In what may go down as the closest voting in the two year existence of the Video of the Year awards, East Mississippi Community College edged out the other finalists for the 2014 non-FBS Video of the Year. Our panel of judges was extremely complimentary of all of this year's finalists; but in the end our panel felt the content in EMCC's video pushed it to the top.
Brian Floyd of SB Nation (@BrianMFloyd) had the most glowing recommendation of EMCC's work by stating simply that their's "was a great video that goes up against any video this year. Well produced and told a great story." Considering the FBS finalists, that's quite the statement of support.
For Chris Brown (@smartfootball), first place was literally too close to call and he reserved EMCC and Linfield for his top spot, noting that the two told "a similar story of preparation and payoff. The Linfield video did a great job of setting up the stories with vignettes, while the East Mississippi video took a more traditional route but did a great job integrating interviews with game action."
From the vantage point of Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples), it was the Montana State video that should have taken the crown because of its relevance with recruits in the real world. "This one was probably made to remind the 2013 team of the ups and downs of its season, but it would work as a recruiting video because it shows the team acting like a family. That’s all recruits really want to see," he explained.
Another video that got some serious consideration was South Dakota State's, which as Adam Kramer of @KegsnEggs fame put it, "South Dakota State’s video resonated with me most simply by taking a simple idea and dominating. In two minutes I felt like I somehow had VIP access."
While we don't have an Emmy to hand out like the Colorado video guys earned earlier this year (our winners in the FBS category), EMCC's close victory in the 2014 Video of the Year contest forever solidifies their place among college football's elite video production teams among non-FBS programs, which is quite the honor.
A special tip of the cap goes to Derek Cody and Matthew Milner, the creative brain trusts behind the EMCC's hard work in the video department. Cody was recently appointed the assistant director for video operations at Mississippi State.
Our sincere congratulations go out to the staff at East Mississippi, as well as the rest of the finalists (Linfield, South Dakota State, Montana State, and Grand Valley State), for making the decision by our esteemed panelists so challenging and for providing the coaching and video communities with such great examples of fine work. Those who want to make this list next year are going to have to really step up their game.