Rose Bowl Playoff semifinal schedule and coverage: Oregon vs. Florida State
‘The Granddaddy of Them All’ is one of two 2014 national semifinal host sites, with this year’s Heisman Trophy favorite meeting last year’s winner.
For the first time in history, the Rose Bowl will be one of two national semifinal host sites for the 2014 College Football Playoff. With the BCS coming to an end last year, in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl no less, the College Football Playoff begins in the same place Florida State was crowned a champion in January 2014. And again, the Rose Bowl will host the Seminoles as they face one of the bowls traditional ties: Pac-12 champion Oregon.
There was sure to be some controversy with the selection committee’s list of four, though most feel this is ultimately for the best. Two games, 120 minutes (or potentially more), and one champion.
The Rose Bowl — which is now officially The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Northwestern Mutual — is one of six bowls that will take turns hosting the national semifinals. The Sugar Bowl is the other site this year, and the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange and Peach Bowls will handle those duties in coming seasons. Here is everything you need to know to get ready for this year’s showdown.
Date and time, ET: Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, 5 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Pasadena, Calif.
Stadium: Rose Bowl, 92,542
Last year’s score: Michigan State 24, Stanford 20
Last year’s attendance: 95,173
Last year’s TV rating: 8.3
Last year’s payout for each school: $23.9 million
Team with the most all-time appearances: USC, 33
Team with the most all-time wins: USC, 24
No. 2 Oregon Ducks (12-1, 8-1 Pac-12)
The College Football Playoff-bound Ducks won the Pac-12 Championship for the fourth time in the last six years, beating Arizona, 51-13, and avenging their only loss of the season. The October loss to the Wildcats was the only real hiccup for Mark Helfrich’s Ducks on their way to the inaugural Playoff.
The Ducks beat No. 7 Michigan State in a marquee non-conference matchup and have wins over ranked Utah and UCLA teams to go along with their championship game victory.
If you’ve watched even a minute of college football this season, you have seen a Marcus Mariota highlight, because the guy is a dang highlight factory. Mariota has put up video game numbers this year, amassing 3,783 yards through the air and 669 on the ground. While impressive, the yardage totals pales in comparison to the scoring numbers. Mariota threw for 38 TDs, to only two picks, and ran for an additional 14. The presumptive Heisman Trophy favorite had a monster season and will also be a high selection in the NFL Draft. Proving that it wasn’t all about the offense for the Ducks, senior defensive back Erick Dargan led the team in tackles with 81 and led the conference in picks, with six.
Last bowl game: 2013 Alamo Bowl vs. Texas, 30-7 win
All-time bowl record: 12-15
Head coach’s bowl record: Mark Helfrich, 1-0
No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (13-0, 8-0 ACC)
Florida State went and did it again — this time very differently. After blowing through their 2013 schedule en route to a national championship, the Seminoles went undefeated again in 2014. This time, their margin was significantly closer, with seven of their 13 victories coming by one score.
Jameis Winston was unable to repeat some of the highs of his Heisman-winning freshman campaign, but he’s still undoubtedly one of the most talented signal callers in the country. The Seminoles’ dominating offensive line has only gotten better as the season has progressed, and they’ve finally found a true feature back in true freshman Dalvin Cook.
Last bowl game: 2014 BCS National Championship Game vs. Auburn, 34-31 win
All-time bowl record: 26-14-2
Head coach’s bowl record: Jimbo Fisher, 4-0