ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The first-ever major college football playoff championship game is tonight. The game features the second and fourth seeds in the four-team playoff, Oregon and Ohio State.
The Ducks are led by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Marcus Mariota (mar-ee-OH’-tah) who has led the team to a record of 13-1. In three seasons behind center for the Ducks he has passed for 10,463 yards, 103 touchdowns and had just 13 interceptions. For tonight’s game he won’t have one of his primary weapons to work with as receiver Darren Carrington has been ruled ineligible after failing an NCAA administered drug test. Another productive receiver, Devon Allen, is also missing as he was injured in the Rose Bowl.
The Buckeyes enter the game with a record of 13-1 and 12 game winning streak. With a win coach Urban Meyer would become just the second coach to win a national championship at two different schools. He led Florida to the title in 2006 and 2008 and would join Nick Saban as the only two-school winners.
Oregon advanced to the title game with a 59-20 win over Florida State in the Rose Bowl while the Buckeyes punched their ticket to the big game with a 43-35 win over top-seed Alabama.
Ohio State has won four national championships while Oregon is searching for its first. This is the ninth time these schools have met in football with OSU coming out on top in all previous games.
For decades the champion of major college football was decided by polls and then the Bowl Championship Series. Now, for the first time the title is being decided in the final game of a four-team playoff.