Measuring the dominance of Ohio State's defense

1. The dominance of the Ohio State defense on Monday night could be measured in a number of ways. For one thing, Oregon made five trips into the red zone and scored only 20 points. For another, the Ducks converted four turnovers into only 10 points. And consider this: Oregon scored its two touchdowns on its opening possession in each half. That suggests that offensive coordinator Scott Frost saw something to exploit and did so. Once the Buckeye defense made its adjustments, Oregon scored two field goals. Or it may be as simple as Ohio State holding Oregon to a season-low 132 rushing yards

2. Rich Brooks, the Oregon coach who three decades ago laid the foundation for the Ducks' current success, watched with pride as Oregon played for the national championship Monday night. “My wildest thought was to get to the Rose Bowl,” said Brooks, wearing a yellow cardigan over a Duck green shirt. “Finally, in '94, we did.” Brooks left after that season for the NFL. “With what I started with at Oregon, this would have never been possible. It's just a thrill to see how it has progressed and grown.”

3. In case you're wondering -- and I know you are -- the 2015 season begins on Thursday, Sept. 3, and the marquee game that night is Michigan, in its first game under head coach Jim Harbaugh, playing at Utah. Other big games on opening weekend: Alabama vs. Wisconsin, Auburn vs. Louisville, Arizona State vs. Texas A&M (all three are neutral-site games), Texas at Notre Dame, Washington head coach Chris Petersen returning to Boise State, and on Labor Day night, defending national champion Ohio State playing at Virginia Tech, the one team that beat the Buckeyes this season.