Rose Bowl short takes: FSU, Winston melt down, Oregon rolls

Marcus Mariota hands trophy to Oregon teammate Tony Washington after the Ducks beat FSU in Rose Bowl. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Marcus Mariota hands trophy to Oregon teammate Tony Washington after the Ducks beat FSU in Rose Bowl. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Marcus Mariota hands trophy to Oregon teammate Tony Washington after the Ducks beat FSU in Rose Bowl. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Two years and two months later, Florida State finally lost a game.

Oregon, helped by five second-half turnovers by Florida State, outscored the unbeaten Seminoles 41-7 in the second half and rolled to a 59-20 win in the Rose Bowl and the first semifinal of the College Football Playoff.

The game moves the No. 2 ranked Ducks in next week’s championship against the winner of the Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Ohio State. Suffice to say, they looked pretty good and have an excellent chance to win it all.

Florida State had won 29 straight games, including 14 this season. The Seminoles’ last lost was Nov. 24, 2012 to Florida, 37-26.

Here’s a link to the game column on MyAJC.com.

Here are my three “Short Takes” on the game.

1. Playing with fire finally costs Florida State: The Seminoles trailed in nine of their last 11 games before the playoffs but rallied to win. This was the wrong opponent to tempt fate again. It might not have made a difference in the result but the Seminoles blew this game in the first half. They drove the ball effectively on their first three possessions but came away with only two field goals. Two drives reached the red zone. On one drive, they had four cracks from the Oregon seven-yard line or closer and came away with nothing (failing to score on third and fourth downs from the one). The Noles outscored their first 13 opponents by 100 points after halftime (225-125). But after trailing in this one 18-13 at halftime, they were blitzed 27-7 in the third quarter and 41-7 in the second half, killing themselves with five turnovers. On the eve of the game, former Texas coach Mack Brown was asked about the Seminoles ability to come back in games. His response: “It definitely gives a team confidence when they’ve done it before. But it’s a dangerous game to play, especially against a team like this.” No kidding.

2. Is Jameis Winston’s stock down? A quarterback expected to go in the first 10 picks in the NFL is not going to be hammered by scouts for one bad performance. But Winston, who had 17 interceptions before playing probably his best game of the season against Georgia Tech in the ACC championship (21 for 30, 309 yards, three touchdowns), was a mess Thursday. He threw an interception that led to an Oregon touchdown and had three fumbles. Only one fumble was lost but it was a biggie: He lost the ball while scrambling away from the Oregon pass rush in the third quarter and it was returned 58 yards for a touchdown by Oregon’s Tony Washington. Winston looked rattled at times, but his talent remains off the charts. So I’m guessing he’ll still go very early in then draft, despite this game and questions about his character.

3. Potential downside of a college playoffs: The Rose Bowl and first semifinal the first College Football Playoff did not suffer from the empty seats so prevalent at other bowl games. But it certainly didn’t have a neutral site feel to it. The ratio of Oregon fans to Florida State fans was about 8-to-1, for at least one reason: Geographical differences between the two schools, relative to Southern California, and the obvious cost of travel. But it’s also possible some FSU fans, wanting to save for one potential expensive road trip, was waiting for a possible FSU appearance in Arlington, Texas (a little closer and cheaper). Most people can’t afford to travel to one game, let alone two. But in a college playoff system with neutral zone sites, there’s no way to avoid this. For what it’s worth, I’ve long believed a college playoff should work the same as the NFL: Home fields for higher seeds in the early rounds, a neutral site for the championship game.


A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Is FSU most hated great team in college history?
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Oregon’s Helfrich credits Falcons’ Koetter for his success
— AJC: ROSE BOWL (short takes): FSU an underdog for first time in 50 games
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Will Jameis Winston prove to be worth risk in NFL?
— AJC: ROSE BOWL (short takes): Ex-Tech coach Charles Kelly’s challenge
— AJC: Weekend Mini-Predictions: Locals win, Bama and Oregon to finals
— MyAJC: It’s Arthur Blank’s show now, and that could be a problem?
— AJC: Falcons fire Smith, keep Dimitroff, and here are some candidates
— MyAJC: Falcons are done, and so it Mike Smith
— AJC: Say goodbye to Falcons, Smith, but Blank handled this poorly
— AJC: Falcons hire search firm — hey, nice timing, Blank
— MyAJC: Julio Jones has reaffirmed his worth to Falcons
— MyAJC: Christmas is 12 days? Well, this calls for presents
— AJC: With Bobo gone, should Richt call plays again at Georgia?
— MyAJC: Even amid gloom, Falcons showing positive signs
— AJC: Hey Hawks, here’s your chance to get Josh and Joe back!
— MyAJC: Falcons can make most of this illogical journey

Reader Comments 0

21 comments
Retired2x
Retired2x

Nice to see the shoplifter play so badly.  Hard for him to run with his pants around his ankles.

DrPhill
DrPhill

Winston is even dumber than we thought. He has humiliated his spineless coach and the spineless president of FSU. The university deserves another year of "what will he do next?" Thank you, sir, may I have another?

DoctorNo
DoctorNo

Just when I thought I could not possibly have any less respect for Jimbo Fisher and Jameis Winston, they both equivocate and make excuses in their post game interviews. (why they would allow Winston in front of a microphone is unfathomable.) Winston: "that game could have gone either way."  "we turned it over 6 times, we beat ourselves." Really? Fisher continues to talk about how well Winston played "we had 528 yards of offense."  Who cares Jimbo. Get some class and just congratulate Oregon and get ready for next year.  

BlawgDawg
BlawgDawg

@DoctorNo  With apologies to former Vikings head coach, Dennis Green, Jameis Winston "is who we thought he is"... a low class jackazz.  Whichever NFL team drafts him, they will regret it... perhaps as early as his post-selection interview.  He's bound to say something stupid.

DS
DS

For what it’s worth, I’ve long believed a college playoff should work the same as the NFL: Home fields for higher seeds in the early rounds, a neutral site for the championship game.

That is a good idea. It worked out that way this year, by coincidence.

I think the Rose Bowl is a spectacular venue for football---I love to watch games played there. The game was terrible, with FSU busy shooting themselves in their feet with turnovers, but the setting was great.

Overall, I think the new playoff scheme is working pretty well in the first year. I'd like to see the late game scheduled an hour earlier and the early game 90 minutes earlier, with an extra 30 minute time gap in case of overtime in the early game.

5150POAD
5150POAD

Maybe the Committee should have put 2 SEC West teams in the PLAYOFFS so they would have 1 SEC make it to DALLAS for the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

The Ducks looked impressive today.

I don't know who Oregon will play in the championship game but I will make one prediction - there will be a lot of "injuries" on Alabama's or OSU's D requiring the clock to stop

RangeRover
RangeRover

Finally exposed as the fraud they are.  After coasting through the weakest conference in college football and beating a highly overrated Auburn team last season, we now see what they really are when facing quality competition.  They may be a top 10-15 team, but a top 5 team they are not and haven't been...thanks to the playoff system!

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@RangeRover 

Somehow the "weakest conference in college football" has gone 5-3 against the SEC this year.

5150POAD
5150POAD

@RangeRover you better hold on for a few more minutes. I know you love that SEC bandwagon. You dogs love riding BAMA's coattails but Bama isn't looking like GODS of the Gridiron right now. 

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

The big bad SEC West is 2-4 in bowl games.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@AlwaysReady 

Nope - they are 2-5 in bowl games with the 2 winners being the ones in the lowest ranked bowls.