Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 marked the date the NCAA had its first ever playoff system to determine the top two teams to make it to the college football National Championship. Four teams, Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State, were awarded the top four seeds and played that day.
The playoffs were decided on by a committee created by Notre Dame’s athletic director and eleven commissioners from large college football conferences as a more fair way of determining the teams for the National Championship game.
The committee consists of twelve people with various backgrounds, the majority with a sports background; however, a former secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, is also a member of the selection committee. The group met once a week during the regular season to determine the top twenty-five teams in the nation. The later in the season it got, the more crucial these meetings became for the teams and committee members; both groups were in the process of making history.
The University of Alabama received the top seed ranking after winning the SEC conference against Missouri (42-13) on Dec. 6, 2014. They finished their regular season 12-1; their only loss at Ole Miss (23-17) on Oct. 4, 2014.
The team to secure the second ranked spot overall was the University of Oregon. The Ducks won the Pac-12 championship game against the Arizona Wildcats (51-13) on Dec. 5, 2014 which they had lost to in the regular season, leaving them with a 12-1 regular season record. Their redshirt junior quarterback, Marcus Mariota, is the 2014 Heisman trophy award winner.
The previous national champions, Florida State University, secured the third seed ranking in the NCAA top twenty-five after beating Georgia Tech in the ACC championship game (37-35) on Dec. 6, 2014. The team is 13-0 for the regular season but they had not lost a game in over two years, giving them a 29-0 record until they lost to Oregon this past week. Their redshirt sophomore quarterback, Jameis Winston, was the 2013 Heisman trophy award winner.
The fourth ranked team was the Ohio State University. The Buckeyes finished their regular season 12-1 after losing to Virginia Tech (35-21) on Sept. 6, 2014. The team won the Big 10 championship against Wisconsin (59-0) on Dec. 6, 2014 while they were on their third string quarterback, Cardale Jones, after their previous two had been injured earlier in the season.
The National Championship game is set for Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. The game is set to air on ESPN with the kickoff beginning at 8:30 p.m.
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