College Football Playoff

The College Football Playoff Final Four: How Do They Stack Up?

Jaclyn Harris

By Jaclyn Harris

December 10, 2014

College Football National Championship Stadium resized 600The Final Four in the first-ever College Football Playoff have been announced! Oregon, Alabama, Ohio State, and Florida State will all be competing on Jan. 1, for a shot at playing in the national title game on Jan. 12. The excitement surrounding this new era of college football is uncontainable, putting a great emphasis on both the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl right now, as these games are the semifinals in the
2015 College Football Playoff.

Sports media personnel are already casting their predictions on who will prevail at the semifinals, even in the College Football Playoff National Championship. With that being said, it only seems fitting we also cast our predictions. 

So without further ado, let's walk back in time in order to the see these teams' past history in bowl and championship games, move into the present to evaluate how they performed this season, and cast our predictions on the outcomes.

Rose Bowl Contenders: Oregon vs Florida State

Evaluating Oregon

Coming into the College Football Playoff as the number two seed, Oregon is not new to big games with big opponents. Since the inception of the BCS format, the Ducks have competed in a combined eight of the traditional "big four" bowl games - the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Cotton Bowl. 

While in the Pacific Coast Conference, Oregon won five conference co-championships. Moving into the Pac-8/10/12, the Ducks have won five conference championships and shared one.

By the end of last year's college football season, Oregon had made their presence known and they certainly delivered this year. During the 2014 preseason, college football writers were already sharing that they believed Oregon would be in this position come the College Football Playoff and they had no doubts the Ducks could win it all.

Oregon finished the season first in the Pac-12 with an 8-1 record, 12-1 overall, with their only loss of the season coming in Week 5 against Arizona. The Ducks are entering their match against FSU on fire with an eight-game winning streak. It'll be interesting to see how the Rose Bowl pans out.

Evaluating Florida State

Florida State is coming into the Rose Bowl as the number three seed and being the final BCS National Champions ever with their title last year. Having competing in 44 bowl games in history with a record of 26-14-2 in those games, FSU is no stranger to this kind of pressure. The Seminoles currently hold the longest active streak in bowl games with 33 consecutive games. 

Twenty-one of these games have been major bowls and FSU has made their way into eight BCS games, including four national championships.

The Seminoles are entering the Rose Bowl this New Year with an undefeated record, going 8-0 in their conference and 13-0 overall. Despite FSU being undefeated all season and into the end of last season, Oregon has had a harder schedule this season, hence their higher seed in the College Football Playoff. Regardless of whether this victory goes to the ACC or Pac-12, the win will not be easy.

My Prediction: Oregon Prevails

Sugar Bowl Contenders: Alabama vs Ohio State

Evaluating Alabama

Alabama has a deep history in making it all the way. The Crimson Tide football program is as solid as its ever been. Alabama has a total of 28 conference championships under its belt, four coming from the Southern Conference and 24 from the SEC. 

'Bama has won more SEC titles than any other school from the time the conference split into separate divisions and added a championship game. The Crimson Tide program is also the only school to win an SEC Championship in every decade since its inception in 1933.

The Crimson Tide finds themselves with a 7-1 conference record and 12-1 overall on an eight-game winning streak. With competitors such as Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, LSU, and Texas A&M in their division, there's no denying the strength of schedule Alabama has had to overcome to be where they are at the number one seed in the College Football Playoff.

Could this be the year for 'Bama? Only time will tell!

Evaluating Ohio State

When the contenders were announced, it seemed Ohio State caught college football fans off guard by receiving an invite to the first-ever College Football Playoff, but the Buckeyes earned their spot.

Historically, Ohio State has always been a big name. With 34 Big Ten titles under their belt and the third-most conference titles of any school in any conference, Ohio State is not unfamiliar of proving their talent and winning championships.

The Buckeyes finished first in their conference with a undefeated 8-0 record and a 12-1 overall record. The team's only loss of the season came in week two against Virginia Tech. Ohio State rebult quickly after this reality check and hasn't let up momentum since.

The Alabama vs Ohio State pairing will be a rivalry for the ages!

My Prediction: Alabama Prevails

Be There When History is Made!

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