This is the biggest day in the history of college football with the first ever playoff kicking off. Some people said that the playoff would hurt the regular season, but it did anything but that. There were more regular season games of importance than ever before.
Here is the schedule for today's playoff games:
Florida State vs. Oregon 4:00 central ESPN
Oregon is a 7.5 point favorite in the Rose Bowl. I am really excited for this game because it should be a shootout. The game features the two best quarterbacks in college football in Marcus Mariota for the Ducks and Jameis Winston for the Noles. Those 2 could very well be the first two players picked in the 2015 NFL Draft (hopefully the Titans find a way to trade down). You can say what you want about Winston, but he finds a way to get it all together late in games to lead his team to the win.
The key to this one is how does Winston start. He has a history this season of playing bad in the first half before tearing it up in the second half. That was good enough to get wins against a weak ACC schedule, but it won't work against the high-powered Ducks.
For Oregon the question is how crisp will their offense be after a long layoff. Their system is based on timing and rhythm. They are bound to be a little bit rusty after having about a month off since the Pac 12 championship game.
This game figures to be a shootout, but Oregon ultimately comes out on top 38-35.
Ohio State vs. Alabama 7:30 central ESPN
I really don't like Urban Meyer, but the job he has done with the Buckeyes this year is nothing short of remarkable. He lost his Heisman Trophy candidate QB right before the season started and still guided his team to a 12-win season- and that doesn't even take into account the fact that he is now on this 3rd string QB who threw for eleventy billion yards to beat Wisconsin.
That is all a nice feel-good story that ends today against the Crimson Tide.* Nick Saban was able to shut down Meyer's Tim Tebow-led offense back in 2009. I think he will have something for Meyer and his 3rd stringer.
On offense for the Crimson Tide it is all about Amari Cooper. Blake Sims looks like Joe Montana when Cooper is open. He looks like Joe Mantegna when Cooper is covered. What will Lane Kiffin draw up to get the ball in Cooper's hands today.
I will probably regret this prediction later, but the Tide should roll in this one 34-20.
*I am obviously biased. Roll Tide!