And here we are. The playoff we have all been waiting for. Thank the lord we have a final four in college football now so that we can finally crown a real, more respectable, National Champion. It's taken quite a long time, but hopefully this is what the public wants when it comes to crowning the nation's number one program for 2014-15.
I am of the opinion that the 4 teams selected were put in the perfect slots and decided in the perfect manor. The Big 12 did get a little bit of a screw job, but at the same time, they only have Co-Champions and considering how Ohio State blew out the 2nd ranked defense in the nation in Wisconsin on a neutral field for the Big 10 Championship, you couldn't leave them out of the 4 spot. I like that Florida State didn't get a top 2 spot just because they were undefeated. Yes, they are defending National Champions and have the longest winning streak in the nation, but at the same time, if they played in the Pac 12 or the SEC, they would have lost 4, maybe 5 games. You better believe either Baylor or TCU would have taken a spot in the final four if Florida State would have lost during the regular season, but they are undefeated, so it's an easy selection to keep them in there. Then you have to two teams that I think even if the BCS was still around, most people throughout the country wouldn't have a problem with them facing each other in the National championship for 2015. Oregon had a slip up against Arizona early on in the year, but then they revenged that loss in the Pac 12 championship by throttling Arizona and finishing #2 in the country. They have the Heisman Trophy winner in Marcus Mariota who should be a solid pro come 2015. Then there's Alabama. The greatest team coming out of the greatest conference division (SEC West) by most media standards of all time. Shot me now. Yes, Alabama should be number 1, but let's not get too carried away about the SEC West. On the whole, the committee didn't go about the selection process correctly throughout the season, but when it comes to the outcome, it was spot on perfect. So let's get to the predictions shall we?
2015 Rose Bowl
#2 Oregon Ducks vs #3 Florida State Seminoles
Two Heisman Trophy Champions will face off against one another here in this first ever semifinal game in the history of college football. I really think this game could go either way especially if FSU can find a way to take care of the ball. If Jameis Winston can pull some 2013 magic out of the hat, FSU will be very hard to beat. The problem? Oregon has one of the fastest teams in the nation. Marcus Mariota won the Heisman in a landslide this season for a reason and if they can handle that Arizona defense like a ragdoll what make's people think that Florida State will hold any chance to stay relevant till late? But, if FSU can keep it within 10 going into the 4th quarter, hold on to your hats Oregon, because it could be a classic late. I just don't see it happening though.
Prediction: Oregon 41-27
2015 Sugar Bowl
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs #4 Ohio State Buckeyes
This is the game that the Big 10 is looking to cash out on in a major way. You talk about a conference that needs a recognition win for the ages, the Big 10 will be watching and cheering (Michigan too) hoping that they can become a legit contender siting in that 4 seed for years to come. A win by Ohio State here would mean wonders for the Big 10 and allow them to get the benefit of the doubt for the next 2-3 years automatically. But, it would take a miracle, because Alabama has the pedigree to destroy opponents when given ample amount of time to prepare. Does Ohio State really hold a chance against Alabama? I think so, I think that they have a pretty great shot at holding their own. The problem is, they don't have their best offense out on the field. They will be starting a 3rd string QB against the best program of this decade. If Ohio State wins this game, and their 3rd string QB wins it for them, it'll be one of the biggest surprises in college football history. I like Ohio State's defense to keep it close and keep it entertaining, but I think Alabama will run them down come middle of the 2nd half, and if they have a two possession lead on Ohio State, it'll feel like a 4 possession lead. Alabama should win this game, but Ohio State will keep it close.
Prediction: Alabama 21-13
2015 College Football Playoff National Championship Game
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs #2 Oregon Ducks
Well, I think the consensus is that this is who should be the two top teams in the National Championship. The best team from the best conference, and the best team from the second best conference with the Heisman Trophy Winner. No doubt about it that this will be one heck of a matchup. What's interesting about this game is that Oregon's Defense and Alabama's Offense might be the deciding factor. Oregon's defense is not SEC worthy and Alabama can run the ball all day on Oregon, the problem will be if Oregon takes the lead early and takes a big enough lead, will Alabama be able to run the ball effectively and use the run game as a weapon if they are down in the 4th quarter? That is the ultimate question, because if Alabama can handle that Oregon defense the way we all think they can, then Oregon better do their work on offense to take that early lead. Oregon has the offense to play against anybody and ultimately they can jump out to the lead they need to maintain the Alabama run game. It's going to come down to Oregon's fast offense against Alabama's walk it up the field mentality, but if Alabama can get the lead heading into the 4th, the clock will move a lot quicker than we anticipate. I just think that Oregon will find a way to get out to a quick lead and hold off Alabama just enough, but they need that quick lead or else the tide will turn.
Prediction: Oregon 38-35
Enjoy the rest of the Bowl games and enjoy the College Football Playoffs!