The Ohio State Buckeyes pulled the carpet out from under No. 1-ranked Alabama last week and will now compete for the NCAA Championship on Monday. The game starts at 8:30 PM ET
The No. 4 Buckeyes will face the No. 2 Oregon Ducks in the Championship Game. The pairing of Big Ten and Pac-12 opponents is a major testament to why the inaugural playoff format is so important. This is the first year since 2005 that an SEC didn’t qualify, and if the format remained the same, we would have seen an SEC team included.
This year two teams have earned the chance to compete for success because of their excellent seasons and their ability to execute down the stretch.
Heading into the final game, Oregon has the edge in the sportsbook. They’re the 7-point favorites, which is a modest spread after the beatdown they put on Florida State in the Rose Bowl. Marcus Mariota already has a Heisman Trophy on his shelf, so a national title is the next step.
That being said, if Ohio Sate is capable of knocking off the top-ranked Crimson Tide, they’re capable of giving the Ducks a run for their money.
Prediction: Both teams got off to sluggish starts last week, but turned it up and won easily to get to this point. Ohio State has what it takes to win this, but if they get down 21-6 like they did against Alabama, the Buckeyes might be in trouble. I think this is a close game at half, but Oregon pulls away. Oregon -5.5