Regardless of the outcome of this game, the inaugural college football playoff has already been declared a huge success. Had the old system been in place, we would be preparing for Alabama vs. Florida State, but instead we have Oregon vs. Ohio State in North Texas on January 12 in what should be a thrilling game to watch.
Ohio State continues to roll despite losing their top two quarterbacks for the season. Third string QB Cardale Jones has stepped in and was impressive in a win against Alabama in the semifinal. Running back Ezekiel Elliot gashed the Crimson Tide’s defense while star linebacker Joey Bosa and the Buckeyes defense held Blake Sims and Amare Cooper in check. Coach Urban Meyer will try to win his third national championship after winning two at Florida in 2006 and 2008.
The Oregon Ducks dismantled defending national champion Florida State by putting up 59 points behind Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota. Oregon’s offense is capable of scoring at lightning quick speeds, although a storyline to keep an eye on will be the impact of missing suspended wide receiver Darren Carrington. Oregon will try to win its first national championship after losing its only other appearance to Auburn in 2010.
There will also be a lot on the line for each of these conferences as well. After a string of SEC teams winning the national championship, followed by an ACC team last year, Ohio State from the Big Ten and Oregon from the Pac 12 will have a chance to return their conferences to the ultimate glory. Clearly Oregon has an advantage at quarterback with Mariota, but I don’t think Jones is that far behind. In addition, I give the edge to Ohio State for the ground game, defense, and most importantly coaching. I believe the Buckeyes will pull the upset and deliver a championship to the state of Ohio. Final Score: Ohio State 29, Oregon 25.