WHO: No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State
WHAT: The College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual (say that five times fast)
WHEN: 5 p.m. ET
WHERE: The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. (televised by ESPN)
THE SKINNY: Let’s see, other than Heisman winner vs. Heisman winner, college football’s most polarizing program vs. college football’s least polarizing program and a 29-game winning streak on the line, there really isn’t much interesting about this game.
With all due respect to Oregon, this game is about Florida State and a referendum on whether or not the least impressive 13-0 run in recent memory really matters. Are these Seminoles really the team that was lucky to beat Notre Dame and Clemson, needed major comebacks to beat N.C. State, Louisville and Miami, and squeaked by Boston College, Florida and Georgia Tech? Or are they the team with either the first or second-most talented roster in this tournament? Or are they both at the same time, a group that hasn’t found a way to get the most out of its talent?
Unlike Oregon, Florida State is as healthy as its been all season. Without Ifo Ekpre-Olomu to blanket him, Rashad Greene figures to get his yards. So will Marcus Mariota and Royce Freeman. So will Dalvin Cook, for that matter. This game should be close, so, like so many other games this season, it will boil down to whether or not Florida State can play perfect football when the situation requires it.
I believe they will
THE PREDICTION: Florida State 38, Oregon 35