Meet The Teams
The SEC champions closed strong blasting Missouri in dominant fashion to come into the playoff on an eight-game winning streak. While the offense exploded on the Auburn and Missouri Tigers, it sputtered and coughed in a tight battle with the LSU Tigers, needing a late rally and overtime to keep the dream alive. The O had problems in the third quarter against Mizzou, in the second half against Mississippi State, and throughout against LSU and Arkansas, but when it turned it on, it was devastating. Defensively, this isn’t the killer of past years, but that’s splitting hairs – the Tide is still second in the nation against the run.
Talk about getting revenge, Oregon ripped apart Arizona in the Pac-12 championship game to prove to the world that the 34-24 Wildcat win in Eugene was an aberration. With the nation’s most efficient passing attack, and third-best offense overall, everything is humming for a team that has everything working at the right time. This team can work with power, it can handle speed, and the defense showed over the final few weeks of the year that it can shut down anyone with a run defense that turned dominant. This is no longer the tippy-tappy offense that relies on a gimmick – this team can play football, and it’s really a true national title contender.
3. FLORIDA STATE
The defending national champion has been shaky throughout the year fighting through close game after close game, and winning them all. The team knows how to turn it on when it had to, and with time off to heal up and get all the parts back in place, everything is there to repeat – or at least get back to the championship game. Is this a team that’s about to get exposed once it has to face one of the elite of the elite teams, or is this a team just waiting to explode now that it got through the regular season and is where it was expected to go after being named the preseason No. 1? With 29 wins in a row, the Seminoles know what they’re doing.
4. OHIO STATE
The entire season has been defined by the home loss to Virginia Tech. Outside of that gaffe, everything else was fantastic, and that includes the overtime win over a mediocre Penn State team, with the game turning into a gut-check for an emerging squad that needed to be pushed a bit. There weren’t really any problems with Minnesota or Michigan – even though the games were tight for a while, and the annihilation of Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship was the statement the team needed to come up with – but Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech. That’s what the naysayers point to, but by the end of the year, Ohio State showed and proved that it’s one of the four best teams in the country – even without J.T. Barrett.
Meet The Teams