the year

Schlabach says ... James Conner

He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in December 2015, then announced he was cancer-free on May 23. On top of that, he bounced back from a knee injury that caused him to miss most of the 2015 season. Conner ran for 1,060 yards with 16 touchdowns, leading the Panthers to an 8-4 record.

Biggest surprise

Schlabach says ... Penn State

After the Nittany Lions dropped two of their first four games, there were grumblings about coach James Franklin's job security. But then Penn State won its final nine games, including a 38-31 victory over No. 6 Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. The Nittany Lions also upset then-No. 2 Ohio State 24-21. They will play USC in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on Jan. 2.

Biggest disappointment

Schlabach says ... Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish were considered a dark horse to make the College Football Playoff, but they finished 4-8, their worst record since going 3-9 in 2007. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder after only four games, and the NCAA announced last month that the Irish would have to vacate 21 wins from 2012-13 because of an academic scandal.

Game of the year

Schlabach says ... The Game

The Nov. 26 showdown between the No. 3 Wolverines and No. 2 Buckeyes was not only the game of the year, but it might have been the best game in college football's most storied rivalry. The drama-filled epic was decided in two overtimes, after OSU picked up a controversial first down on fourth-and-1 and scored on Curtis Samuel's 15-yard run. The win propelled Ohio State into the College Football Playoff and knocked Michigan out of the top four.

Best finish

Schlabach says ... Georgia-Tennessee

After the Volunteers rallied from a 24-14 deficit in the second half, the game ended with two Hail Mary passes for touchdowns. Georgia's Jacob Eason fired a 47-yard touchdown to Riley Ridley to give Georgia a 31-28 lead. On the next play from scrimmage, Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs threw a 43-yard touchdown to Jauan Jennings with no time left.

Biggest upset

Schlabach says ... Pitt over Clemson

The Panthers were coming off back-to-back losses when they knocked off the No. 2 Tigers on Chris Blewitt's 48-yard field with six seconds left. Clemson had won 21 consecutive home games -- the longest streak in the FBS -- and defeated unranked opponents in 46 straight games.

Best moment

Schlabach says ... Nebraska remembers Sam Foltz

There were myriad tributes this season for Foltz and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler, who were killed in a car wreck while returning from a kicking camp in Wisconsin on July 23. But Nebraska's tribute -- lining up with only 10 men and no punter on the first punt of the season -- was extra special.


2. Pitt's James Conner returned to the field after beating cancer.


3. Former Cal star Marshawn Lynch relived his golf-cart moment.


4. A Kansas player hid in the blue end zone before re-emerging on a trick play against Iowa State.


5. Bristol Motor Speedway

Best play

Schlabach says ... Noah Brown's catch

Brown was supposed to break through last season, but then he broke his leg in preseason camp and missed the entire 2015 campaign. He didn't wait long to re-emerge this season, with four touchdown catches in a 45-24 win at Oklahoma. His third touchdown catch was spectacular, as he leapt high in the air and somehow pinned the ball against OU cornerback Michiah Quick's back as they fell out of bounds.

2. Louisville's Lamar Jackson became a household name with a spectacular touchdown run against Florida State.

3. Colorado's Bryce Bobo made a slick one-handed, turning catch against Oregon.

4. Michigan's Jourdan Lewis had the interception of the year against Wisconsin.

5. Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham timed his leap perfectly to block a field goal against Auburn.

Wait for it....👀! #SCtop10

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Worst player

Schlabach says ... Ray-Ray McCloud's fumble.

Our apologies to McCloud, but it was the first of what would be many bone-headed plays this season, in which players dropped the ball short of the goal line while running into the end zone. It's really pretty simple: Cross the goal line and hand the ball to an official.


2. Rutgers attempts a screen pass.


3. Charlotte had three dead-ball penalties on an Eastern Michigan pick-six.


4. Former Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd thought he'd coast into the end zone against Georgia. He was wrong.


5. Notre Dame couldn't snap, punt or hold wet footballs during pouring rain from Hurricane Matthew in a loss at NC State. It wasn't Brian Kelly's fault.

Mud. Rain. Lots of bad snaps. The Notre Dame vs NC State game was wet and wild.

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