So here's a look at Ohio State vs. Oregon (8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN) from a Michigan fan's point of view:
OHIO STATE PLAYERS FROM MICHIGAN
CB Damon Webb
OHIO STATE PLAYERS RECRUITED BY MICHIGAN
CB Eli Apple, OT Darryl Baldwin, TE Marcus Baugh, DT Michael Bennett, LB Kyle Berger, LB Devan Bogard, LB Dante Booker, DE Joey Bosa, CB Cam Burrows, CB Gareon Conley*, OT Taylor Decker, OT Kyle Dodson, RB Bri'onte Dunn, LB Curtis Grant, OG Joel Hale, TE Jeff Heuerman, DT Michael Hill, S Malik Hooker, DE Sam Hubbard, QB Cardale Jones, OT Jamarco Jones, OG Demetrius Knox, CB Marshon Lattimore, OT Evan Lisle, QB Braxton Miller, DE Steve Miller, OG Billy Price, CB Armani Reeves, DE Chris Rock#, DT Tommy Schutt, WR Devin Smith, S Erick Smith, DE Noah Spence, S Ron Tanner, OT Kyle Trout, TE Nick Vannett, DT Adolphus Washington, CB Damon Webb, LB Camren Williams
Hit the jump for some further info on tonight's game.
OREGON PLAYERS FROM MICHIGAN
OT Jake Fisher*, CB Dior Mathis
OREGON PLAYERS RECRUITED BY MICHIGAN
WR Devon Allen, DT Arik Armstead, TE Evan Baylis, WR Jaylen Brown, TE Pharaoh Brown*, WR Darren Carrington, OT Jake Fisher*, OG Cameron Hunt, S Mattrell McGraw, WR Dwayne Stanford, LB Jimmie Swain, OT Andre Yruretagoyena
WHOM YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR
WHOM YOU SHOULD ROOT AGAINST
Ohio State. Yes, it would be good for the conference to win a national championship, but I did not grow up as a fan of the conference. I grew up loving Michigan and hating Ohio State, and you don't root for good things to happen to people you hate.
RELEVANT STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Rushing offense: Ohio State #10, Oregon #18
Passing offense: Oregon #11, Ohio State #52
Scoring offense: Oregon #2, Ohio State #5
Rushing defense: Ohio State #34, Oregon #51
Passing defense: Ohio State #16, Oregon #111
Scoring defense: Ohio State #26, Oregon #27
STORY LINES TO IMPACT THE GAME
- Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman this year with some ridiculous statistics. He was 280/408 (68.6%) for 4,121 yards, 40 touchdowns, and just 3 interceptions. He is also Oregon's #2 rusher with 125 carries for 731 yards (5.9 yards/carry) and 15 touchdowns.
- Mariota's top target from the past two games is suspended for the national championship. Darren Carrington (14 catches, 291 yards, 3 touchdowns) was a huge big-play threat and Oregon's second-leading receiver this year.
- Oregon has also lost #3 receiver Devon Allen (41 catches, 684 yards, 7 touchdowns) and top tight end Pharaoh Brown (25 catches, 420 yards, 6 touchdowns), both to injury.
- Ohio State is down to their second (or third) string quarterback after Braxton Miller hurt his shoulder in August and then J.T. Barrett broke his ankle against Michigan in the regular season finale. Cardale Jones led the team to a 59-0 win over Wisconsin and a 42-35 win over Alabama since Barrett's injury.
- Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is 2-0 in national championship games and 8-2 in bowls altogether.
- Oregon coach Mark Helfrich has not coached in a national championship game but he is 2-0 in bowl games.
I'm really up in the air on this one. On the one hand, it seems crazy that Ohio State could win a championship with their third-stringer at the most important position on the field. On the other hand, Oregon has its own problems (numerous injuries at wide receiver) and a coach in his first national championship game and just his second year as a head man. It pains me to say this, but I'm picking based on Urban Meyer's past history as a big-game head coach:
Ohio State 41, Oregon 38
*One-time Michigan commit
#Played at Michigan for a year