It's been a long time coming, but college football will finally have a playoff following the season. With the first semifinals set to take place in less than a month, fans have been clamoring for the Rose Bowl to finally arrive.
Taking place in Pasadena, California, the Rose Bowl will host the No. 2 and 3 teams in the College Football Playoff committee's poll. Currently, that leaves Oregon facing TCU—but that seems destined to change this weekend.
The Ducks will likely remain at No. 2, but the Horned Frogs have question marks with their final game. Going against a weak Iowa State, TCU might be jumped by either Florida State or a host of other teams vying for the final spot.
Ahead of the announcement this weekend, here's a look at the viewing information and predictions for the Rose Bowl.
Where: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California
When: Jan. 1, 2015
Start Time: 5 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Rose Bowl Prediction
It seemed like a predetermined fact: If Florida State ran the table, it would be in the College Football Playoff. After a year of struggling to keep that unblemished record, however, the playoff committee has the Seminoles on the cusp of missing out entirely at the No. 4 spot.
More shade has been thrown on Florida State in the recent rankings after more first-half woes against Florida. Despite the slow start, the Noles still found a way to win and stand as the only 12-0 team. Albert Breer of NFL.com and Mike Greenberg of ESPN pointed out their disgust over the move:
Albert Breer @AlbertBreer
The point of football games is to win, not look good. Florida State has won all of its games this year. And won all of its games last year.2014-12-3 00:13:24
Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny
Florida State ranked number four is a ridiculous joke.2014-12-3 00:32:48
Even with the doubt that is clearly creeping into the minds of voters, any questions can be answered with a win over Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have been dominant recently and defeated two straight Top 25 teams to close the regular season.
Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports shared his thoughts on the situation for FSU:
Stewart Mandel @slmandel
If it's really close between TCU and FSU then FSU could presumably jump back ahead by beating No. 11 Ga Tech while TCU plays 2-9 ISU.2014-12-3 00:53:26
However, the Yellow Jackets have other thoughts about the ACC Championship game.
Georgia Tech boasts one of the most prolific offenses in the country under Paul Johnson. Florida State's defense will have its hands full with Georgia Tech's offense, which comes in at No. 1 in the ACC in scoring (37.2 points per game), total offense (469.1 yards per game) and rushing touchdowns (37).
Johnson referenced his high-power offense, per Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com:
There have been so many misperceptions promoted for so long about, well, people catch up to the offense, and it's this, and it's that. … It's like anything. When people say it long enough, they want it to be true. A broken clock's right twice a day. … We beat Clemson 28-6. You're not going to see any headlines that say, ‘Well, they figured out the hurry-up offense. It's through now. That's the blueprint, they'll never score again.' Now if that's us, you get the, ‘Well, they figured it out, and that's it for that offense.'
Florida State winning—which I believe will happen—should be enough to move the Noles back up to the No. 3 spot. TCU's underwhelming final game will hurt but won't drop it entirely out of the picture with a Sugar Bowl berth.
As for the Seminoles' opponent, expect Oregon to finally get over the Arizona hurdle to play for a chance at a national title. Marcus Mariota leads one of the most overpowering offenses in the country, as College GameDay noted:
College GameDay @CollegeGameDay
Oregon has scored 40+ points in seven straight games and gained 500+ yards in six straight. Both are the longest active streaks in the FBS.2014-12-4 19:10:04
It may seem clear now, but the playoff picture can still change drastically this weekend. If Mizzou, Arizona or Georgia Tech pull off upsets, any of the top teams might fall out of the top four.
Fans rooting for any of the teams outside of the current bracket are obviously hoping for chaos during championship weekend. By the time the dust settles, however, it will be Oregon and Florida State squaring off in Pasadena.
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