Tomorrow, we ring in 2015 with a bit of history. The national semifinals of the first ever college football playoff. While I highly recommend giving tomorrow’s Auburn/Wisconsin and Baylor/Michigan State games a look, the national semis are the standouts in a jam packed slate. Here is my take on each.
Rose Bowl (2) Oregon vs. (3) Florida State- This game sells itself. Two glamour programs with Heisman Trophy winning QBs square off with a ticket to the title on line. Marcus Mariota pilots a Ducks offense that leads the nation in just about every offensive category. Their break neck paced no huddle offense causes problems for every defense, Florida State will be no different. However, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, the Ducks top corner and overall defender is out with injury. He can blitz, cover, and tackle, a rarity. For all their flaws and near losses, Jameis Winston and defending national champ Florida State haven’t lost in roughly two years. Thus, I’m shocked at the lack of a chance people are giving them here. Look for future NFL standout tight end Nick O’Leary to key the upset and the FSU defense to get just enough stops and force a big turnover late. FSU 41 Ore 38.
Sugar Bowl (1) Alabama vs. (4) Ohio State- Nick Saban and Urban Meyer square off once again in a matchup of coaching titans. This time Saban has a huge edge. For once, Alabama has a great offense to match the defense. Steady handed QB Blake Sims, RB T.J. Yeldon and Heisman finalist WR Amari Cooper are simply lethal. Combine that with more aggressive play calling from offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and I just don’t see them being beat. I respect the Buckeyes for getting this far with a revolving door at QB. Joey Bosa and the defense will keep them in it for a while, but it won’t be close. Bama 35 OSU 17.