The Oregon Ducks own the Heisman Trophy-winner in Marcus Mariota, the second-highest scoring offense in college football, and will be six-point favorites heading into Monday night’s College Football Playoff final against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
But many experts around the country have chosen the streaking Buckeyes and head coach Urban Meyer to upset Oregon. Based off picks from experts at Yahoo!, CBS Sports, ESPN, the Columbus Dispatch, The Oregonian, Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated, eight out of the 17 have picked Ohio State to win it all.
Looking at their roads to the title game, a case for the Buckeyes might be in their late season surge. The Ducks smashed Florida State 59-20 in the CFP semifinal, and the offense looked sharp throughout the season. But other than the Seminoles and splitting two games with Pac-12 rival Arizona, Oregon hasn’t been nearly as tested as Ohio State.
Riding a 12-game winning streak, the Buckeyes thwarted Wisconsin’s No. 4-ranked defense and Alabama’s No. 6-ranked squad in consecutive games to reach the final. And they have one of the more impressive pass rushes in the country with defensive lineman Joey Bosa and defensive tackle Michael Bennett at the helm.
The Buckeyes also have Meyer, a coach who could win a national title with his second school and third overall. Meyer has also gone 10-2 in bowl games throughout his career, compare to 2-0 for Oregon's Mark Helfrich.
Check out each experts’ pick below.
Pat Forde, Yahoo!: Oregon
Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports: Oregon
John Solomon, CBS Sports: Oregon
Jerry Palm, CBS Sports: Oregon
Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports: Ohio State
Jerry Hinnen, CBS Sports: Ohio State
Danny Kanell, ESPN: Oregon
Steve Coughlin, ESPN: Ohio State
Chris Fallica, ESPN: Ohio State
Joey Galloway, ESPN: Ohio State
KC Joyner, ESPN: Ohio State
Ray Stein, Columbus Dispatch: Oregon
Rob Oller, Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State
Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State
Andrew Greif, The Oregonian: Oregon
Clay Travis, Fox Sports: Oregon
Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated: Oregon