ARLINGTON, Texas — Although no Southeastern Conference or Louisiana teams were involved in Monday night’s inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Game, there still were a couple of Louisiana ties to be found on the Ohio State and Oregon sides.
Oregon director of football operations Jeff Hawkins is camp director for the annual Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux. Before his move to Oregon in 2001, he was recruiting coordinator at Tulane from 1992-95 and also participated in game day operations with the Saints and the Sugar Bowl.
David Trichel worked in the LSU football video department before heading to Ohio State, where he serves as the football program’s director of video post production.
Oregon also has one Louisiana player on its roster: freshman defensive back Mattrell McGraw from John Curtis.
Where do we go from here?
AT&T Stadium, site of Monday night’s game, again will be in the CFP mix next season as the Cotton Bowl serves as one of the CFP semifinal games along with the Orange Bowl.
Both games will be played Dec. 31 — as will the Peach Bowl, one of the six CFP games.
The Sugar, Rose and Fiesta bowls will be played New Year’s Day 2016.
The national championship game will be Jan. 11, 2016, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, home of the Arizona Cardinals and the Fiesta Bowl and the site of this year’s Super Bowl.
On Dec. 31, 2016, the Peach and Fiesta bowls will be the CFP semifinal games, with the national championship played Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The CFP semifinals rotate back to the Sugar and Rose bowls for the 2017 season, but there is no set rotation for the championship game.
According to CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock, the process of selecting the 2018, 2019 and 2020 championship game sites will begin in February, with those sites chosen later this year.
The first flag to hit the turf Monday night wasn’t thrown by one of the referees, but by Ohio State.
The Buckeyes ran onto the field behind cheerleaders carrying huge red flags, each bearing a letter forming the state name Ohio.
Well, there was an “O” and an “H” and an “I” ... but no second “O.” That flag was still lying wrapped up on the turf where the Buckeyes ran onto the field.
Maybe next national championship game.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram conducted an anonymous poll of 25 Oregon and Ohio State players at Saturday’s CFP media day and asked them which team not in the CFP final four most deserved to be in it.
The winner: TCU, which of course is in Fort Worth.
The Horned Frogs dropped from No. 3 in the penultimate CFP rankings to No. 6 in the final rankings. TCU went on to rout Ole Miss 42-3 in the Peach Bowl.
The officiating crew was from the Big 12 Conference for Monday’s game. … Former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti and Jacob Jarvis, a 15-year-old suffering from muscular dystrophy befriended by the Ohio State team, served as honorary captains for the coin toss. … Lady Antebellum sang the national anthem. … Ohio State came in with an 8-0 record against Oregon, their most recent meeting a 26-17 Buckeyes win in the 2010 Rose Bowl.
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.