Game: 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship Game
Location: Pasadena, California
Date: January 6, 2014
Teams: Ohio State Buckeyes, Florida Gators
How Ohio State gets there
Last season was as close to a national championship Ohio State could get to. The opening undefeated season was as good a start The attitude will be even hungrier in Columbus this season now that there is more than a Michigan demolition to look forward to.
The Buckeyes will enjoy some of the best leadership in the country next season even if Urban Meyer's presence on the OSU sidelines may still be underrated by some. What more, having a Heisman candidate entering his senior season for a schedule that may include just two ranked opponents at the most could lead to one of the easiest repeat undefeated seasons in a long time.
What's scary is that the Buckeyes are going to be even better than they were last season. What's scarier is that even if they cruise to the National Championship Game, people won't look at them twice until they score first on an SEC team once they get there.
How Florida gets there
This upcoming seasons will be a good opportunity for Will Muschamp that he belongs with Urban Meyer in the class of great Florida coaches. Getting through the SEC East shouldn't be too difficult for the Gators despite maybe a few rough hits taken at the hands of Jadeveon Clowney when they head to Columbia Nov. 16. Their toughest midseason stretch will come in early October with an Arkansas-LSU-Missouri string, but their season will ultimately be decided by their likely spot in the SEC Championship game come Dec. 7.
What will define this season for essentially the rest of the country is the SEC Championship game and whether Florida (or possibly Missouri or South Carolina) can trip up Alabama. Texas A&M did it last season with an all out aerial attack, which for now will have to be the game plan for anyone playing the Tide (until anyone else comes close to beating them).
Nothing is more easier said than done than getting past Alabama's defense, so Florida's hopes will absolutely ride on if Jeff Driskel's growth is as good as advertised. Nothing says though that Florida's defense will be any pushover though. An NFL-ready defensive core led by Dominique Easley should be enough to slow down even the best SEC offenses.
It's hard to tell what sounds better: Urban Bowl or Meyer Bowl. Regardless, there is a lot to make anyone believe that picking against the SEC–any SEC team–is naive and stupid and you should just crawl back into your little hole because the SEC is going to win every championship from now on ever. No.
Are the country's best football teams still found in the SEC? Yes. But that doesn't mean that a legitimate contender still can not come out of the Big 10 or Pac-12. Ohio State is going to have an easier season than the likes of Florida, but they are still going to end up being tested on multiple fronts through some very close games.
Florida is going to have a big chip on their shoulder as they get closer to the postseason after the embarrassing (sorry, "fluke") loss to a Big East team in last year's Sugar Bowl. Ohio State, on the other hand, will just be looking to say that they are worthy of national respect for the second year in a row.
Off probation and with the firepower to go off on any SEC team, the Buckeyes just might have what it takes to end the southern national title rule.
Ohio State 35-26