January 12, 2015
Unexpected. That's the word I'd probably use to describe the outcome - or rather the series of events that lead up to the outcome - of Monday's College Football Playoff title game.
The fact is, this was the first year a team like Ohio State could have won the National Championship. The Buckeyes did not crack the top four of the rankings until the final week of the season, after losing their first and second string quarterbacks* along the way. However, that improbability is not what makes this team and this year unique.
*Not to mention that 14-point home loss to Virginia Tech (7-6).
In the any other season, BCS era or otherwise, there is no situation in which Ohio State, ranked as low as they were and having just turned the offense over to their third-string quarterback, would have been voted into the title game.
This year they were a long shot. Any other year? No shot.
And while the on-field action was pretty great - if you want to read more about the actual game, click here - the game itself was just the start of the entertainment.
Here's a look at some of the best - and funniest - things surrounding the game that may not make the highlight reel:
Jimmy Kimmel continued his series of people reading mean things written about them on Twitter. This had a college football spin, naturally, and featured several ESPN analysts including Desmond Howard, Lou Holtz, Tim Tebow, and more.
I hope there was nothing else going on in the sports world last night, because ESPN was wall-to-wall with National Championship coverage.
But, if you're a fan of multi-screen viewing, this game must've been heaven.
If you were running late to the game, the good people at Uber had your back. With a helicopter.
Told that Uber's chopper option to the stadium sold out in 45 minutes. Helicopters took 20 fans to game tonight @ $350 each— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 13, 2015
Is it me, or does that not seem like a bad price at all?
[photo via @NiceKicks]
Things just didn't get off to a good start for Ohio State. I'm not talking about Oregon's opening-drive touchdown. It began before the National Anthem was over. First, they're missing flag. Then they almost killed a cheerleader.
Just a tip for that cheerleader: Probably don't stand right there.
It was everywhere.[photo via @DVNJr]
Facts ruin everything.
On their opening drive, the Ducks fumbled twice. Both times - one by revoking the fumble, the other by an overturned call - they were able to keep the ball.The original fumble led to a series of tweets involving this:
Thomas Tyner fumbles but the ball bounces right back to him. Lucky Duck.— CBS Sports CFB (@CBSSportsCFB) January 13, 2015
Lucky Duck.— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) January 13, 2015
OR...You get the idea...
The Ducks may not have looked like their normal selves offensively. Well, neither did the Flyers. At the rate they were scoring, they looked more like Oregon than Marcus Mariota and Co.
They scored all seven of their goals in the first two periods as they beat the Lightning, 7-3.
Not only did Ezekiel Elliott make it look easy, scoring three touchdowns, but he made it look good.[photo via @SBNationGIF]
Chip Kelly ventured deep into enemy territory to watch his old team play for the National Championship at AT&T Stadium, a.k.a. Jerry's World.
Chip Kelly is watching from the sideline. Eagles VP of security (and Tostios commercial co-star) Dom DiSandro is by his side.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) January 13, 2015
Speaking of Chip, he needs to hire this ball boy. Immediately.
Akron? Cleveland? Or...Columbus?
Ohio State's quarterback is named Cradle Jones. He's 6-foot-5, 250 pounds. And he can do this:
And this, against a 310-pound nose tackle.
I previously mentioned Oregon's pair of opening-drive fumbles, but that's child's play compared to what Ohio State did in the football-protection department. Had it not been for the Buckeyes' three lost fumbles, they may have won by 42 points instead of 22.
Things eventually got so bad that Oregon didn’t even have to make contact with an Ohio State player to cause a fumble.
They’re wizards. Just ask Jameis Winston.
At a crucial point in the game, Byron Marshall caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to cut the Buckeyes' lead to 21-17. Except it almost wasn't a touchdown. Marshall dropped the ball just as he was crossing the goal line - like DeSean Jackson did once upon a time...
...but after a review, the touchdown stood. Barely.
Remember a few months ago when Utah's Kaelin Clay took it one step further, and allowed the opponent to scoop up the ball and return it for a touchdown? Allow me to refresh your memory:
Overall, it was a pretty good night for college football.