The 49ers had their fair share of tumult, including a messy divorce with former head coach Jim Harbaugh, the unexpected retirement of several players and run-ins with the law by other players (Ray McDonald, Aldon Smith).
That hopeful story eventually faded and the team struggled through its first losing season since 2010.
Things are a bit sunnier on the other side of the bay (at least on the field), as a nucleus of young players is making Raiders fans think their team is nearing a resurgence. Second-year players Derek Carr and Pro Bowl defender Khalil Mack have already led the team to as many wins this season as the last two seasons combined, with one regular-season game left.
Wherever the Raiders play next year, they will be relevant and fun to watch.
Part of the newly named Pac-12 Conference, two Bay Area college football programs enjoyed solid seasons.
Down in Palo Alto, the Stanford Cardinal finished the regular season ranked No. 6 in the nation. After winning the Pac-12 Conference, the Cardinal heads south to play in the Rose Bowl against the fifth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. Stanford is no stranger to the Rose Bowl. This will be the team's third appearance in the last four years.
Things were not so promising in September when the team lost its first game of the year to Northwestern. But led by one of the best players in the country, Christian McCaffrey, the Cardinal won 11 of their next 12 games to finish 11-2 overall. McCaffrey would go on to finish second for the Heisman Trophy earlier this month.
Up in Berkeley, junior quarterback Jared Goff led the Cal Bears to a 5-0 start, a top-20 ranking and talk of resurgence. In the process, Goff maintained his status as a top NFL prospect. He is expected to enter the draft a year early and is widely considered a potential first-round pick (possibly by the 49ers).
Although the second half of the season didn’t live up to the strong start, the Bears still finished 7-5, the team’s first winning season since 2011, and earned an invitation to a bowl game for the first time in four seasons.
There was baseball, too
Bay Area baseball was forgettable in 2015.
Being an odd-numbered year, the Giants did not win ANOTHER World Series. (But, at least the Dodgers didn’t win either.) One of the team’s highlights was an unexpected no-hitter by rookie Chris Heston in June.
The A’s took a big step back after a (mostly) promising 2014, trading away many of their core players. The team finished in the American League basement, with only 68 wins.