1 WHAT WE LEARNED

Nothing lasts forever. The SEC has been lauded for a decade as the nation’s best conference, a boast that wasn’t bragging after seven straight BCS national titles and an eighth that just escaped Auburn’s grasp in last year’s BCS finale. But with Ohio State’s shocking 42-35 upset of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, the college football championship game will be without an SEC team for the first time since the 2005 season. Under the old BCS system, Alabama would have been slotted into the title game. But in the CFP, it came up a game short.

2 TRENDING NOW

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott was a deserving MVP with his 230 yards and two touchdowns rushing, but it was Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones who was the real story of this amazing victory. No one knew who Jones was before injuries to Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett, a pair of Heisman candidates, forced him to take over behind center. All he did was lead Ohio State to a 59-0 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game and pile up 286 total yards with a touchdown pass against Alabama.

3 FINAL THOUGHTS So it’s on to the inaugural CFP National Championship Game on Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas between Ohio State and Oregon. As in the Sugar Bowl, the Buckeyes will likely be an underdog to the Ducks, who are led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota. But while Oregon has the star power, Ohio State has a growing sense of invulnerability that comes from proving the world wrong over and over again. The Buckeyes will go to the title game brimming with Texas-sized confidence.

Scott Rabalais