By: Parth Shah, @shah_parth_
It's been a tremendous college football bowl season, with big matchups, highlight-reel plays, and of course, strong graphic and video work. Read below to see what stood out on social in college football!
Rose Bowl: (9) USC defeats (5) Penn State, 52-49
We start with perhaps the best bowl game of the season, The Granddaddy of Them All. USC and Penn State's matchup at the Rose Bowl had excitement and then some, and both teams brought it on social. I love the use of the rose theme in the Trojans' graphics, and posting one for the game-winning FG was sure to have strong engagement. The Nittany Lions also adapted sharp moving GIFs, and this drive recap is fantastic in delivering information in a creative manner.
Orange Bowl: (11) Florida State defeats (6) Michigan, 33-32
In another exciting matchup, the Seminoles and Wolverines played down-to-the-wire, with FSU coming out on top in a nail biter. Both programs are known for their strong tradition and brand, and they excel on social as well. Florida State capitalized on the trend of "Rain drop, drop top" memes to display their successful result at Hard Rock Stadium, while Michigan, which is partnered with Nike's Jumpman brand, shared the shift in momentum of the game cleverly with a Drake song lyric.
Birmingham Bowl: USF defeats South Carolina, 46-39 (OT)
South Florida and South Carolina may not have been the most anticipated matchup of bowl season, but they played one of the best games of the season while also offering strong social media content. I love USF's GIF graphic for the interception, with its eye-catching color scheme and dynamic movement. The signature at the end is also a very cool addition. The Gamecocks' social team offers us a really well-done gameday video that shows the connections amongst the program's fanbase.
Foster Farms Bowl: (19) Utah defeats Indiana, 26-24
The Utes and Hoosiers offered us strong pay on the field and on social as well. Utah's graphic is a nice acknowledgement to their head coach's success, and shows us why vibrancy yet simplicity is such a successful strategy. Indiana's score update GIF is clean, smooth, and most of all, catchy. It's a good change of pace from solid-state graphics with the score.
Quick Lane Bowl: Boston College defeats Maryland, 36-30
With both BC and Maryland coming into the bowl game 6-6, not many fans expected much action. However, the Eagles and Terps provided us with a wild, high-scoring affair. Boston College's social media team is one of college sports' best-kept secrets, and they churned out another really sharp graphic that doesn't over do it, design-wise. Maryland's scoring drive recap GIF is a strong example similar to PSU's above, with enough movement to be eye-catching with the right amount of information.
Pinstripe Bowl: Northwestern defeats (23) Pittsburgh, 31-24
In the Big Ten-ACC showdown at Yankee Stadium, both Northwestern and Pitt displayed graphic content that was sleek and eye-catching, during a fun game in NY. The Wildcats put their own spin on pinstripes in the graphic above, which I love for its true-to-NU purple boldness and simplicity. The Panthers, who came up just short in the ballgame, use a beautiful skyline design in back of their touchdown GIF, which adds a dynamic layer to the graphic and helps it stand out.
Music City Bowl: (21) Tennessee defeats Nebraska, 38-24
The Vols and Huskers tend to do very well on social, and the Music City Bowl showed us why. Tennessee's orange is as distinct as they come, and they always seem to embrace it and put it to good use. That graphic speaks Vols, and says volumes about the brand. Nebraska always gets creative with its social media content, and their team put together a cool in-game hype clip, playing on the song "Here We Go Now" and calling on all elements, including the marching band and crowd support.
Liberty Bowl: Georgia defeats TCU, 31-23
The Liberty Bowl featured two proud programs with strong college football brands. It was only expected that they would bring their A-game on social. Both offer dynamic GIF graphics for touchdowns. I love how smooth Georgia's moves, and the color contrast looks phenomenal. TCU embraces the purple and offers glitch work that is sure to catch anyone's eye. The two graphics contrast in that the Bulldogs took a more reserved approach whereas the Horned Frogs were all about 'pop'.
Sugar Bowl: (7) Oklahoma defeats (14) Auburn, 35-19
Two more big schools meet in this year's Sugar Bowl, with Oklahoma facing off against War Eagle. The Sooners did a tremendous job on the field, and the highlight video that resulted matches the performance. As if fans weren't excited already, this video takes them to another level of euphoria. Auburn gives us another touchdown graphic example, and shows why simple player movement is so easy, yet so effective.
Peach Bowl: (1) Alabama defeats (4) Washington, 24-7
In the first of the two college football playoff semifinals, Alabama handily beat Washington in the Peach Bowl. Bama's "Retweet the W" graphic looks clean and is successful in creating engagement, which builds the brand even more so. This is to take nothing away from the Huskies, who took college football by storm this year. The touchdown graphic is very detail and design heavy, but the "cool" brand that UW is building is able to pull it off, thanks to its 'wow' factor.
Fiesta Bowl: (2) Clemson defeats (3) Ohio State, 31-0
Clemson and Ohio State are two of college football's strongest programs, and feature two of the best social media teams in the sport. So, it was only fitting that the two squared off in the other playoff semifinal. Even though the game may not have lived up to the hype on the field, both teams brought it on social, showing us what it looks like to be at the top of your game. Clemson's GIFs are always bold and dynamic, and look amazing. I love what they've done with video as well, with two fantastic examples below, in preview and in recap. It's hard not to get goosebumps, even if you're not a fan (except maybe if you like OSU). Not to be outdone, the Buckeyes also had some great content, from a similar effect video to another sharp looking GIF that highlights a big play. If you're looking for social media ideas, draw inspiration from these two teams.
Best of the Rest: Appalachian State, Kansas State, Temple, Wisconsin, Army, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Air Force, NC State, Oklahoma State, Florida, Tulsa
Thanks for joining us for our wrap-up of college football's bowl season on social media!