The NCAA finally gives college football fans exactly what they’ve been wanting for years. The final 4 teams made it out of the pack and are ready for a knockdown brawl for national supremacy. Traditional power Alabama returns to the spotlight, along with Ohio State and defending national champion Florida State. Oregon fills out the final spot. Only one will be crowned champion. Here’s our selections.
(3) Florida State vs. (2) Oregon
Line: Oregon by 9
The Rose Bowl is traditional for the Pac-12 winner but this year’s playoff gives it new meaning. The last two Heisman Trophy winners will duke it out in Pasadena on New Years day. Jameis Winston won the last Heisman Trophy and led his team to an undefeated season, beating Auburn last year. Marcus Mariota won the award this year after a tremendous year throwing for 38 TD’s and only 2 picks. Their only blemish was a shocking 31-24 loss to Arizona at home. However, Oregon dominated the rest of their schedule, winning by an average of 26 points per game. Florida State’s road was much harder, outplaying upstarts such as Notre Dame, Miami and Georgia Tech in the ACC championship game. The difference in this matchup will be the defense, in-which Florida State has been consistent. Look for the Seminoles to give Mariota headaches all day.
Smooth’s Pick – Florida State (38-20)
New Orleans, Louisiana
(4) Ohio State vs. (1) Alabama
Line: Alabama by 9
This is a matchup between two of the best college football coaches, Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer. Both have multiple National Championships under their belt. Alabama is led by fifth-year senior Blake Sims, who passed for a school-record 3,250 yards with 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions. With the exception of a loss by former #1 ranked Mississippi, Alabama has rolled over the SEC. As for Ohio State, its a miracle they’ve made it this far. They lost their starting QB Braxton Miller before the season began and were stunned at home by Virginia Tech in the season opener. Their back up, redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, led the Buckeyes to a perfect record in the Big Ten. But in the regular-season finale against Michigan, he went down with a season-ending broken ankle. Now on their third QB, sophomore Cardale Jones, the Buckeyes romped to a stunning 59-0 victory over Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, vaulting Ohio State into the four-team playoff. Defense will also be a factor in this matchup. However, both teams will have offense in mind. With that, give the advantage to the Tide.
Smooth’s Pick – Alabama (32-27)