Ohio State Defies Vegas Odds on 2015 NCAAF National Championship as Winner of First NCAA College Football Playoffs

Finally, The True Champion Emerges… On Monday night, January 12, 2015, at ATT Stadium, the first NCAA Football Playoff Championship was decided… on the playing field. After having lost two top-quality quarterbacks earlier in the season, Urban Meyer's No. 4 seeded Ohio State Buckeyes dominated the high-powered University of Oregon Ducks on both sides of the ball with a 42-20 victory.

In a balanced offensive effort, Buckeyes' running back Ezekiel Elliot accumulated 246 yards with four touchdowns, while back-up quarterback Cardale Jones threw for another 242 yards. Offsetting four Buckeye turnovers, Ohio State's defensive unit stiffened at critical points. holding Heisman quarterback Marcus Mariota and his lightening-paced offense to a miserable 2 for 12 on third down conversions.

About 2015 NCAAF College Football National Championship

A system to crown an undisputed champion of NCAA football has been debated for decades, possibly a century. College basketball and professional sports have tournaments and post-season playoffs that essentially narrow the field to a final championship contest between the last teams standing. A winner is crowned and keeps the title until the following season's champion is determined.

To establish a similar playoff system in college football is considered prohibitive due to the potential physical toll on the student athletes and the number of weeks that a 16-or-so team playoff would require. When college football gained national attention in the early twentieth century, each season ended with Bowl games between invited teams. While the winners of these games, say the Rose Bowl matching the best of the Big Ten and the Pac 10, would enjoy a sense of glorious achievement, naming a national champion was a very subjective process. Eventually press and coaches' polls presented rankings determined by ballot. At times these results conflicted, even at the top positions, so "shared" titles became frequent. But still no playoff to determine a "true" champion.

"Shared" championships occurred in both 1997 and 1998, situations that further whetted the football public's appetite to identify the top teams and to establish a NCAA Championship game. In 1999, the Bowl Championship Series (BSC) began to rank teams using a mathematical conglomeration of polls and selected computerized evaluations. At the end of the season, the "top two" teams would play for the championship. But, not surprising, critics emerged immediately to argue that the process was still too subjective and lower-ranked teams had been slighted. The BCS system operated from 1999 through 2013, getting a tweak here and there to improve the accuracy. But too much controversy surrounded the process and something else was needed.

NCAA Football Playoff Championship Committee

On June 12, 2012, a protocol was established to define a new process for selecting four top teams to play in two semi-final games and, finally, a championship game. In 2014 a thirteen-member NCAA Football Playoff Championship Committee convened. The mission of the Committee is "to select the best teams, rank the teams for inclusion in the playoff and selected other bowl games and, then assign the teams to sites." (source)

The inaugural Committee is made up of thirteen members that include former football coaches, current and retired athletic directors and a former US Secretary of State. Members were automatically recused from voting for specific schools for which they work or have worked.

The Committee is charged with presenting weekly rankings beginning in the seventh week of the season until the final ranking and naming of the Final Four on December 8, 2014. Each week the Committee determined their Top 25 teams based on every member's evaluation of the information presented them. The group also draws from their own evaluations and extensive metrics that are provided them.

When comparing two seemingly comparable teams, the following criteria is used:

• Conference championships won

• Strength of schedule

• Head-to-head competition

• Comparative outcomes of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory), and,

• Other relevant factors such as key injuries that may have affected a team's performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance.

At the end of the regular season, the Committee's final ranking presented a Final Four. The highest-ranked team would play the fourth-ranked while numbers two and three would face each other. The result was 1. Alabama vs 4. Ohio State and 2. Oregon vs 3. Florida State. Controversy arose immediately when TCU was dropped from the number three position in their December 2 ranking to fifth place when the Final Four were announced, less than a week later. Ohio State had moved up into fourth position.

Vegas Odds on 2014-2015 College Football Championships

With the field set, Las Vegas odds makers issued opening odds for winning the College Football Championships on December 8. These were:

Alabama Even

Oregon 8-5

Ohio State 7-1

Florida State 8-1

The odds suggest that Ohio State's 42-35 semi-final victory over Alabama was truly a long shot. And, again as underdogs, they won over Oregon in the championship game. On the positive side, Ohio State's winning the NCAA Football Championship in a playoff is a strong endorsement of the process. They would never have been chosen to participate under any previous system. But, many question what may have happened if TCU had been chosen for the Final Four.

It seems we have improvement, but not perfection.

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Las Vegas NCAAF National Championship Betting Odds

The following are the most current Las Vegas Odds on NCAA football National Championship 2015

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