The football four is over and we've finally arrived at the ultimate game in college football. The #2 Oregon Ducks face off against the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes for the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game. After 16 years under the BCS' reign of terror, a new world order will be established as tonight's match will introduce a new system to crown college football's greatest.
Despite a demolition of the unholy Crimson Tide, Urban Meyer's Buckeyes enter JerryWorld as underdogs, although that's nothing new for OSU. Vegas deemed Ohio State as underdogs in three separate games this season (@MSU, vs. Wisconsin in the B1G title game, and vs. Alabama in the Sugar Bowl), and Meyer came out victorious in all three instances. It has truly been a hard-fought year for the Buckeyes, especially at the quarterback position.
For Oregon, Mark Helfrich looks to finally stamp the Ducks as a truly elite program, a process started but never finished by former coach Chip Kelly. They have the looks, they have the Heisman winner; now all they need is the hardware: the National Champion trophy. Does Marcus Mariota have one last magnificent performance in him?
In terms of rooting interests, the common theme for most OtB readers will be to pull for Ohio State. Makes sense, as a claimed national championship for the Big Ten helps virtually all schools (would you rather the team that beat you to a pulp won it all, or not won it all?). However, there are some contrarian interests at play in favor of the Ducks:
- Oregon's rise to the top of college football could provide a pathway for Rutgers to emulate, as detailed in this series on OtB.
- Maybe you see Ohio State as a bandwagon team, and don't want their fans to have even more reason to gloat.
- Perhaps you're just salty from the 56-17 beatdown in Columbus earlier this season.
How to watch
When: Monday, January 12 - 8:30 PM
Where: AT&T Stadium - Arlington, Texas
TV: ESPN family of networks (see below)
Online Streaming: WatchESPN
Radio: ESPN Radio
Odds: Oregon -6
ESPN Megacast (12 ways to watch the game):
|ESPN||Traditional broadcast with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit calling the game|
|ESPN2||Film Room - coaches provide X's & O's analysis (Dan Mullen, Pat Narduzzi, Mike Riley)|
|ESPNU||ESPN Voices - analysts from a variety of sports (Jay Bilas, Aaron Boone, Julie Foudy, Barry Melrose, Mark Schlereth, Michael Wilbon)|
|ESPNEWS||Off the Ball - Bob Wischusen hosts former football personnel and current analysts (Kevin Carter, Matt Millen, Jason Sehorn, Matt Stinchcomb, Amani Toomer)|
|ESPN Classic||Sounds of the Game - 100 microphones providing natural sound over the telecast, including pregame and halftime shows of both bands|
|ESPN Goal Line||Command Center - commercial-free coverage with instant replays, split-screen action, and isolated views of Meyer and Helfrich|
|ESPN Radio||Mike Tirico, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe, Joe Schad, call the game with rules expert Bill Lemonnier|
|ESPN Deportes||Spanish Language Call - Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega call the game|
|ESPN3||Home Team Radio - both schools' home team radio calls played over live television footage|
|ESPN3||SpiderCam - gives viewers an above-the-field view of the game|
|ESPN3||Taco Bell Student Section - shows the craziest fan sections of each team|
|ESPN3||Data Center - provides analytics and social media content|
In addition, Big Ten Network will have extensive coverage basically all day. Enjoy the game #CHOPNation!
Note: This is an open thread. Discuss the College Football Playoff National Championship game below in the comments!