ARLINGTON, TX — Hear Ye Hear Ye: College football has crowned its first-ever National Playoff Football Champion.
In August of 2014, no fewer than 300 Division One Schools with football programs set out in pursuit of a national title. The Ohio State Buckeyes, seeded fourth in the four-team playoff, upset number-one Alabama 42-35 in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day while the high-flying Oregon Ducks dominated defending champion and previously unbeaten Florida State in the Rose Bowl 59-20.
Ohio State, a six-point underdog, dominated the Ducks Monday Night 42-20 to capture the biggest prize in college football, the National College Football Championship. Not everyone was happy when Ohio State leaped over previously higher rated Texas Christian University and Baylor listed at numbers three and four respectively in the next-to-last college playoff poll. The Buckeyes smacked Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big 10 Championship game and thereby moved into the fourth seed.
The Big 12 no longer has a Conference Championship game, and that opening allowed the Buckeyes to qualify for the first four-team Final Four playoff by smashing Wisconsin. Head Coach Urban Meyer joins only Nick Saban (LSU and Alabama) as a winner of National Championships at two different schools. This was Urban’s third title; he won twice previously at Florida.
It’s the sixth National Championship for Ohio State and their first since 2002. This is a remarkable accomplishment considering the Buckeyes overcame so much adversity, like an early season loss to Virginia Tech 35-21. The Buckeyes reeled off 13 straight wins with three different quarterbacks.
Red Shirt sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones, the team’s third quarterback, remarkably started the Big Ten Championship game (59-0), the Sugar Bowl playoff win (42-35) over number-one Alabama, and out-dueled Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota in the pressure-packed national playoff title game.
Mariota threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns but had some receivers drop critical passes while he missed a few open receivers when the game was in the balance.
Oregon led 7-0 early before Ohio State rallied to lead 21-10 at halftime. Oregon roared back to cut Ohio State’s lead to 21-20 in the third quarter after back-to-back turnovers by the Buckeyes.
Then the Buckeyes got back to business, dominating the line of scrimmage, and running back Ezekiel Elliot was sensational, running for 246 yards and four touchdowns. He was named the game’s outstanding offensive performer.
The Buckeyes’ theme all year has been to play for each other, and the great leadership of Meyer guided this young, talented group of Buckeyes to the championship. Ohio State finishes 14-1, Oregon 13-2. Ohio State gets the $2 million check to share with the Big 12 Conference.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to email@example.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.
Support Black local news
Help amplify Black voices by donating to the MSR. Your contribution enables critical coverage of issues affecting the community and empowers authentic storytelling.