We all can thank the powers that be in college football for finally coming around and constructing a playoff. In spite of what the critics said in the past, the playoff did not diminish the regular season in any way. In fact, fans pining for weekly playoff rankings after the middle of the season made it even MORE exciting.
In the name of full-disclosure, I was one of those knuckleheads who favored the old BCS system. In an act of stubbornness mired in stupidity, I always thought that it would weaken the impact of the regular season.
I am happy to say that I could not have been more wrong.
With that in mind, here is my two cents on how tonight’s national championship game will shape out. Let’s go…
Oregon Ducks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
As a fan of college football, I love this matchup. This game features two of the best offenses in the country: Oregon’s fast break offense led by Marcus Mariota and Ohio State’s physical big-play offense led by third string QB-turned star Cardale Jones.
This game will hinge on two things: defense and coaching. Both defenses are like ‘meh’ coming into tonight’s game. However, both defenses do a great job of forcing turnovers and capitalizing off of them. If you don’t believe me, I could just point to what happened in to Florida State and Alabama last week. Turnovers played a part in both of those beat-downs administered by Oregon and Ohio State, respectively.
The Buckeyes have a HUGE advantage in coaching thanks to Urban Meyer. While I am no fan of the man off the field, he can flat-out coach. How else can one explain how Meyer has been able to win with both a second- AND third-string QB this season? And while the Ducks’ Mark Helfrich is a good coach in his own right (not to mention a decent dude off the field), he had been given the keys to a Chip Kelly-bought Ferrari and has yet to seriously out-coach an opposing big-name counterpart.
Now Helfrich gets his chance to do so against Meyer in tonight’s National Championship game, and recent history suggests he will not do well in that department. One cannot count out Meyer in a big game with a lot at stake.
Combine that with the fact that Oregon will be down TWO starting wide receivers and the odds that Oregon will prevail have grown much steeper. As a result, this will be the first game that Mariota may have to throw into tighter windows. He struggled against the Seminoles in the first half of the Rose Bowl, and I do not think he will have too good of a game against the Buckeyes.
As much as I hate the Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney, he will finally have some shit to talk after tonight’s game. Buckeyes 37, Ducks 31.