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BRB College Game Day Open Thread (Part II): NCAA Football Playoffs

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We have a double-header for today's inaugural NCAA football playoffs: Oregon v. Florida State in the Rose Bowl, followed by Alabama v. Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. Talk college playoffs on Battle Red Blog.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in Division I-A/FBS history, we have ourselves an actual playoff to determine the national champion. Here are the national semifinal games that will determine which two teams play for the title.

Rose Bowl: Oregon v. Florida State

4 p.m. (CST)

Oregon has Marcus Mariota and Florida State has Jameis Winston.  Who will reign supreme in Pasadena today?

Oregon

QB Marcus Mariota does extremely well when the opponent doesn't blitz.  He has over 300 pass attempts without an interception when facing four or less pass rushers, resulting in 27 of his 38 passing touchdowns.  FSU only blitzes 33% of the time, trusting their front four to apply pressure.  Mariota is also a significant rushing threat, which keeps defenses off-balance.

Speaking of rushing; Oregon's RB Royce Freeman, RB Thomas Tyner and WR/RB Byron Marshall helped propel the Ducks to 5th overall in the FBS for rushing.  The Seminoles have allowed more than 227 yards per game against teams ranked in the top half of the FBS in rushing, so it may be a long day for the FSU defense.

QB Marcus Mariota 2014 Stats:

PASSING

COMP ATT PCT YDS AVG TD LONG INT
254 372 68.3 3783 10.2 38 80 2

RUSHING

ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
117 669 5.7 61 14


Florida State

All they do is win!  The Seminoles are rolling on a 29-game winning streak.  They are led by QB Jameis Winston, who is 26-0 as a starter.  They also have incredible freshman running back in Dalvin Cook, who has 905 yards on 155 carries for 8 touchdowns.

QB Jameis Winston 2014 Stats:

PASSING

COMP ATT PCT YDS AVG TD LONG INT
276 422 65.4 3559 8.4 24 68 17

RUSHING

ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
49 80 1.6 28 3

This is sure to be a great battle between high-powered offenses led by two quarterbacks who may be the first two players selected in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft.

Sugar Bowl: Alabama v. Ohio State

7:30 p.m. (CST)

While there isn't quite the quarterback battle to compare in this game, both of these teams bring plenty of weapons to this prime-time tilt in New Orleans.  These teams are also guided by head coaches that many across the country love to hate, due mostly to their success.  Alabama's Nick Saban has four national titles, and enjoys a 2-1 record against Urban Meyer, who has two national titles on his resume.

Ohio State

The Buckeyes will do their best to pull off an upset today with a fast-tempo offense that is loaded with speed players: RB Ezekiel Elliott, RB Jalin Marshall and WR Devin Smith.

Alabama

The Crimson Tide have the nation's top wide receiver in Amari Cooper, who amassed 1,656 yards on 115 receptions for 14 touchdowns.  He also finished third in Heisman voting.  I'll be keeping a focus on safety Landon Collins in this game, as I seriously hope he is the Texans' first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

The National Championship Game

Update: Oregon eviscerated Florida State 59 - 20 in the Rose Bowl.

The winner of the Sugar Bowl will face Oregon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX for the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship on January 12, 2015.

*****

There's your preview of today's double-header in the NCAA Playoffs.  Pull up your favorite chair for what should be some very exciting college football.  The floor is yours, and the usual rules apply.