It’s been a long, grueling season in college football, and the competition has never seemed as great. But now that the regular season is over and Champions have been declared, it’s Bowl season. On New Year’s Day, the top four teams as determined by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will compete for the opportunity to play in the Championship.
The Sugar Bowl features a marquee, if not slightly controversial, matchup between #1 Alabama and #4 Ohio State. Since losing to Ole Miss in their fifth game, the Crimson Tide have been on a roll. They beat five ranked teams in seven weeks, including a dominating and playoff-clinching performance against Mizzou in the SEC Championship. Heisman Trophy finalist Amari Cooper and the suffocating defense are going to be a lot to handle for Ohio State.
Like Alabama, the Buckeyes slipped up early, in an embarrassing loss against Virginia Tech, but pulled it together under Urban Meyer’s lead to win 11 straight. Most impressively, Ohio State made Wisconsin look like a DII program, stomping them 59-0. Both teams have plenty of momentum going into this matchup, but whether or not Ohio State is quite up to Alabama’s level will be worth watching, especially with their third quarterback of the season starting only his second game.
In the Rose Bowl, #2 Oregon will compete against #3 Florida State, national champions just a year ago. Florida State may have had the perfect season in terms of record, but a deeper analysis leads to some bigger questions as to whether or not they will be able to compete against other top-ranked teams. The Seminoles only defeated two teams that were ranked in the final top 25, and neither is in the top 10. They also have a penchant for keeping games too close for too long. Quarterback Marcus Mariota, another Heisman finalist, will be able to take any opportunity he’s given to score for the 12-1 Oregon Ducks. And with the way the Ducks have blown out most of their opponents this year, it might be an early exit from the College Football Playoff for the Seminoles.
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