PASADENA, Calif. -- Give a game ball to the data geeks, the emotionless analysts who crunched the numbers and determined that No. 2 Oregon would beat No. 3 Florida State and advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T.
Those of us governed by the pit of our stomachs, the ones who had seen the defending national champion Seminoles find a way to win no matter how scruffy their play, had trouble buying into the staging of Duck Dynasty at the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual.
Yes, Oregon had a plus-20 edge in turnover margin, but Florida State had come from behind in nine of its last 11 games.
Yes, the Ducks dominated the Pac-12, winning their last eight games by an average of 25 points, but the Seminoles had won seven games by six points or fewer. They had the indomitable quarterback, Jameis Winston, who had not lost since a high school game in 2011.
When the sun no longer lit the San Gabriel Mountains and the fourth quarter of the inaugural semifinal began, Florida State would seize control.
It didn't quite work out that way on a typically spectacular New Year's Day in the Arroyo Seco. By the time the fourth quarter began, all Florida State had seized was up. The Seminoles' 29-game winning streak vaporized, their composure lost somewhere amid five turnovers in six possessions in the second half, Jimbo Fisher's squad got steamrolled by the Ducks 59-20.
It took 101 Rose Bowls for a team to score that many points. Oregon set or equaled 10 records in the Granddaddy of Them All, including 639 total yards and 27 third-quarter points. The Ducks converted all four fumbles and one interception into touchdowns, and added another touchdown in there, too.
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