A beatdown in Pasadena. A shocker in New Orleans.
The beautiful late afternoon setting in east Los Angeles was typical for the Rose Bowl Game, an event often headlined by excellent performances by players or teams stepping up and showing out. Marcus Mariota and Oregon followed that narrative today.
The setting in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl was a normal dreary, dark Superdome showdown, in a building that always affectionately makes the players look like they’re playing on shag carpet. A setting ripe for a weird game; Ohio State was the team that followed that particular narrative. They handled a much more talented, and heavily favored Alabama the entire game and soundly upset the no.1-ranked Crimson Tide. The narrative for the next game, and final college football game of the 2014 season is as follows.
The number two and four ranked teams will go toe-to-toe in the first ever College Football Playoff Championship Game. Ohio State is on their third over-achieving quarterback this year and Oregon will send out the aforementioned Mariota, for almost his 40th start, and a month after receiving the Heisman Trophy. Mariota has been nearly perfect, throwing 38 touchdown this year to only two interceptions.
Both teams boast an almost perfect 13-1 record with Ohio State’s only lose coming in week 2 at home against Virginia Tech. That loss(along with losing both quarterbacks on their two-deep) kept them out of the CFP Top-4 week after week until the end of the season. Oregon’s only blemish on their schedule was a loss they also suffered at home to Arizona, a team they annihilated exactly two months later in the PAC-12 Championship Game by 38 points. Both teams are playing extremely well.
This game will come down whether or not Oregon’s finesse can out-duel the muscle and toughness of Ohio State. OSU’s grittiness and success through adversity they’ve faced this season are both remarkable. They aren’t a team you’d want to bet against. But with Oregon’s team speed, talent quarterback, the Ducks get the edge in this game, and should win it in a close one.
Outcome: Oregon- 37, Ohio State- 34.