BOH Staff Picks Title Game: Ohio State vs. Oregon


With one college football game left on the schedule this season, Badger of Honor is peering into the crystal ball once again in an attempt to predict the outcome of the National Championship.

It was tough to predict the outcome of the Outback Bowl after we wildly underrated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship Game. Some of the Badger of Honor staff redeemed themselves by sticking loyal and true to the Badgers, while some chose Auburn following Wisconsin’s poor showing in the Big Ten title game.

Well, here we are again, with the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. The college football season will come to a close Monday night when the mighty Oregon Ducks take on the stunning Ohio State Buckeyes.

Here are the predictions from the staff at Badger of Honor for the first annual playoff title game.

Christian Ormson

This game will be intense, let’s start there. Oregon will be led by Heisman-winner Marcus Mariota against Ohio State’s 3rd stringer Cardale Jones. Both teams have had incredible seasons, and both deserve lots of respect. However, there can only be one winner in this title game.

Ohio State’s defense has been outstanding recently, shutting out the Badgers and Melvin Gordon, and then ending Alabama’s season with an impressive performance in the Sugar Bowl. Sure, you can look at Oregon’s impressive offensive statistics, averaging 47 points per game along with the 11th and 18th top passing and running games respectively. The Ducks also proved that they belong here when they flexed their muscles against Florida State, pushing the score from 18-13 at halftime to win 59-20.

Here’s the thing though: Ohio State is the underdog by six. There’s a special fire for the underdogs this bowl season, and I believe it hasn’t ended yet. Ohio State’s key to success will be their secondary, to step up and perform. I’ll go for the underdog upset.

Prediction: Ohio State 27 – Oregon 24

Taylor Johnson

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

I do believe that this will be a good game to watch that could possibly come down to the wire. In my opinion however, I think this is the year of the Ducks and that they will come away with the national championship. Ohio State’s Cardale Jones will have a good game, but will not be able to match Oregon’s high-powered offense. Marcus Mariota will prove why he’s one of the best quarterbacks in college football. Even with the Ducks losing their number two receiver Darren Carrington, they still have plenty of weapons to overtake the Buckeyes.

Prediction: Oregon 37 – Ohio State 31

Jim Oxley

It’s hard to pick against the Buckeyes after what they’ve done the past two weeks. Cardale Jones has been great in his short career as a starter, and Ezekial Elliot has been a workhorse for Ohio State.

As hard as it is to pick against what many are calling the hottest team in college football, I’ll take the experience of Heisman-winner Marcus Mariota in this matchup. Oregon’s offense is, simply put, ridiculous. The Ducks’ pace forces opposing offenses to attempt to keep up, and I don’t think this Ohio State squad has enough gas to stick with them.

I’ll take the Ducks by double digits.

Prediction: Oregon 42 – Ohio State 31

Zach Rastall

This showdown between Cardale Jones and Marcus Mariota should be an absolute blast to watch, and it’s easy to see this one going either way. I wasn’t sure how the Buckeyes would fare against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game and I didn’t give them much of a chance of taking down Alabama, but they proved me wrong in a big way. I won’t be surprised at all if the Ducks win, but I’m picking Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes to win by the slimmest of margins.

Prediction: Ohio State 45 – Oregon 42

Rayan Vatti

I think Oregon will grab the first playoff championship trophy. Even though Ohio State beat the two other Heisman finalists to get to this point, I think Mariota will tear them up. He’s the best quarterback they’ve faced all season by far, and the secondary is not the strength of their defense. However, Cardale Jones and Ezekial Elliot will keep it close enough. But the experienced of Mariota leads to one more big, clutch play than the inexperienced Jones will manage.

Prediction: Oregon 45 – Ohio State 38

Jon Rzepecki

Ohio State shocked me with a much stronger defense than anticipated in Nov/Dec and the Sugar Bowl against Alabama. Oregon’s defense doesn’t seem as powerful as the Buckeyes. I think Florida State’s issues caught up with them once the second quarter turned into the third and the ‘Noles weren’t just taking over like they always did when trailing.

Marcus Mariota will clearly be the best player on the field, but his team won’t be. OSU has the special teams advantage and pins Oregon deep for a 20+ yard starting field position advantage and gets two second-half turnovers.

Prediction: Ohio State 35 – Oregon 27