The College Football Playoff committee set up a dream semifinal matchup that will pit the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner against the frontrunner to win the award next week.
Jameis Winston’s defending champion Florida State team is seeded third in the inaugural playoff and will take on second-seeded Oregon — led by Heisman frontrunner Marcus Mariota — in the Rose Bowl, one of two national semifinals.
Top-seeded Alabama will face fourth-seeded Ohio State in the other semifinal, while TCU and Baylor were left out of the playoff picture.
The Oregon-FSU game will feature two of the nation’s best offenses and two teams coming off wins in conference championship games. Oregon blew out Arizona 51-13 Friday night to win the Pac 12 title, while Florida State edged Georgia Tech 37-35 on Saturday night to win the ACC title.
The Rose Bowl kicks off at 5 p.m. Eastern time on New Year’s Day, with TV coverage on ESPN.
Jeff Sherman, the assistant manager at the Westgate Las Vegas Super Book, tweeted that Oregon will open as an 8.5-point favorite over Florida State, while Alabama will open as a 9.5-point favorite over Ohio State.
Sherman tweeted that Alabama is even money to win the title, with Oregon, Ohio State and Florida State following.