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Ducks Going to the Rose Bowl

Monday, December 08, 2014

 

 The 51-13 thrashing of Arizona seemed to erase any doubt, but the College Football Playoff selection committee made it official Sunday - the Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks (12-1) are the No. 2 seed in the inaugural four-team tournament, facing off Jan. 1 against third-seeded and undefeated Florida State in the Rose Bowl.

Florida State (13-0) is riding a winning streak of 29 victories, including last year's national championship against Auburn University.

In the other semifinal, it will be No. 1 Alabama (12-1) against fourth-seeded Ohio State (12-1) .

Earlier this season, I mentioned this season is sizing up as one of destiny for UO. Maybe that’s hyperbole, but really, the Ducks have taken care of every challenge that thwarted their national titles in the past, avenging supposed demons (Stanford, Arizona) with the possibility of more to come (a potential title showdown with the Crimson Tide, an SEC powerhouse not unlike Auburn, which dealt the Ducks a 22-19 defeat in the 2011 national championship).

Even the Heisman Trophy conversation comes into play - last year’s winner, FSU sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston, will face off against this year’s presumptive favorite, UO’s Marcus Mariota.

Side note: can we NOT make this a morality play in the coming weeks between Mariota and Winston? Here’s the thing - neither team would likely trade their quarterback for anyone else, even the counterpart in this game, and it bears emphasizing that Winston has yet to lose as the Seminoles’ starting quarterback. 

Already, various sports books have installed the Ducks has nine-point favorites against the Seminoles, who have been vulnerable for much of the second half of the season. Winston has turned the ball over at a ridiculous rate, throwing 17 interceptions this season all alone - which is five more than Mariota has tossed in three seasons - but again, it’s worth noting that FSU still hasn’t lost.

There is something to be said for knowing how to win. 

Expect a high-scoring game, even though Don Pellum’s defense was downright brilliant in the Pac-12 championship against the Wildcats. And expect the Ducks to prevail, although banking on the Seminoles to lose - a phenomenon that, based on social media sentiment, has become a nationwide event - has been futile.

 

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