The day has finally arrived, the inaugural College Football Playoff in Arlington, Texas. I wrote an opinion in September on Ohio State football and where they were at the moment. Lots of things have changed since then.
The College Football committee released the first ranking in October, I was still getting use to the system and understanding it. As any normal person, I like to see the process take place and rightfully I did. One of the things I noticed in what the committee picks is that the rankings are completely new and are based on latest performance and résumé.
At the time, I knew Ohio State was going to have to win the Michigan State game if they want to have a chance to win a spot for the college football playoff. Ohio State had non-conference opponents in Navy, Virginia Tech, Kent State and Cincinnati. Michigan State had Jacksonville State, Oregon, Eastern Michigan and Wyoming. Neither had impressive non conference schedules, but Ohio State losing to Virginia Tech left a sour taste and which losing to a team that finished 6-6 was going to hurt their chances to make it in. Michigan State only lost to a quality opponent in Oregon, who will be facing the Ohio State buckeyes.
Now for the actual opponents.
Oregon is the Pac-12 champion and Rose Bowl winner. Led by Heisman Winner Marcus Mariota, bring in a fast pace of play and have played in 10 consecutive bowl games. Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich, who replaced Chip Kelly in 2012. Oregon coast through with only one close game against Arizona and ended up winning the remaining games and have won each game since October 2nd
Ohio State is the Big 10 champion and Sugar Bowl winner. Led by third string quarterback Cardale Jones, bring in speed among backs and have played in 2 straight bowl games since “Tattoogate Scandal of 2011”. Ohio State is coached by Urban Meyer, who replaced interim head coach Luke Fickell. Ohio State only lost one game against ACC opponent Virginia Tech and have won the last 11 games.
Now who do I root for?
“I live in Ohio, I gotta root for the Buckeyes!”-Me if I was writing as a 10 year old. The last time the Buckeyes won the National Championship was when I was 10. Lots has changed since 2002. Changes include that the local college football product in Cincinnati was changing to contend in the Big East with other schools after conference realignment. From Age 10-14, I was following Ohio State football, it was OK to do that since this was Middle School days. From the point of 15 and now, my allegiance was slightly changing towards Cincinnati. Those Cincinnati Bearcats were a program on the rise, and have been since 2007. The Bearcats success was putting a huge decline in putting support towards Ohio State, and as of today, it happens to be the same. The amount of success led to these moments.
I put my allegiance towards one school, even if Ohio State is this far away
“Enough with the allegiance!”-Every OSU fan now. Yes, I understand that I pledge my loyalty towards one school and not yours. I don’t have to root for your school, I don’t even have to root for Oregon. I’m actually rooting for a good ball game between Oregon and Ohio State.
I have zero associations with both schools, I have high school classmates that attend Ohio State (sorry that I took out THE), they are crazed for Ohio State football and I’m glad to see their school make it. One thing that Ohio State should consider today is that it is a blessing to make it and quality opponents faced made you reach today’s game.
REALISTICALLY NOW Q, WHO LOOKS BETTER?
I didn’t see much of Oregon play except for the game against Michigan State and the Rose Bowl. As for Ohio State, I’m fortunate enough to get a glimpse of their games each week with close proximity. Oregon played well in the Rose Bowl despite the score, I see fast paced play and most likely screen plays from scrimmage or possibly some Chris Moore plays.
The Ohio State secondary is the equivalent of the Knights of Ni when they hit the weakness of “it”. Can’t give up those big plays.
Also gotta give Chris Moore a shoutout for torching that secondary, Oregon probably likes that tape.
Ohio State seems to live on the big play based on the Sugar Bowl and Big Ten Championship now with Cardale Jones being the quarterback. Watch for Running Back Ezekiel Elliott. He is one Buckeye that has been impressive and Oregon will have to contain him.
Stat Breakdown of Ohio State and Oregon from Team Rankings
OHIO STATE WINS THIS BATTLE ON OFFENSE:
- POINTS/PLAY: .605 (5 FOR FG/12 FOR TD)
- RUSH PLAY%: 60.36 (RUN AT LEAST 3 OF 5 PLAYS)
- 3RD DOWN CONV%: 51.91%
OHIO STATE WINS THIS BATTLE ON DEFENSE:
- OPP YARDS/PLAY: 4.7
- OPP COMPLETION%: 55.14
- OPP 3RD DOWN CONV%: 35.50
- OPP RZ SCORING: 82.93%
OREGON WINS THIS BATTLE ON OFFENSE:
- YARDS/PLAY: 7.0
- PASS PLAY%: 43.04 (PASS AT LEAST 2 OF 5 PLAYS)
- COMPLETION%: 68.56
- RZ SCORING%: 85.92
OREGON WINS THIS BATTLE ON DEFENSE:
- OPP POINTS/PLAY: 0.286 (10 PLAYS FOR FG, 24 FOR TD)
OREGON 52-OHIO STATE 45
This might be an enjoyable game, but with Oregon’s fast pace play, they should be able to catch up if this becomes a shootout. Ohio State will have the honor of being comeback team of the year in the college football playoff with the 2nd game loss to a weak Virginia Tech team.
ICYMI: Winter Break
Follow this Twitter account tonight, tweets are drafted and ready to go for tonight.