The matchup is compelling – Oregon with a superstar quarterback facing Ohio State with depth and tradition – but equally important is the fact that there is such a matchup.
The teams playing Monday night for the college football national championship got there based on wins, not votes, both prevailing in semifinal bowl games on New Year’s Day. When they play Monday, it will be in the first title game using the playoff format, and arguments about the validity of the ultimate winner’s claim to the crown will be moot.
The game is being played at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
Both teams enter the game with 13-1 records. Oregon, led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, is gunning for its first national championship. Ohio State, which advanced through the late season without its first- and second-string quarterbacks and is a six-point underdog, is pursuing its fifth national title.
ESPN drew the long straw and will broadcast the game at 5:30 p.m. ESPN radio AM 1320 also will provide live coverage. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will provide play-by-play and analysis with Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi reporting from the sidelines.
The game will also be broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
ESPN is providing the opportunity to watch the game while listening to either the Oregon or Ohio State radio broadcast on ESPN3, available only to customers of cable and internet providers that offer ESPN3 or WatchESPN.
A local Oregon alumni group, Sacramento Ducks, announced it will have a game-watching party at Alley Katz, 2019 O St. in midtown Sacramento, beginning at 5 p.m. It is one of several such parties OU alumni are putting on. The Ohio State Alumni Club of Sacramento Valley will have a viewing party at Cordova Lodge restaurant, 2801 Prospect Park Dr., in Rancho Cordova. Other watching parties in Northern California also are planned.