It started in Pasadena, California, at the Rose Bowl, where the Oregon Ducks were just too much for the Florida State Seminoles. Despite being a team to come back time and time throughout the season, the Seminoles were unable to come back on the Ducks in a 59-20 defeat.
In a span of 12:54 of game time, the Ducks extended a 25-20 lead to 59-20, including scoring six straight times they touched the ball. 5 of the touchdowns covered at least 21 yards, with the last 4 coming off Florida State turnovers.
The Heisman winning QB Marcus Mariota threw for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns for Oregon, who became the first team in Rose Bowl history to reach 50 points. The Ducks' 59 points breaks the Rose Bowl record for most points scores, snapping USC's record of 49 points in 2008.
The Seminoles' had not lost a game since November 24th, 2012 to Florida, and QB Jameis Winston had not lost in 26 college starts. Winston finished 29 of 45 for 348 yards 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The Seminoles trailed at the half for the 6th time this season, but this was the first halftime deficit they could not fight back from.
Immediately following Oregon's blowout win, Ohio State and Alabama battled in the Sugar Bowl, looking to go to battle with the high-powered Ducks. Despite starting third-string quarterback Cardale Jones, the Buckeyes took down the top-ranked Crimson Tide 42-35 to move on to the National Championship game.
Starting quarterback Braxton Miller was replaced by backup J.T. Barrett following a preseason injury. Barrett lead the Buckeyes to plenty of success, before breaking his ankle in the season finale against the Michigan Wolverines. Jones would then lead OSU to the Big Ten Title game shutout of the Wisconsin Badgers 59-0, leading to a playoff berth.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for a Sugar Bowl-record 230 yards, while Jones threw for 237 yards to lead Ohio State to the upset. Jones threw 1 touchdown pass to Devin Smith, and was able to overcome the 1 interception he threw.
With the win, the Buckeyes snap a 10-game losing streak against SEC team in bowl games.
The Buckeyes' offense was able to pound out 537 yards against Alabama's defense. Elliott average 11.5 yards on his 20 carries for the night. It was a late 28-0 run that gave Ohio State a 34-21 lead, and put the Buckeyes ahead of the Crimson Tide for good.
Up next, the 4th-ranked, 13-1 Buckeyes will go to Arlington, Texas a week from Monday to take on the 2nd-ranked, 13-1 Oregon Ducks. The last time these 2 schools faced off, it was in the 2010 Rose Bowl, a game won by the Buckeyes 26-17.