It won't be official until Sunday. But No. 2 Oregon is the first team to assure itself of a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff after beating No. 7 Arizona in the Pac-12 Championship Game, 51-13. The 12-1 Ducks finally squashed their Arizona demons after losing to the Wildcats earlier in the regular season and last year.
The Ducks rebounded after settling for field goals early and showed everyone why they could be the best team in the country. Quarterback Marcus Mariota locked up the Heisman by shredding the Wildcats' defense for 343 total yards and five total touchdowns. The defense was absolutely crushing, holding the explosive Wildcats to 25 first half yards. It showed again why it's so underrated.
Now, the Ducks turn their attention to the Playoff. There's a chance they can move into the top spot in the Playoff if Alabama loses. Oregon could even move up if Bama wins and the committee's especially impressed with this blowout and with the fact that Oregon's dominated four currently ranked teams, trailing for only about an hour out of 780 minutes all year.
Either way, Oregon will be playing its semifinal at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The selection committee will give preference to the top teams when determining seeding, and Pasadena is far more practical for Ducks fans than New Orleans.
We'll have to wait and see on the opponent. Most likely, the Ducks will be facing Florida State, TCU, Baylor, or Ohio State. If the Playoff started before this weekend, the opponent would have been No. 3 TCU. But that could change. Florida State has the potential to pick up a quality win against Georgia Tech and could potentially jump to the No. 3 spot. Or Baylor or Ohio State could jump into the Playoff with big wins over Kansas State and Wisconsin, respectively.
Either way, Oregon is in. The Ducks are one win away from their second national championship game in five seasons.